The increasingly popular laughter yoga may seem to be a fun exercise, but the importance of the exercise itself is no laughing matter.
This was what Dr Madan Kataria, the founder of the Laughter Yoga Club Movement, asserted during his recent visit to Malaysia.
“It is not a laughing matter. We are serious about bringing it to more people because it has plenty of health benefits,” he said during a press conference at the ZON Mall in Johor Bahru recently.
Laughter yoga, according to Madan, has helped cure a breast cancer patient in Iran.
“I was skeptical whether it would be accepted in Iran, but the government helped endorse it, and the results were great,” he said, while adding even terminal illnesses like cancer can be cured with the help of laughter yoga.
“Cancer is not an easy disease to have. Plus, for ages, people have been saying that laughter is the best medicine.”
“Nobody can make you laugh for five minutes or longer continuously. So the best way to laugh is to transform it into a form of exercise,” he explained further.
“The laughter has to come from your belly. Only then it will alter your physiology and release all the carbon dioxide in your body.”
The laughter yoga club, he said, has now spread to some 65 countries worldwide, and the fact that the movement has spread so quickly without the aid of advertising is an illustration of its health benefits.
Madan, who comes from Mumbai in India, where the movement began, also took time to credit the folks of Johor Bahru.
“I used to think I want to spread this laughter yoga to Kuala Lumpur since that is the capital city. But the people of Johor Bahru have proved me wrong,” he said, referring to the fact the country’s Happy and Joyous Club is located in Johor Bahru.