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Western New Jersey

Laughter yoga: Laugh your way to a new life perspective

By: Alexandra Hogan of WFMZ-TV 69

Posted: Jan 02, 2019 09:46

View the video that goes with this article on Facebook page:

LOPATCONG TWP., N.J. – The holidays bring laughter and cheer, but laughter lasts all year long at the Perfect Christmas Tree Farm in New Jersey, and it’s contagious.

Farm co-owner Cynthia Curtis is a licensed laughter yoga instructor.

“People are lonely these days. To laugh with somebody that’s such a good connection,” she says.

When she’s not at the farm, Curtis teaches at libraries, in nursing homes, and also practices with people all over the world on Skype.

“There’s one in Chicago, I usually laugh with them. An hour before that there’s one in India. There’s one in Belgium I laugh with,” Curtis said.

The idea of laughter yoga is to force yourself to laugh for 20 minutes straight per day. To do that, groups act out mundane life experiences and try to find the humor in it.

Curtis says laughter yoga can change the situation for those who are ill, something she experienced after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

“It didn’t make me not have a cancer, the doctor had to do that, but I could still be happy. I was bigger than my problem,” she said.

It’s also changed the life of her 102-year-old mother at her nursing home.

“She’s the official greeter. She turned laughter yoga into a job for herself,” Curtis said.

Curtis realizes this practice isn’t for everyone, but says it’s good for a lot of people, especially those who feel alone.

It’s her goal to share the mantra to enjoy life, and laugh as much as possible along the way.

Breathe. Laugh. Be happy. The science behind laughter yoga.

By Mayra Cuevas, CNN, September 7, 2018

Atlanta (CNN)The cackles can be heard from far beyond the brick walls of the private garden playing host to a Laughter Yoga Atlanta session.

On a bright weekend morning, at the height of the steamy Georgia summer, a group of about 40 students is visibly invigorated.

At intervals they chant or clap, frolicking in a large open circle while purposely seeking eye-contact with the nearest person — most likely someone they just met.

Welcome to laughter yoga.

Laughter exercises can improve your mental and physical health, neurologists say.

Laughter yoga students engage in playful excercise that promote laughter and wellness.

The practice, designed by Indian doctor Madan Kataria in 1995, combines playful group exercises and deep breathing to promote wellness, happiness and lots of laughter.

“It’s called laughter yoga because of the diaphragmatic breathing that takes place when we laugh,” says Laughter Yoga Atlanta director Celeste Greene. “It’s a full inhalation and a full exhalation.”

At first the laughter is simulated, or “voluntary laughter” in yoga-speak, but slowly, as students warm up to each other, it becomes genuine and contagious.

“You can react from a laughter place, as opposed to a stress place. How does that sound?” Greene calls out.

A group “Yeah!” quickly follows.

Then Greene demonstrates a new exercise — “traffic laughter.” Students pretend to drive a “laughter powered car.”

“The goal in laughter yoga is to build a daily habit and bring more laughter into your life,” Greene explained. “It could be laughing in traffic and it could be laughing while cleaning the house. The more you laugh, the more you’re able to laugh at whatever life brings.”

Laughter exercises can improve your mental and physical health, neurologists say.

Laughter yoga can help ease anxiety and depression, while building unique connections with others.

A comic and a neuroscientist walk into a bar

Neuroscientist Sophie Scott spent 18 years studying laughter. She’s a professor at University College London by day and, on occasion, a standup comedian by night.

“One of the big benefits of laughter is that it feels really good to laugh,” said Scott. “You get a change in the uptake of the naturally circulating endorphins, and those are the body’s painkillers. You get a measurable increase in your ability to tolerate pain.”

Overtime, according to Scott, laughter can decrease the body’s production of cortisol, a hormone released by the adrenal glands into the bloodstream at times of stress. High levels of cortisol have been linked to weight gain and memory loss.

Laughter exercises can improve your mental and physical health, neurologists say.

Laughter increases the levels of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, experts say.

Laughter, the universal language

Students meditating at the end of a laughter yoga session.

Laughter exercises can improve your mental and physical health, neurologists say.

Back in the Atlanta garden, strangers leave as friends at the end of the laughter yoga session.

“It really lifted my spirits in ways I had not anticipated,” said student David Randolph, a radiation oncologist. “We laughed, we made eye contact. It felt really good to connect with all these people that I had never met before.”

Many in the group echoed Randolph’s experience.

In her classes, Greene has witnessed the positive effects this group dynamic can have on a person struggling with anxiety, depression or isolation.

At an emotional level, neuroscientist Scott said, laughter can be a bonding experience among family or coworkers, friends or strangers.

“When people laugh it’s a sign that they’re feeling comfortable and relaxed and safe and not exposed,” she said.

“Humans do seem to be genuinely unified by laughter.”

Health Benefits Of Laughter

Combats Respiratory Infections

  • By increasing antibodies in saliva

Reduces Pain

  • Releases endorphins to provide pain relief

Relaxes Muscles

  • Muscular tension and laughter are incompatible
  • Decreases serum cortisol

Positive Mental Function

  • Changes perspective with improved mood
  • Through cardio-vascular efficiency

Helps the Body Fight Infection

  • Liberates numerous immune boosters

Improves Tissue Function & Growth

  • Supplies nutrients and oxygen to tissues

Happiness Linked to Longevity

  • Live a longer, more fulfilled life

Laugh In The Library

PBS39, Warren Reporter, Karishma Desai, is coming to the Phillipsburg Library for Laughter Yoga on Mon. Sep. 10.  Let’s make Phillipsburg the happiest City in Warren County (at least for the day.) Join us for this special session of Laughter In The Library. Maybe we can get the whole library laughing.

Laugh More – Feel Better

Laughter Yoga is laughing on purpose, for happiness and health. It is an exercise that you enjoy doing.

        Anyone who wants to can do Laughter Yoga. It is a mild cardio workout that people do sitting or standing and moving about. It is totally up to you how active you are.
Laughter Yoga requires no previous experience or special equipment. All you do need is the willingness to liberate your laughter and a sincere desire for a happier life.
These are some of the benefits of laughing on purpose:

IT RELEASES HAPPY HORMONES. You’ll like the feel-good chemicals that your body releases when you laugh. Having the right amount of endorphins in your system leads to a decrease in stress and your outlook improves. When this happens, your entire well-being is enhanced, making you more resistant to pain.
IT PROTECT THE HEART. A recent study shows that an anti-inflammatory effect is one of the consequences of laughter. This means that laughing often results in improving the blood vessels function that regulates blood flow. Because of this, you decrease the risks for cardiovascular diseases. Laughter truly is good medicine.
IT ALLOWS YOU TO BURN MORE CALORIES. It may come as a shock at first, but laughing burns calories. And laughter has another benefit for weight control. Life’s problems become something to laugh about, not a reason to overeat. Things stop eating you and you stop using food to deal in times of troubles.
IT IMPROVES YOUR MOOD. Keep in mind that being angry has an adverse effect on your body. When you are always mad at something or someone, it increases the risk of developing diseases. Fortunately, all it takes is a good laugh to take you out of a bad mood. Laughing brings extra oxygen into the lungs and brain, then you are better able to handle problems more creatively.
IT FOSTERS HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS. Having a sense of humor is an essential component of a happy relationship. Laugher can make two people more connected to each other. People who laugh together often become friends. They stay longer in a relationship compared to those who are too serious about what they do every day. And remember, laughter is contagious. Your friends and family will catch your good spirit.
IT RELAXES THE BODY. Not everyone knows this, but after laughing, your body feels more relaxed than before. Since laughter relieves stress, tension, and other unpleasant emotions, the result is that you would feel lighter and calmer. You become more attractive because you have exercised your body with a smile on your face.

Laughter Yoga at the Funny Farm

What is the Funny Farm Laughter Club?

A Free Social Club that welcomes all to join.  It is non-religious and non-political. We do not charge any membership fee.  Laughter Yoga at the Funny Farm is not to be confused with traditional yoga classes. We don’t perform yoga poses so you don’t need a mat or any special equipment or experience. At the Funny Farm Laughter Club we combine playful laughter exercises and deep yogic breathing. We all laugh together for no reason except for the best reasons – health, happiness and world peace.

Practice Happiness at the Funny Farm, July 2018

Sun. July 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29 at 6 pmDepression laughter yoga

Mon. July 2, 9, 16, 23, & 30 at 10 am

  • Health Benefits: Laughter Yoga is an aerobic exercise (a mild cardio workout) that brings more oxygen to the body and brain. It makes us feel healthier and more energetic. Practicing Laughter Yoga strengthens the immune system which not only prevents us from falling sick but also helps us to feel better.
  • Social Connector: Quality of life depends on the quality of your friends and relationships. Laughter is a great connector of people and you will meet lots of interesting people and develop new friendships at Laughter Club.
  • Mission:   To spread Good Health, Happiness and World Peace

What is Laughter Yoga? How can it Help you?

Everyone wants health and happiness.  But instead, we are getting stressed out, depressed, more negative thoughts and sometimes feeling isolated. Does this sound like you? If you are someone who wants to bring more laughter and joy into your life or are someone who just loves to laugh, join us.

Laughter Yoga is a simple yet profound complete well-being exercise routine practiced around the world. Developed by an Indian medical doctor, Dr. Madan Kataria, it has spread across 100 countries and to tens of thousands of Laughter Clubs, around the world.

  • You Laugh with Special Guided Techniques: It’s easy. Anyone can laugh for no reason without relying on humor, jokes or comedy and you feel the benefits from laughing the very first session!
  • Real and Contagious Laughter: We initiate laughter as a body exercise, in a group, and with eye contact and childlike playfulness the laughter soon turns into real and contagious laughter.
  • oxygenate your Body and Brain: Laughter Yoga is a combination of deep breathing exercises from yoga and laughter exercises, which oxygenates the body and brain, making us feel more creative and happier.

Scientifically Proven

The basis of Laughter Yoga a scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between spontaneous laughter and intentional laughter. You get the same physiological and psychological benefits from both. And this mild cardio exercise burns calories and tightens muscles in the most enjoyable way possible, by sharing a laugh.

Clinical research conducted in India and in the United States proves that Laughter lowers the level of stress hormones (epinephrine, cortisol, etc) in the blood.

5 Benefits of Laughter Yoga

  • Good Mood and More Laughter: Laughter Yoga helps to change your mood within minutes by releasing certain chemicals from your brain cells called endorphins. You remain cheerful and in a good mood throughout the day and will laugh more and more easily than you normally do.
  • Healthy Exercise to Beat Stress: Laughter Yoga is an aerobic exercise which brings more oxygen to the body and brain thereby making you feel more energetic and relaxed.
  • Health Benefits: Laughter Yoga reduces stress and strengthens the immune system. You will not fall sick easily and if you have some chronic health conditions, you will heal faster.
  • Quality of Life: Laughter is a positive energy which helps people to connect with other people quickly and improves relationships. If you laugh more, you will attract many friends.
  • Positive Attitude in Challenging Times:  Anyone can laugh when times are good but Laughter Yoga teaches people to laugh unconditionally so that they can laugh even during tough times. It provides strength in adversity, a coping mechanism, to help people keep a positive mental attitude regardless of the circumstances. If you can “laugh it off”, you will feel so much better. It gives hope and optimism to cope in difficult times.

Where is the Funny Farm Laughter Club

  • Perfect Christmas Tree Farm, 999 US Highway 22, Lopatcong Township, Phillipsburg NJ 08865
  • Go to the 18th century stone farmhouse at the end of the driveway
  • For more information: email, visit our Facebook page: or call 908-763-1945.

Share Laughter, Make Friends

Try this unique cardio workout where laughing is the exercise. We initiate laughter in the beginning,  but with eye contact and and playfulness the laughter becomes genuine and contagious. The reason its called Laughter Yoga is that we combine laughter with yoga breathing which brings more oxygen to our body and brain and we feel healthier and more energetic, more relaxed, as a result. There is scientific proof that even if when we pretend to laugh we get the same health benefits as if it was real laughter. This is real exercise that burns calories, strengthens core muscles and exercises vital organs. Anyone can can laugh for no reason. No experience or special equipment is needed.

Laughter Yoga Is News

The Funny Farm Laughter Club meets at Perfect Christmas Tree Farm in Phillipsburg NJ. Contact Laughter Yoga teacher, Cynthia Curtis at She will notify you of the next laughter club meeting.

Laughter Yoga and Sukkot Dinner

Laughter Yoga is a worldwide peace movement and happiness delivery system that started 22 years ago in India by a medical doctor, Dr. Mandan Kataria. The practice has spread to 62 countries on 6 continents without any advertising, simply because laughter feels good and laughter is contagious.

No equipment or previous experience is necessary. If you can breathe and laugh you can do Laughter Yoga, sitting or standing. There is no wrong way to do it.  And it is good medicine for the mind and body.
You are invited to try it every night from Oct. 4 through Oct. 10 at 6 PM.

Then stay for a free dinner in the Sukkah. We are celebrating the harvest with the joyous Festival of Sukkot, a 5000-year-old Jewish tradition (~Leviticus 23:34.)

We build a three-sided structure, a Sukkah, making sure the stars shine through the roof and the wind can pass through the walls and share a candlelit dinner with 12  friends and neighbors, each night, for 7 nights, no matter the weather. 
Judaism 101: Sukkot

Join us for this vegetarian meal and/or Laughter Yoga. Everyone is invited. For us, the holiday is social, not religious.
Please let me know if you are staying for dinner by calling 908-387-1225. It’s okay to leave a message.

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