Laughter Yoga is an increasingly popular mind and body workout – but do you know how it originated?


Today, 13th March 2023, Laughter Yoga is turning the grand age of 28.


There’s an interesting history behind this rapidly transforming holistic practice.

Laughter Yoga started on 13th March 1995 – It was branded by Dr Madan Kataria, a medical doctor, and his wife Madhuri. They met with 3 friends in a park to practice laughing on that day. At the time Dr Kataria was writing an article for the My Doctor magazine about why laughter is the best medicine and the meetup was about finding out how the group felt after laughing together and telling jokes.


Dr Kataria, his wife, and their 3 friends met every day, and quickly the group grew bigger but unfortunately, the jokes became rather awful after a few weeks. Hence why we don’t tell jokes anymore.


Overnight Dr Kataria created Laughter Yoga exercises and Madhuri – a keen yoga student – confirmed that deep breathing to sustain the laughter should be included.

The early morning practice of Laughter Yoga exercises for between 10-30 minutes in parks grew across India, then to the USA, and onwards to Europe. Laughter Yoga reached the UK in 2003 when Julie Whitehead started her group on Clapham Common. Due to unreliable weather, many community Laughter Yoga Clubs run their activities indoors. Laughter Yoga is now practised in over 116 countries, with thousands of Laughter Yoga regular clubs, corporate workshops, and is slowly integrating into schools. The benefits of regular cardiovascular, very accessible exercise to boost mental strength and health is a testament to the effective practice.


Regular practicing of these Laughter Yoga exercises has transformed thousands of lives – from people with MS, depression (like myself), and pain-ridden conditions like fibromyalgia. At Serious Laughter besides our corporate work, we have worked with charities for the blind, mental health charities for teenagers, older age groups, and carers.

There is definitely some medicine in laughter. Studies are frequently taking place all over the world, finding out and confirming the health and well-being benefits. It’s incredible that thousands of people are still being introduced to Laughter Yoga, and that there are now an infinite number of Laughter Yoga exercises available.


In 2019 Dr Kataria created Bollywood Laughter Yoga Dance. At Serious Laughter we are proud to be one of only a handful of Laughter Yoga companies in the UK who offer this in workshops to both companies and communities.


Laughter Yoga is here to stay and in this stressful, busy world it is one way of having an instant holiday which boosts positivity and de-stresses at the same time.


For more information about Laughter Yoga workshops or Bollywood Laughter Dance

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