Celebrating 11th World Laughter Day at AEON Bandar Dato Onn
Every first Sunday of May, members of Laughter Yoga Clubs from all over the world celebrate World Laughter Day. For our region, the club registered under Johor Bahru Happy & Joyous Club, saw a participation of over 500 enthusiastic members letting loose in its 11th year in celebration at AEON Bandar Dato Onn.
Laughter Yoga is an exercise which promotes laughing, no need for humour or reason, as a method to curb stress, improve moods, and overall health and wellness. The exercise is a combination of forceful laughing and yoga breathing techniques, as they claim there is scientific evidence that the body cannot differentiate a fake laugh and a real laugh. According to them, laughter, real or not, releases ‘feel-good’ hormones endorphin – our body’s natural chemical reaction to combat stress or pain, acting as happiness boosters and pain relievers.
You will find all members of the club high-spirited and animated; one elderly member even began laughing at the stairs of the stage she accidentally tripped over. Everyone watching followed suit in laughing, for there was no point in being upset or feeling shameful for tripping – they just laughed it off.
Guest of honour, Associate Professor Sivakumar Thurairajasingam, Head Medical Education Unit at Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine & Health Sciences, said that he was first skeptical of the concept of forceful laughing to beat stress. However, he realised that the members of the Laughter Yoga group are often very energetic and zealous, even though most of them are older than he was! He will be conducting a two-week study on the effects of Laughter Yoga and one’s stress management with his students. Dr Siva’s hypothesis is that Laughter Yoga will decrease a person’s stress levels.
“We are the only city in Malaysia which provides free 30 minutes of Laughter sessions in more than 10 residential parks in Johor Bahru,” said Koh Mui Cheng, Organising Chairperson of the 11th World Laughter Day. Laughter sessions are held in main neighbourhood parks for the community to come and have a laugh together in the morning. The club envisions laughter blooming in the gardens of parks all over Johor Bahru and you are invited to join them! Start your day laughing and your day will be all-set.