Dr. Madan Kataria – Defender of the Playful

Think about laughing. About laughing out loud. A lot.

Dr. Madan Kataria has thought about it. Also a lot. He thought especially about how tired you can get from laughing, about how much of your body you use, about how you breathe when you laugh, how you move when you laugh, how your eyes tear, your heart beats, how thoroughly engaged your whole body gets, how much exercise you’re getting just by laughing.

He lives in India, where most such exercises get categorized as yoga. And so he invented Laughter Yoga.

See, laughter is easy. It’s fun. And you can make yourself laugh, especially when you’re with other people, and when you make yourself laugh with other people, they laugh too. Which makes you laugh louder and harder. Which makes them laugh louder and harder.

So he started doing just that. And then he developed more exercises, adding yoga bits here and there, meditation, even. Teaching what he came to call Laughter Yoga. Here, for example, is his latest, and deepest – a five day “Laughter and Silence Retreat.”

Laughter Yoga is fun. Sometimes it’s hard fun. Often, it’s very, very deep fun. And it’s playful. Dr. Katarian has devoted much of the last 15 years exploring, developing, teaching, encouraging the people he trains to play with the whole concept, to create new exercises, to take his ideas further, while he focuses on taking them deeper.

Laughter Yoga has become deeper and richer as he has taught it to people from all over the world. He is constantly planning new ways to evolve his message, and to encourage others to evolve it along with him. Currently, he is planning to open a Laughter Yoga University in India, to launch Laughter Yoga globe-spanning cruise, and on, and on.  In every way, by every definition, proving himself a Defender of the Playful.

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