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Laughter yoga

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15 to 20 minutes of laughing every day keeps the doctor away. Laughing releases feel-good endorphins that keep you happy & healthy. 


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India's giggling guru says laugh yourself to good health

By Penny MacRae (AFP) – 22 hours ago

NEW DELHI — India's "guru of giggling" Madan Kataria, who has got thousands of people guffawing globally in pursuit of better health, has an unexpected confession -- he hasn't got a very good sense of humour.

"But you don't require one to laugh," chortles Kataria, founder of "Laughter Yoga", a movement that has attracted fans worldwide including celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Goldie Hawn.

Kataria -- who travels constantly spreading his "laugh with no reason" gospel -- has been hired by multinationals from computer giant Hewlett-Packard to automaker Volvo to hold team-building laughter sessions.

Now he is setting up a "Laughter University" in the southern city of Bangalore on land donated by a building contractor and $250,000 from an anonymous tycoon.

"In three months we will start building and by the end of 2013 we will be up and running. We want to build a worldwide community headquarters of laughter yoga," he said.

Kataria envisions holding laughter sessions and conferences at the centre and setting up an alternative medicine unit to expand medical knowledge about the beneficial health effects of laughter.

Studies already suggest laughter releases feel-good endorphins, the brain chemicals that are linked with a sense of wellbeing.

"Laughing is the healthiest thing you can do -- it's the best medicine," said the towering, bald 58-year-old, whose movement has inspired thousands of "Laughter Clubs" in India and around the world from Beirut to Dublin.

Kataria also holds laughter sessions in schools, prisons, hospitals and retirement homes, and a few years ago testified before a US Senate committee that laughter yoga could help the country cut healthcare costs.

A qualified doctor, he hit upon medical literature advocating laughter as a stress-buster and remedy for other ailments. In 1995 he decided to "field-test" his findings before setting up the first of his clubs.

Kataria started with four strangers in a Mumbai park. They stood in a circle and "laughed like hyenas," he recalled. Numbers soon swelled to around 50.

They recounted jokes but realised they didn't have enough gags -- then he found that the body was unable to distinguish between fake and genuine laughter with both producing the same "happy, healing chemistry."

"Anyway, fake laughter turns into real laughter after a few moments. Try it," he said.

He persuaded his group to laugh with him for one minute with no reason. It stretched into 10 minutes as the laughter turned infectious -- and the Laughter Yoga movement was born.

"Laughter is more about social connection and bonding than something being funny," Amit Sood, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic in the United States, told AFP.
Studies show all kinds of benefits from laughter from better immunity and coping skills, lower stress, better relationships to improved digestion," he said.

"It relaxes me. If I laugh in the morning, the rest of the day goes well," said Lisa Singh, 39, one regular "laugher" in New Delhi.

Kataria, who runs his non-profit Laughter Yoga Institute with a dozen employees from his Mumbai home, says one needs a full 15-to-20 minutes of giggling daily to reap the full benefits.

Researchers believe it may be the use of abdominal muscles in laughing that triggers the release of endorphins -- a phenomenon also associated with exercise, such as running.

"It's not enough to just watch a funny movie because you just laugh a few seconds at a funny line -- you need to laugh for a stretch to get the rewards," Kataria said.

Kataria was the youngest of 14 children from a poor farming family in the state of Punjab. Six siblings died as medical help was too far away and his mother set her heart on him becoming a doctor.

She sold her gold bangles so he could go to medical school. He qualified as a physician but was more drawn to acting and admits he was a "bit of a showman."

"My family was rather disappointed -- but now they have seen how big Laughter Yoga has become, they're proud," he said.

His talent to engage people came across at a recent financial analysts' team-building session in New Delhi.

He stretched his arms out and led off with his signature "tee-hee, ho, ho" that finally gave way to unrestrained bellows.

There were a few nervous titters, then within minutes the room was engulfed by laughter and some people were wiping away tears.

"Laughter is contagious -- like yawning," said Kataria who intersperses the merriment with deep breathing yoga exercises and stretching.

We need to laugh to help us deal with life, which can be very difficult," he said, briefly sounding serious.

When you laugh you're joyful -- you're living in the moment.

Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved. More

(Source: Bangkok Post, India's giggling guru says laugh yourself to good health, By Penny MacRae (AFP), link)


Laughter Yoga Vocabulary

yoga - a set of physical and mental exercises, Indian in origin, which is intended to give control over the body and mind ระบบการบริหารร่างกายและการควบคุมลมหายใจ (See Wikipedia)
deep breathing yoga exercises

laughter (noun) - making a sound with your voice that shows that you think something is funny การหัวเราะ (See Wikipedia)
laughter yoga - (See Wikipedia)

laugh
(verb)
laugh
yourself to good health

giggle - to make a silly and nervous high pitched laugh  หัวเราะคิกคัก
chortle - the sound of laughing when someone is enjoying something a lot หัวเราะร่าเริง

gaffaw -
the sound of deep aand loud laughter (making a snorting sound like a pig)

infectious - passing from person to person quickly; unable to control (Same as "contagious")
the laughter turned infectious

contagious - passing from person to person easily, infectious (example: contagious disease) ซึ่งแพร่กระจายได้ง่าย ที่แพร่กระจายด้วยการสัมผัส,
yawn - หาว, หาวนอน, อ้าปากกว้าง
laughter is contagious -- like yawning

titter - laughing very quietly and softly because you are nervous or embarassed
nervous titters

guru - a person who is respected for their knowledge of a particular subject and who gives advice ครู
India's giggling guru
India's "guru of giggling" Madan Kataria

hyena - an animal that lives in Africa and looks like a dog and makes a sound that sounds like laughing  หมาใน, ไฮอี'นะ, สัตว์กินเนื้อในแอฟริกาออกหากินในเวลากลางคืนชอบกินซากศพ (See Wikipedia)
a laughing hyena
laughed like hyenas

pursuit - when you try to achieve a plan, activity or situation, usually over a long period of time การพยายามให้ถึงความต้องการ
in pursuit of better health

globally - throughout the world ทั่วโลก
has got thousands of people guffawing globally in pursuit of better health

humour - the ability to find things funny, the way in which people see that some things are funny or the quality of being funny ความตลกขบขัน
good sense of humour
hasn't got a very good sense of humour

confession - admitting that you have done something wrong or illegal การสารภาพผิด
unexpected confession

an unexpected confession -- he hasn't got a very good sense of humour

founder - a person who establishes an institution, business, or organization ผู้ก่อตั้ง
movement - a group of people who share the same aim and work together to achieve it การเคลื่อนไหวเพื่อวัตถุประสงค์ทางการเมือง
founder of a movement

founder of "Laughter Yoga", a movement that has attracted fans worldwide including celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Goldie Hawn.

constantly - continuously; all the time อย่างต่อเนื่อง
travels constantly

reason - an explanation of an event, why an event happened เหตุ ; เหตุผล ; สาเหตุ
laugh with no reason - laugh just because you want to laugh (not because something is making you laugh)

gospel - ideas that someone wants other people to accept (such as teachings of a religion such as Christianity)
spread the gospel -
teach other people new ideas that you want them to accept (examples: missionaries spread the gospel of Christianity)

laugh with no reason gospel
spread his laugh with no reason gospel

constantly - do with stopping
travels constantly spreading his "laugh with no reason" gospel

session - a formal meeting การชุมนุม ประชุม
laughter sessions

team-building - make a team at work stronger so that they achieve their goals
team-building laughter sessions

multinationals (MNCs) - large companies that do business in many countries around the world
hired by multinationals from computer giant Hewlett-Packard to automaker Volvo to hold team-building laughter sessions.

contractor - a person or company whose job is to do work for another person, organisation, company, etc. ผู้รับเหมา
building contractor - one of the companies doing building work in a building project

anonymous - names not given ไม่ออกนาม
tycoon - a person who has succeeded in business or industry and has become very rich and powerful นักธุรกิจที่ร่ำรวยและมีอิทธิพลมาก
anonymous tycoon

donate - give something to someone (for free, not asking for anything in return) บริจาค
donate land

land donated by a building contractor and $250,000 from an anonymous tycoon.

community - 1. a group of people who have something in common and are friends; 2. all the people who live in a place and know each other ชุมชน
headquarters - the place where an organisation or company has its main offices กองบัญชาการ สำนักงานใหญ่

worldwide
community headquarters
build a worldwide community headquarters of laughter yoga

conferences - a large meeting for a couple of days to bring together people sharing a common interest
Kataria envisions holding laughter sessions and conferences at the centre

alternative - another choice, another possible way ตัวเลือก / ทางเลือก
alternative medicine - other types of medicine, outside of the normal medicine practiced by doctors and at hospitals (See Wikipedia)
alternative medicine unit - one clinic, hospital or department in hospital that provides "alternative medicine" treatment to patients

expand - to become larger ขายตัวออกไป
expand knowledge
expand medical knowledge

beneficial - helpful or good มีประโยชน์
beneficial effects

beneficial health effects
beneficial health effects of laughter

setting up an alternative medicine unit to expand medical knowledge about the beneficial health effects of laughter

linked - connected เชื่อมโยง เกี่ยวกับ
laughter releases feel-good endorphins, the brain chemicals that are linked with a sense of wellbeing

towering - very high or tall สูงลิ่ว, สูงตระหง่าน, สูงเสียดเมฆ
bald - not having hair on your head หัวล้าน, ศรีษะล้าน
the towering, bald 58-year-old

inspire -
give people the energy and excitement to do things; motivate
the movement has inspired thousands of "Laughter Clubs" in India and around the world  

retirement - the time when you stop working, especially because of old age เกษียณอายุ
retirement homes

testify -
 provide information to the some official government organization
testified before a US Senate

healthcare - the treatment and prevention of diseases and other medical problems
cut healthcare costs - reduce healthcare costs
laughter yoga could help the country cut healthcare costs

qualified - having the things you need such as educational degrees, passing tests, etc (qualifications) that you need to do some job or activity
qualified doctor

advocate - strongly and publicly support a policy or way of doing things
advocating laughter - strongly and publicly supporting laughter (as a way to good health)
medical literature advocating laughter

stress - a feeling of worry and tension from difficulties in life
a stress-buster - something that reduces or stops stress in a person's life

ailment -
some disease or health problem  อาการป่วย, โรคทางกาย, ความเจ็บไข้, ความเจ็บป่วย,
remedy - treatment for disease, cure, a way to stop and end a disease or health problem การรักษาโรค,  วิธีการรักษาโรค
remedy for ailments

he hit upon medical literature advocating laughter as a stress-buster and remedy for other ailments

field-test - test something under the actual conditions where it operates (opposite of a "laboratory test")

findings
- the results or conclusions of an investigation or research
"field-test" his findings

swell -
get larger, grow larger, increase in size (example: after he accidentally hit his finger with a hammer it swelled up) 
numbers soon swelled


recalled - remembered นึกทบทวน จำได้
they stood in a circle and "laughed like hyenas," he recalled

gags - something that makes people laugh (such as a joke or a trick) 
didn't have enough gags

realised - come to understand something
realised they didn't have enough gags

recounted - tell a story, tell how an event happened เล่าเรื่อง
they recounted jokes but realised they didn't have enough gags

distinguish -
see the difference between two things that are different
distinguish between
unable to distinguish between

fake - not the real thing, made to look like something real in order to trick people ปลอม ที่ทำปลอม ปลอมแปลง
fake laughter

genuine - real; honest; sincere
genuine laughter

unable to distinguish between fake and genuine laughter

persuaded - to change what people think by giving them reasons
he persuaded his group to laugh with him for one minute with no reason

social connection - friendship or acquaintance, people you know and spend time with
bonding -
when people get to know each other and become closer friends
Laughter is more about social connection and bonding than something being funny

benefits - goods things that can happen from anm activity ผลประโยชน์
benefits from laughter
Studies show all kinds of benefits from laughter

immunity - protected from a disease naturally by the body ภูมิคุ้มกันโรค, ภูมิต้านทานโรค
better immunity

cope - be able to deal and solve problems
skills - a type of work or task requiring special training and knowledge ทักษะ ความสามารถเฉพาะทาง
coping skills

stress
lower stress

relationships -
connections between people (such as friendship, marriage, being a brother, mother, etc)
better relationships

digestion -
the process of the body processing and using the food you eat
improved digestion

profit - money that you make from selling goods and services after all your costs have been paid กำไร
non-profit Laughter Yoga Institute
one needs a full 15-to-20 minutes of giggling daily to reap the full benefits

abdominal - involving the front part of your body below your waist ช่องท้อง (ช่องพระนาภี)
abdominal muscles - stomach muscles

endorphins - a hormone in the body that reduces pain when you are injured or tired (See Wikipedia)

trigger - cause some event to happen
release - to allow a substance to flow out from somewhere ปล่อย
triggers the release of endorphins

phenomenon - something that exists and can be seen, felt, tasted, etc., especially something which is unusual or interesting ปรากฏการณ์

it may be the use of abdominal muscles in laughing that triggers the release of endorphins -- a phenomenon also associated with exercise, such as running.

a funny line - to say something funny that makes people laugh
you just laugh a few seconds at a funny line

stretch - to cause something to reach, often as far as possible, in a particular direction ขยายออก, ยืดออก
he stretched his arms out
you need to laugh for a stretch to get the rewards

siblings - brothers and sisters
six siblings died as medical help was too far away

set her heart on - wanted very much
his mother set her heart on him becoming a doctor.

bangles -
bracelets
gold bangles

admits -
says something is true (and this is a difficult thing to accept)
a bit of a showman
he admits he was a "bit of a showman."

disappointed - unhappy because someone or something was not as good as you hoped or expected, or because something did not happen ผิดหวัง
my family was rather disappointed

talent - the natural ability to perform some job or task well ความสามารถพิเศษ
engage people - to keep  people interested
his talent to engage people

signature - usually a person name written in a special way, but in this case a set of markings that are different from all others ลายมือชื่อ
he  led off with his signature "tee-hee, ho, ho" that finally gave way to unrestrained bellows 

engulfed - covered or surrounded by something harmful, in this case, fire ปกคลุม
There were a few nervous titters, then within minutes the room was engulfed by laughter and some people were wiping away tears.

merriment - when people laugh or have an enjoyable time together ความสนุกสนาน

intersperse - to combine something with something else (example: in the book the text was interspersed with photos)
he intersperses the merriment with deep breathing yoga exercises and stretching.

We need to laugh to help us deal with life, which can be very difficul

briefly - for a short time ชั่วครู่, สั้นๆ, ในเวลาสั้นๆ
briefly sounding serious

joyful - great happiness ที่เปี่ยมไปด้วยความสุข
when you laugh you're joyful

moment - a very short period of time; a particular time or occasionชั่วขณะ, โอกาสสำคัญ
living in the moment - having fun now (instead of always suffering now and always planning to have fun in the future)

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