Feel-good exercise: Participants at the World Laughter Day laughing their hearts out during a laughter yoga session at Taman Merdeka in Johor Baru.
JOHOR BARU: Laughter is indeed the best medicine for Sheena Tan as she has managed to keep her asthma at bay after trying out “laughter yoga” a couple of years ago.
The 35-year-old housewife said when she was a little girl, she could not participate in sports and games in school as she would suffer from breathing difficulties and need to use the inhaler often.
“Even when I was doing housework, I’d get asthma attacks because of the dust and after walking up and down the stairs,” she said at the World Laughter Day celebration at Taman Merdeka here yesterday.
The mother-of-two said she started on laughter yoga two years ago when her sister recommended it to her as an exercise routine that would benefit one’s emotional and physical health.
About three months later, Tan began to notice a marked difference in her health – she was able to walk up and down the stairs carrying a basket of laundry without feeling out of breath.
“I began by watching videos online of how people around the world use laughter as an exercise and I usually allocate half an hour in a day for it by complementing body movements with laughter.
“At first my husband thought I was going crazy because I was laughing by myself in the backyard,” she said, adding that it might look easy but the body movements actually induced sweat.
She was among those who turned up for the event organised by the Johor Baru Happy and Joyous Club – one of many held in 72 countries.
World Laughter Day was initiated by laughter yoga founder and Indian physician Madan Kataria in 1998 and is celebrated on every first Sunday of May.
It is intended to build up a global consciousness of health, happiness and world peace through laughter.
The club’s president Goh Siew Mei said that laughter, being a universal powerful language, had a positive influence on other people’s lives.
“Laughing releases ‘feel-good’ hormones into the bloodstream, which makes the person feel lighter and happier as well as promotes better well-being, which is why laughing is able to improve health,” she said.