From Our Editors
Ataraxia Wellness Concern borrowed their name from an ancient Greek term used to describe a state free from worry or preoccupation; a state, which in their belief, can be attained through the power of laughter. With their laughter-yoga curriculum, the Ataraxia crew share a therapeutic art form that was created in 1995 by Madan Kataria, MD. Although Dr. Kataria was living in India at the time, his method for self-induced wellness has spread to 65 countries around the globe.
Instructors use eye contact and their own chortling bellows to induce laughter without cracking jokes or hiring one to three stooges on staff. They blend childlike playfulness with yogic breathing, working in themes such as disco dancing or pirates to stimulate the body’s natural release of endorphins and serotonin. In addition to considering it as a form of emotional and psychological catharsis, they believe laughing may also help improve cardiovascular and pulmonary function since laughter itself can be an aerobic workout. Even if their students aren’t in a laughing mood, they encourage them to come and chuckle anyhow, as just faking a chuckle can be enough to trick the body into feeling better.