Two decades of laughing out loud

January 16, 2022 BY

Ha ha!: The Bendigo Laughter Club meets at Ewing Park for a unique type of exercise. Photo: SUPPLIED

FOR the past twenty years, a small group of people have been meeting every Saturday morning for a giggle and a chuckle.

The Bendigo Laughter Club meets at 8.30am at Ewing Park for a 30-minute session of laughter yoga, which involves exercises such as gentle stretching, guided breathing and roleplay with movement to encourage intentional laughing.

Leader of the club Christine Curnow said the best days start with a laugh.

“It’s so fulfilling being part of the Bendigo Laughter Club,” she said. “We’re only a small group. But we meet every Saturday morning, even Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, just for half an hour to do some laughing.

“It’s quite interesting to see everyone’s approach to laughter, with the actions we do it promotes people to feel good and laugh.

“We’re not laughing at the person, but it’s an exercise. It jogs the internal organs up and down and it does make you feel really good.”

Laughter yoga was founded in 1995 by Indian doctor Madan Kataria and clubs are located across Victoria, suitable for all ages and abilities.

Ms Curnow said the physiological effects of laughter have been studied for decades, proving real or fake laughter can release endorphins.

“I feel terrific after a good laugh,” Ms Curnow said.

“Even if you’re not feeling too well you can always fake it with a smile and a bit of a giggle, and if you’re watching or listening to other people that laugh can come instantaneous because all of a sudden your body’s feeling happy. It’s just wonderful.”

To celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the club, a special dinner is being held on 29 January for past and present members.