152 Laughter Yoga Exercises To Get You Started

Best of Laughter ExercisesI was recently going through my archives and came across the following list of over 150 Laughter Yoga exercises that a few friends and I put together in 2005, a couple of months after I attended the first formal Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher training in India. All I had been given there was a list of 17 laughter exercises and it left me disappointed and hanging. Laughter Yoga was already in its 10th year by then, but only had 17 documented laughter exercises? That would change, quickly.

As you are about to see, the following list is filled with the essence of what I had been taught at the time, which is lots of playful silliness. It’s interesting, but if you are planning on using it beware. Many of these exercises will be (negatively) judged rather than experienced if you practice them too early in your laughter sessions. Here is my advice: don’t get too weird too fast. Wait at least 10 minutes. (Watch this video for more explanations of what I mean.)

What I now practice has greatly evolved and is much easier to use (see www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/planner). In the meantime, enjoy!

  1. 1 cm. Laugh: only one short “ha”. People usually laugh because this is unexpected.
  2. 1 meter laugh
  3. Age Laughter: Imagine how your laugh would sound when you are double your current age; half of your current age; 10/20/30 years older; ten years younger; as a child; as an infant; 95 / 5.
  4. Airline Safety Instruction Laugh: first in English, then in French
  5. Airplane laughter
  6. Alphabet Laughter: letter off from A to Z; vowels come forth and sound; consonants sound.
  7. Animal Laughter: donkey; pig snorts; dog woofs; Cheshire cat caterwauls; hoot owls; chimpanzees; gorillas
  8. Ants in Your Pants
  9. Apology Laughter: see Forgiveness Laughter
  10. Appreciation Laughter: look at others as you laugh and appreciate each other. This is a value-based laughter, reminding the participants how important it is to appreciate others. The tip of the index finger is joined with the tip of the thumb, making a small circle. The hand is moved forward and backwards in jerks while looking at different members and laughing in a very gentle manner, appreciating your fellow beings
  11. Argument Laughter: The leader presents an absurd scenario and seeks a number of volunteers. Two volunteers begin by arguing with each other with laughter and pointing at each other. Substitutes can take their places, or, eventually, two teams can argue against each other, pointing index fingers. Alternately, you don’t need a scenario and you can argue hypothetically.
  12. Balloon-popping laughter: 2 people try to pop each others’ imaginary balloons that you imagine are attached to their ankles.
  13. Basketball Throw: someone throws an air basketball and everyone either cheers or groans, depending on whether the shot sunk or missed.
  14. Beethoven’s Fifth: Ha ha ha haaaaaaaa, ha ha ha haaaa
  15. Belly Laughs
  16. Bite a Towel
  17. Body Scan Laughter: be aware of and/or laugh from hair, scalp, forehead, eyes, nose, cheeks, mouth, throat; shoulders, arms, chest, stomach, gut, hips, legs, feet, toes, toenails, skin. Body scan can also include: nasal laughter, humming, yawning, coughing, etc.
  18. Boo-Hoo Laughter: stand, then fake a sad “boo-hoo” while sliding down into a crouch, then laugh while you stand up; repeat a few times
  19. Bored Laughter: Fake it until you make it (sic).
  20. Boss Quit Today: cheering is allowed
  21. Bouncing tiger laughter (from Winnie the Poo), both hands together, palms down, ahead of chest
  22. Bowling Laughter
  23. Break March Laughter: A Sergeant-major starts by leading a group of soldiers in standing on the spot, directing them to “march left, … left, … left, right, left” and then, “ha, … ha, … ha ha ha”. The sergeant-major then instructs the soldiers to ‘break march’ when crossing a bridge, that is, everyone steps at their own random pace. The Sergeant-major takes the soldiers on a march where laughter is structured at first then becomes more spontaneous when they ‘break march’ when they cross the bridge
  24. Broken Motor
  25. Bus Stop: teen resists laughing or smiling while others take turns telling jokes or in other ways trying to make subject laugh.
  26. Celebration Laughter: get everyone in the group to come close together and then tell them a secret, for example, “no work tomorrow” and then give high fives and jump around celebrating.
  27. Cell Phone Laughter: Hold imaginary cell phones; move around to meet different people and interact while laughing; point to cellphone as if pointing to the person you’re talking to
  28. Cha Cha Cha Ha Ha: Laugh as you dance a la cha cha cha.
  29. Cheesecake Laughter: throw an imaginary cheesecake into someone’s face (cream pie can substitute; better still, a banana cream pie).
  30. Chicken Hat Laughter: flaunt it if you’ve got it
  31. Clean / skin / dry hands while chanting ho ho ha ha ha
  32. Cocktail Party Laughter: What do you imagine people talk about at cocktail parties ? How do people stand? How do they Sound ? What do you talk about at cocktail parties ? Pick one topic to talk about. Group into threes and snicker with each other over imaginary drinks. Grasp one another’s fingers as if you had been told something just too precious
  33. Constipation Laughter: squat on an imaginary throne and let go with laughter.
  34. Cookie Monster Laugh
  35. Crying laughter (cry on the way down, laugh on the way up)
  36. Dancers: “We’re all skilled dancers”. Everyone dances skillfully and with style while laughing
  37. Deck the Halls: … with boughs of holly, ha ha ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha
  38. Don’t Laugh Too Hard Laughter: sometimes we need quiet or medium-volume laughter to not ‘bust a gut’.
  39. Donkey Laugh: “ee-haw, ee-haw”.
  40. Dr. Evil: raise a pinky to your chin and snicker. Similar to Evil Laughter where you rub your hands in a mischievous way
  41. Drinking Straw Laugh place plastic drinking straw between your teeth.
  42. Driving laughter (with 2 hands first, then putting one hand over eyes)
  43. Dyslexic Laughter: swing both hands gently from side to side chanting ho ho ha ha ha, which engages both left and right brains.
  44. Electric Shock: shake hands and imagine receiving an electric shock from touching the person’s hand.
  45. Embarrassing Scenario: Recall an embarrassing incident and retell it, laughing at the end or throughout. For example, demonstrate a story of raising your hand while in the middle of a very large meeting and say : “I want to say something ……… but I seem to have forgotten what”, then laugh hysterically out of embarrassment or nervousness.
  46. Emotional Release Laughter: get hit by a wave of emotion, such as insanity laughter, angry laughter, sad laughter or scared laughter.
  47. Eyes Closed Laughter (when group trusts)
  48. Face in Belly, Imagine: imagine a face painted on your belly and that it is laughing uproariously.
  49. Fake Laughter: insincere; “I don’t feel like laughing today”, then do it anyway. Grimace, smile, giggle.
  50. Fall Down Dead Laughter, or Fall Down Laughing and Go To Sleep: similar to the childhood game of pretending to shoot a person dead and the victim over-dramatizes the death. Alternately, the victim is ‘poofed’ by throwing imaginary magic dust; victim laughs self to death or to sleep.

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100s More Laughter Exercises

This article includes valuable extra resources but you first need to register to the LOU Prozone to access them. Doing so is free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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About The Author

Sebastien Gendry

Sebastien Gendry is an international expert in laughter for wellness and wellbeing with over 11 years of full-time experience working with 1,000s of people on four continents. He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 minutes, ABC Good Morning America, National Public Radio and many more national media. He is the creator of the Laughter Wellness method, an interactive practice focused on developing a positive attitude and designed to improve physical, mental, emotional and especially social wellbeing and integration. Sebastien currently dedicates most of his time running The Laughter Consultants, a team of professional wellbeing experts, as well as The Laughter Online University, a leading provider of eLearning solutions on Laughter Therapy, with students in 33 countries.

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