Laughter Yoga Is Taking Over Wareham and It’s Lifting Spirits Thanks to a Local Instructor
If you haven't heard about laughter yoga, it's an international movement that's sweeping the world and bettering lives with the simplicity of laughing.
Laughter yoga was apparently founded in 1995 in India by medical doctor Madan Kataria, his wife and some people who met in a park with a goal of promoting health, happiness and world peace. Today, there are thousands of laughter clubs throughout the world in hundreds of different countries.
Luckily, one of them is right here on the SouthCoast in Wareham thanks to the efforts of Doug Savage. It's called Savage Laughter and it's a class like you've never experienced before.
"I began laughter yoga back in 2017 right after I was certified and kicked off my first class in Marion at the Marion Yoga Loft," Savage said. "It was a word-of-mouth situation where someone said I would be good at it, so I took the training and got a lifetime certification as a laughter reader. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out to plan and participation was just too low."
Savage refused to give up hope and eventually stumbled upon a sign for hall rentals at Rowland Thatcher Hall, 11 Gibbs Ave. in Wareham.
"I was up and running again back in 2018-2019 for about a year, then the pandemic hit," Savage said. "It wasn't until November of 2021 when I was able to finally reopen the classes to the public and have been going strong once a week on Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m."
If you're looking for the type of yoga that involves stretching, poses and yoga mats, then this might not be the class for you. Laughter yoga is more of a breathing technique exercise that harnesses and releases positive endorphins caused by laughing.
"Breathing is good for PTSD, depression, anxiety and even cancer patients," Savage said. "Just last week, a husband and wife came for the first time, and as I was wrapping it up, the wife said, 'I feel less stress now after being here.' That's the thing about laughing. You're not thinking about anything negative. It's good for me that other people walk out of there feeling good. It's a win-win for everyone."
For anyone interested in trying laughter yoga, it's open to the public with a $5 drop-in donation to help pay for the space. Feel free to message Savage on Facebook for any questions or concerns or shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"One thing you can do when you leave here is you can laugh at the red lights," he said.
This interview ended with a good chuckle and, just like that, I found my day turned right-side-up.