Laughter yoga and aromatherapy – is there joy in your hands?


I had the pleasure and privilege of giving a talk at the recent IFA conference in London. The theme was Preventative Healthcare, and my topic was ‘Laughter yoga’.

The significance of laughter yoga for aromatherapy professionals is its focus on self-care, with potential application for clients.

Laughter yoga is often thought of as a group activity, practised outdoors, with laughing-out-loud laughter. There is huge self-care potential in this.

However, there are other ways of practising laughter yoga including from the inside out (#laughteryogawithJoe) and this is where it can become directly applicable and useful to aromatherapy practitioners.

Laughter can be silent, internal and joyful.
Laughter yoga can be practised as an internal discipline with an energetic focus. This means being aware of and focusing on how the laughter yoga impacts mood and wellbeing, and how it can be directed to specific body parts.

Which brings us to our hands.

With practice, we can develop the ability to experience particular qualities in our hands.
For instance, we can both feel and transmit qualities like joy. We ourselves probably all recognise not only the difference of other people’s physical touch, but also the overall ‘feel’ and ‘presence’ of the practitioner.

Laughter yoga has the potential to increase the amount of joy we both feel and transmit through our hands.

Many of us will be familiar with some form of the Inner Smile meditation practice. We can use this in a physical way too.
The easiest way to start exploring this is through the power of your own smile.
The key practice is to smile a naturally warm and genuine smile and to feel this smile.
Once we have identified this feeling, we then practice moving it around our body, and to our hands. When we focus on feeling the feeling, we invariably start noticing differences – as will our clients.

Joy in our hands, everyone?

Laughter yoga


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4 thoughts on “Laughter yoga and aromatherapy – is there joy in your hands?

  1. Miriam

    Hi Joe, while I have become much more aware of how my smile feels since beginning unconditional laughter, I don’t know how to transfer the feelings from smiling and laughing to other parts of my body. It sounds a lot like a common meditation practice of ‘feeling your breathing in different parts of your body’, something I am also quite bad at, haha. I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions of how to build this awareness. Thank you!!

    1. Joe Hoare Post author

      Hello Miriam.
      I didn’t get a notification of your question!…..which is why my reply is almost a month after you asked!
      The short answer, of course, is to keep practicing. ( :-))
      It gets easier.
      I find it helpful (and is the way I approach many of these practices) to make the practice as simple as possible. So, to practice feeling in my hands, for example, i make a point, with full attention, of noticing how they feel when still compared to when moving. I start by seeing how much I need to move them to ‘register’ the feeling, and then see if I can still feel them when moving them increasingly subtly and gently. I tehn see if I can still feel them as acutely when they are still.
      It is a repeated practice and so like all practices a) it takes time b)it takes a degree of consistency c) it gets better the more you do it.
      You can (I do) exactly the same with feet, and any other body part – but I like to start with feet/hands as they are our extremities, and feet also help ground us.
      What this is also doing is waking up our ability to be aware of inner processes. This might not be immediately apparent but with time you will notice this more and more.
      Referring back to your ‘feeling your breathing in different parts of your body’, you can apply exactly the same process above to this breathing, starting with abdominal breathing (an ESSENTIAL technique to remember) so you feel your belly move as you breathe.
      I strongly recommend making the practice as simple and uncomplicated as possible because this makes it easiest to FEEL the inner workings.
      Does this help?


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