At first people can be a little timid in class, she said.
"But what they find is this is an environment that is totally non-threatening. Everybody's in it together. When we remember that laughter is something that none of us ever had to learn -- we naturally at a couple months old start laughing. And if you have the privilege of hearing a child's laughter, there is nothing better. And this is what we encourage people who participate in laughter yoga -- get in touch with that inner child. We've piled all this stuff on ourselves. Let's throw that off and just allow ourselves to laugh."
And laughter is contagious. So if you have one or two people in your group that are good spontaneous laughers everyone else just joins in and it's really amazing to see and a lot of fun."
For David Gettman, laughter yoga is a chance to be spontaneous and experience "freedom."
"I spent a lot of my life being told I needed to keep my emotions in check and not display what I might be feeling," Gettman said. "So it allows me to spend a short period of time to just kind of let loose and then generally she has a little meditation so you can bring yourself back into focus with a little bit of mindfulness toward the end.
"It's a broad array of things to take in in a short period of time. There's less yoga than there is laughter. It's a laughing exercise. It encourages you to smile and laugh and let loose of your emotions as integrated with moving, which is the yoga part. It's primarily to be happy."
Learning to laugh freely in class carries over, Prince said.
"If I can get you to laugh about it in the class then when you're out on the highway and somebody cuts you off instead of letting that be all stressful for you and harmful for your body maybe we can teach ourselves to laugh about it and do something helpful for our body when things like that happen.
"Because most of the things we get all upset about aren't that big a deal if we just take the time to reflect: OK, do I really want to hurt my body by getting all angry and all stressed? Or do I want to help my body by laughing about this?
"It's another tool you can use in this very stressful world to help you to ease that stress. Dr. Kataria believes we can actually affect world peace one laugh at a time. And that's a very lofty goal, but isn't that a fine goal to have? So if we can change our own lives just a little bit, one laugh at a time, if we can learn to do that then that's the thing.
"I would love to have this room full of people to where we would have to have two and three and four classes instead of just one, that would be wonderful."
For more information on laughter yoga at Unity, call 304-769-2090.
Reach Douglas Imbrogno at doug...@cnpapers.com or 304-348-3017.