February 5, 2023

National Youth Film Festival

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“Laughter Yoga” on the front line of Corona in Egypt


Because of these concerns, Hanan Mohamed resorted to the sport of “laughter yoga” to alleviate the psychological effects of Corona on the residents of Suez Governorate, in north-eastern Egypt.

“Laughter yoga is different from traditional yoga,” says the Egyptian yoga teacher. “It can be practiced anywhere, anytime, during one session, unlike other types of yoga, which are divided into sessions, and depend on certain movements to attract a person’s focus to one thing only.”

In her interview with “Sky News Arabia”, she points out that the term “laughter yoga” stems from the nature of sport that separates the brain from thinking about laughter, after boosting the happiness hormones “endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.”

Rituals against Corona

Regarding the role of laughter yoga in fighting Corona, Mohamed, who runs one of the yoga centers in Suez Governorate, says: “The epidemic has caused an increase in depression rates, which leads to a weakening of the immune system.”

She added: “I resorted to laughter yoga as a way to reduce tension and stress, which reflected positively on the performance of the immune system and activated brain cells to confront the bad news related to the virus.”

The secret of this sport is laughter, and Hanan explains, that laughter yoga exercises do not depend on muscle movement or breathing, and the exercises begin with artificial laughter, which gradually moves between trainees into real laughter, and as soon as the facial muscles give a signal to the brain with laughter, the feeling of happiness transmits, especially since the brain It does not differentiate between real and artificial laughter.

Specifications and interaction

A trainer of this sport must have some skills and qualities, beginning with his study of the psychology of individuals, the ability to interact, and the enjoyment of a strong presence and sense of humor, according to the description of the Egyptian yoga teacher.

Although the center is outside the capital, the first call for laughter yoga sessions drew an unexpected reaction from residents of the county.

In this regard, Mohamed says: “About 30 people of different ages and classes attended the first sessions, which reflects the people’s desire to overcome negative fears and feelings during the Corona crisis.”

During the closure period that was applied in Egypt beginning last March, Hanan was keen to continue yoga sessions electronically “online”, to psychologically support Egyptian families to cope with the epidemic.

Yoga is the science of completely restoring the balance of the human being physically, mentally and spiritually, to elevate the person over the body, anxiety and spiritual emptiness, according to the definition of the book Philosophy of Yoga.

different culture

A professor of sociology at Ain Shams University, Dr. Samia Qadri, believes that Egyptians have become aware of dealing with psychological disorders.

She indicated that during the Corona period, they devised ways to take advantage of leisure time, by reinventing old popular games, and practicing sports such as yoga to overcome stress.

She added in statements to “Sky News Arabia”: “Yoga centers have spread all over Egypt, and new patterns have emerged, such as laughter yoga, which indicates an increase in awareness among all families of different educational levels of the importance of sport in improving mental and physical health.”

Laughter yoga dates back more than 20 years in India; Where it originated at the hands of Doctor Madan Kataria, and the idea reached more than 80 countries, after establishing a “Laughter University” in Bangalore, India.