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Return to Laughter: We Are Stanford

October 5, 2021 - 5:00pm to 5:45pm

Did your laughter quotient go down during the pandemic? Do you want to increase your level of joy as you return to campus life? If so, let’s come together as a community to cultivate joy through unconditional laughter. In this session, you will practice and learn about the health benefits of laughter yoga, a unique modality developed by Dr. Madan Kataria and his wife Maduri (a traditional yoga instructor) in Mumbai in 1995. Laughter yoga combines yogic breathing with laughter exercises. Studies have demonstrated that laughter yoga can reduce stress and boost the immune system, by activating the release of endorphins and other anti-stress hormones as well as increasing the flow of the lymphatic system. Laughter yoga is a form of play and creative expression which can cultivate joy, imagination, and innovation, all of which are essential to our wellbeing. We will end the session with a cool down meditation. Things to bring: water and your inner child. Things to leave at home: yoga mat and your inner critic. (NOTE TO EXPERIENCED YOGIS: THIS IS NOT AN ASANA PRACTICE; RATHER, IT IS A PRANAYAMA PRACTICE).

The session will be led by Gigi Otalvaro, Associate Director of the Division of Health and Human Performance. Within the division, she heads the LifeWorks Program for Integrative Learning. See her Stanford profile here:

This event is part of We are Stanford: A Festival of Reflection and Renewal which marks the return of the full Stanford community to campus, offering a diverse range of ritual, artistic, commemorative and celebratory programs to express and hold all that we have been through, individually and collectively, over the last 18 months. All together, the festival is an active invitation to care for ourselves and each other as well as rebuild the Stanford community. For the full schedule, visit

Due to safety concerns, this session will take place on Zoom. Please register in advance on the Zoom link provided below:

Event Sponsor: 
the Division of Health and Human Performance and the LifeWorks Program for Integrative Learning
Contact Email: