Laughter yoga meditation is a combination of laughter meditation and yoga breathing meditation, and includes group meditation and meditation alone. Here I am writing about meditation alone.
As I mentioned previously, I have been practicing laughter yoga meditation for 30 minutes every morning since this January. I participated in Spiritual (Laughter and Silence) Retreat under instructions of Dr. Madan Kataria, which the Japanese Laughter Yoga Association held this September.
From the very beginning, Dr. Madan Kataria instructed us to practice 30-minute laughter meditation and 30-minute breathing meditation. Afterward, I walked around the vast lawn in the Retreat, lay down on the lawn and looked up at the blue sky. I felt as if I were freed completely from our total anguish and as if I reached a state of nothingness.
I learned from Dr. Madan Kataria not only the technique of laughter yoga meditation, but also its philosophy in the Retreat. Further, I asked him to prepare a morning 50-minute laughter yoga meditation program for myself. I have been practicing this meditation every morning since September 24.
This meditation is composed of (1) laughter meditation, (2) vowel meditation (AEIOU meditation), (3) silence meditation, (4) Sohum meditation, and (5) yoga nidra.
I will describe how to practice my meditation as follows:
(1) Laughter meditation
While laughing with my whole heart for 20 minutes, I meditate, by applying "just laugh" we do in the laughter yoga exercise to my laughing, during which I am trying and selecting the most suitable laughter for the meditation. The laughters I am often doing are Wahaha laughter, Wuhuhu laughter, chuckling laughter and silent laughter. First I breathe in deeply before starting laughing, and then I continue to laugh until I cannot laugh, that is, until air is breathed out completely. While laughing, I am completely immersed in it and few distracting thoughts can come.
In other meditation techniques, you need to concentrate a lot to take your mind away from distracting thoughts, which is easier said than done. On the contrary, the laughter meditation is the easiest one, and brings instant relaxation.
(2) Vowel meditation (AEIOU meditation)
While producing these vowel sounds (AEIOU) and humming sequentially, I practice meditation for 15 minutes. In other words, I repeat chanting AEIOU and hamming for 15 minutes while meditating. This is called a dynamic meditation in contrast with the static meditations like the silence meditation and the breathing meditation below.
While I am chanting AEIOU and humming, distracting thoughts do not come. But while I am inhaling, they come and I sometimes forget the next vowel sound to produce. At that time, I try to remember it without any panic. From this you will find how effective dynamic meditation is compared to static meditation. Still more effective is laughter meditation because it is the most dynamic one.
By the way, the order of the AEIOU sounds is peculiar for us Japanese because we are accustomed to the Japanese alphabetical order of AIUEO. However, I think we should follow this order, because this is related to the chakras of yoga.
(3) Silence meditation
After doing deep breathing twice, I practice 5-minute silence meditation, concentrating on normal breathing. In my experience, meditation at this stage substantially deepens and few distracting thoughts come.
(4) Sohum breathing meditation
This meditation is a unified one of Log-on meditation and Sohum meditation written in Dr. Madan Katarias book, The Inner Spirit of Laughter, which says that Sohum means in Sanskrit that I am a part of the Universe.
First, I breathe as slowly and deeply as possible. Although Dr. Madan Kataria says that you should do breathing about 4 to 6 times a minute, I do it around 1.5 times a minute.
Secondly, I inhale slowly, visualizing the energy of golden light traveling toward my body. Next, I exhale, feeling this continuous flow of energy vitalizing each and every cell of my body. I meditate repeating the breathing for 5 minutes.
(5) Yoga nidra (Yogic sleep)
I practice meditation for 5 minutes by bringing complete awareness to different parts of the body from my head to little toes. First, I breathe deeply three times, and then put full awareness into different parts of my body and feel the relaxation.
Dr. Madan Kataria says that one can start from the toes and go upwards to the head, or vice versa. I start from my head to the toes in such a way as he mentions in his book Laugh for No Reason.
I scan through my body from head to the toes, releasing any muscular tension in any part of the body, and put full awareness into different parts of my body to feel the deep relaxation.
When I finish the above 5 meditations, I feel my body relaxing, and feel as if I reached a state of nothingness. Dr. Madan Kataria says that if one continues this meditation for 40 days, a new circuit is built into the brain and the meditation becomes a habit in ones life. After I kept to the 40-day formula, I also feel the meditation has become my new habit in the morning.