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Mary can have the last laugh

Belfast Telegraph, UK
Sep. 22, 2004
Ciaran O'Neill • Thursday September 23, 2004

A yoga teacher today insisted she was not joking about plans to set up ‘laughter clubs’ throughout Northern Ireland.

Mary Mitchell, a qualified laughologist, said it was important that people laughed more in order to combat the stresses of everyday life. According to medical experts, laughter has huge health benefits.

Dr William Fry of Stanford University has claimed one minute of laughter is equal to 10 minutes on a rowing machine.

Mrs Mitchell was the first Laughter Yoga teacher in Ireland and has since trained a host of new recruits.

She will hold a workshop for new teachers in Donegal later this month.

And today she said she would be keen to hold a similar event in Northern Ireland.

“Laughter is something that can benefit everyone,” she said.

“It is particularly beneficial for people suffering from arthritis, asthma and anyone with high blood pressure.

“It is also a great way of combating depression and stress. Therefore, laughter yoga would be very helpful to people who work in stressful jobs such as doctors, nurses and teachers.

“I would invite anyone from Northern Ireland interested in Laughter Yoga to come along to the training event in Donegal. They would then be in a position to set up their own laughter clubs.

“However, if they cannot make it, I would be interested in holding one of the workshops in the north if there is sufficient demand.”

Laughter Yoga involves a blend of deep breathing, stretching and stimulated laughter exercises.

The unusual form of alternative medicine was founded in 1995 by Dr. Madan Kataria, a medical physician from India who has been dubbed the ‘Guru of Giggling’.

At present, there are more than 1,200 ‘laughter clubs’ throughout the world.

The two-day training course will take place at The Ammarose Holistic Studio in Ballintra in Co Donegal on September 25 and 26.

Anyone who would like further details can contact Mrs Mitchell at 00353749734952 or log on to

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