World Laughter Day in Portsmouth – ‘I started laughing in 2002 and I have not been ill for 17 years’

TURNS out laughter might just be the best medicine.

Friday, 3rd May 2019, 4:33 pm
Updated Monday, 6th May 2019, 10:28 am

Claire Pritchard organised an hour of laughing yoga at Southsea Bandstand yesterday and invited strangers to join in and laugh their cares away.

Donning an orange octopus hat she told The News: ‘It is about people having fun and having a laugh and it really does wonders for your health.

‘We start doing exercises and fake laughing because the body can’t tell the difference between real and fake but in the end you are laughing anyway because of how silly it is.’

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World Laughter Day on Southsea Common Picture: Ian Hargreaves (050519-6)

The activities which involved emoji cushions, funny wigs and listing your favourite ice creams were part of World Laughter Celebrations.

World Laughter Ambassador Julie Whitehead said: ‘There are clubs all over the world laughing at the same time and I think we need to as the world can be so serious sometimes.

‘There are so many benefits like reducing stress, feeling happier with in yourself and laughing keeps you healthy.

‘I started laughing in 2002 and I have not been ill in 17 years.’

Julie Whitehead, left, and Claire Pritchard Picture: Ian Hargreaves (050519-5)

Laughter yoga was created in the mid 1990s by Indian physician Madan Kataria and there are now over 5,000 clubs across more than 100 countries in the world.

Jenny McGinley from Portsmouth went along to the event.

The 72-year-old said: ‘I heard about it from a friend and thought it sounded interesting.

‘I think it is fantastic and everybody will benefit from having a good laugh.’

World Laughter Day Picture: Ian Hargreaves (050519-3)

Friend Maureen Gutkin from Southsea said: ‘I tagged along with Jenny because it sounded different and could be fun.’

The 70-year-old added: ‘I rather enjoyed trying on all the funny hats and wigs that we wore in the session.’

Organiser Claire is also hosting the laughter yoga sessions in care homes.

She added: ‘It really helps with stimulation and making people feel mentally and physically better and happier.

‘Sitting in a care home all day can be boring and our yoga sessions aim to brighten up people’s day.’

Any care homes who wish to know more can contact Claire on 07434 936065.