Differences Between Laughter Yoga and Laughter Gym
© Dave Berman
January 14, 2022
(Version 1.1 - Download as .pdf)

Laughter Yoga - Starts with the premise "fake it til you make it.” This promotes inauthenticity and often inaccurately suggests the mind, brain, or body can’t distinguish fake from real laughter.  

Laughter Gym - Starts with the premise “laughter is the sound of joyful breathing.” Emphasizes authenticity, exploration, and self-discovery. Recognizes the body can’t distinguish laughing on purpose from laughing at something funny.  


Laughter Yoga - Introduced with a standard (yet often misstated and rambling) lecture of five points, four steps, and three reasons for how and why to do Laughter Yoga. Classes sometimes end with short discussion.  

Laughter Gym - Newcomers encouraged only to explore their breath and sound, take responsibility for their own experience and wellbeing, and notice what’s new and different to share in the discussion held in every session following 15 minutes of laughter. 


Laughter Yoga - Typically facilitated via laughter exercises, or techniques. Based in form.

Laughter Gym - Laughter explored formlessly, via unique expressions of breath and sound, to discover an embodied understanding without needing techniques. 


Laughter Yoga - Claims to be unconditional laughter because it excludes jokes and comedy, but laughter exercises actually make it conditional. 

Laughter Gym - 100% unconditional laughter. 


Laughter Yoga - Typically facilitated by one or more people showing and telling others what to do. 

Laughter Gym - Open invitation to explore breath and sound. Minimal facilitation of only a few deep breaths, and the discussion after laughter. 


Laughter Yoga - Activity coordinated and synchronized among participants (chants, clapping, movement, exercises). 

Laughter Gym - Participants encouraged to explore. Unique individual experiences expected, then discussed. 


Laughter Yoga - Facilitators taught, then teach the same. This can spread intellectual knowledge without embodied understanding (stale sharing). 

Laughter Gym - I share what I’ve discovered for myself through experience, spontaneously facilitating according to my awareness and embodied understanding in each new NOW (fresh sharing). 


Laughter Yoga - By culture and tradition, endlessly promoted as free. 

Laughter Gym - Deeper/broader opportunities to explore and discover Laughter Life Lessons require at least a modest investment.  


Laughter Yoga - Intention for health, happiness, and world peace as a direct result of laughter. 

Laughter Gym - Intention for inner peace and elimination of psychological suffering emerging indirectly from embodied understanding of the Principles of Laughter. 


Laughter Yoga - Requires effort: to explain/demonstrate, to move, and to learn/remember for future sessions.  

Laughter Gym - Effortless: only breath and sound, minimal movement, different each time. 


Laughter Yoga - Boilerplate certificates awarded regardless of experience or demonstrated competency. 

Laughter Gym - No certificates. Laughter Life Lessons discovered via experience and discussion. 


Laughter Yoga - Many varied applications allow sharing of basic experience in different contexts. 

Laughter Gym - Many varied implications (ripple effects) spontaneously occur as insights about what’s already been learned. 


Laughter Yoga - Playfulness demonstrated for imitation. 

Laughter Gym - Playfulness experienced authentically and uniquely by participants as an innate and spontaneously emergent property. 


Laughter Yoga - Overlooks the hypnotic nature of laughter. 

Laughter Gym - Leverages the hypnotic nature of laughter. 


Laughter Yoga - Hierarchical certifications designate Master Trainers. 

Laughter Gym - Endless exploration is not a mastery model.


Laughter Yoga - Teaches singing, dancing, laughing, and playing are the four elements of joy.

Laughter Gym - Suggests singing dancing, laughing and playing are four of the infinite elements of joy to be discovered within.


Laughter Yoga - Promotes childlike playfulness without accounting for boredom and growth requiring new experiences.

Laughter Gym - Adults play with whatever shows up, assuming we can always notice and grow from what’s new and different.
To learn more and participate in Laughter Gym, 
enroll in the Principles of Laughter program.
To learn more and participate in Laughter Gym, enroll in the Principles of Laughter program.
- All Rights Reserved - 
- All Rights Reserved -