Voice of Plenty



I am Katia Caterina Griffo, an expert in helping relationships and I have dedicated much of my life to the search for happiness, and everything that could make my life better.

I won’t tell you my story, that’s not why you’re here, but I want to tell you about the amazing practice that incredibly helped change my life forever, Laughter Yoga.

I trained in 2020, in Genoa with Andy&Angi, certified trainers from the Laughter Yoga International University, and with a group of nice friends, who introduced me to this fantastic world, certifying myself as a Laughter Yoga Leader.

For many years I had been traveling inside and outside of myself, always looking for something that could make a difference! I always smiled and laughed a lot in my life but with huge limitations and difficulties, it was something I was ashamed of. 

I wasn’t happy when they told me:

 “I can hear you laughing from down the street!”

Thanks to various studies, I had already started practicing meditation, autogenic training, deveolping my breath for many years, and becoming more aware of the power of a smile, but I still had no idea what powerful tool would be released within me.

I felt all those conditionings, common wounds that we all have heard, shared, internalized at least once in our lives, melting away slowly day after day inside me, like dripping fat.

I grew up with constant warnings to keep my mouth shut. Not to show your teeth, and not to laugh because “laughter abounds in the mouths of fools!”.

I grew up keeping my shoulders down and always looking at the ground, convinced that life was a matter of seriousness.

“Don’t spread confidence, don’t joke or play with anyone, don’t let anyone get close, otherwise they’ll think you’re not serious and you’ll never be respected!”

I have worked hard in my life to shake off all the limiting and devaluing beliefs that held me back. Because I believed every time the following message was subtitled:

 “You’re not good enough!”



Studying for me represented a valve of rebirth, thanks to studying I was able to reaffirm my life and redefine “MY BOUNDARIES!”. Each course of study was first of all a path of growth that I felt first on my skin (as a good kinesthetic person) and in my heart, and then in my head, conceptualizing.

I experienced Laughter Yoga like a tornado, arriving to strip me of those scabs that I struggled to peel off.

I immediately felt, as soon as I entered the classroom, that that powerful tool would enter every cell of my body, bringing me important benefits.

Practicing even just a few minutes of laughter every day allowed me to profoundly reshape the joyful structure within me, which sinuously entered my heart, expanding my ability to

“stay in the present moment”.

I found myself choosing colors that I would never have worn.

I perceived myself moment after moment more and more free and joyful, capable of untying knots and keeping myself elastic and ready not to create new blocks.

I felt moment after moment as my diaphragm melted and laughter flowed from my belly, rather than my throat or head.

And slowly the laughter was released!!

I won’t hide from you that in some moments the laughter turned into tears, a conscious and liberating cry that I welcomed and still welcome today when it happens, aware that thanks to its passing I will be even lighter.

And today



But now a little history and useful notions to place LAUGHTER not only as a characteristic of Katia, but as a movement that has scientific bases and a very respectable theoretical framework.

It is to Dr. Madan Kataria, an Indian doctor, that we owe the discovery of Laughter Yoga! He founded the first Laughter Club and he established, together with his wife Madhuri Kataria, the LY school, bringing its countless benefits around the world.

It all began on March 13, 1995, in a public park in Mumbai, at 7 in the morning, with a very small group of people. In truth they met in this place, initially completely randomly and for several days, until they reached a respectable number of participants, 50 to be precise.

Initially they laughed thanks to the telling of some jokes, but the awareness that laughing heartily and continuously, for a slightly longer time than normal, provided beneficial effects that lasted all day was not long in coming.


After a couple of weeks the first hitch arrives! The repertoire of jokes was finished, and many negative, denigrating, derisive stories were told, which offended people’s sensibilities. Day after day the gigantic group began to thin out more and more.
Dr. Kataria, aware that the Club risked a breakup, asked for one day to find a solution.

During the night the answer came:

The body cannot distinguish between real laughter and a simulated one.
Both are capable of producing the same “chemistry of happiness”.


He proposed that the group interpret the laughter without using comedy, and laugh with him for a minute. Even though they were skeptical, they trusted it and the results were surprising.

At that point Dr Kataria developed a series of exercises that included role-play! ….and many other theatrically inspired techniques with the aim of developing the typical playfulness of childhood.



You might be wondering why it’s called Laughter Yoga?

It takes its name from Yoga because the word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit root “Yuj” which means Union, Integration, Harmony. It means taking your life into your own hands, integrating all its aspects, harmonizing body and mind, spirit and society.

The techniques are not separated from the body, breathing is an integral and fundamental part, the Pranayama exercises are totally integrated with Laughter Yoga, thanks to the enormous contribution of Kataria’s wife who is an integral Yoga teacher.

Dr. Otto Waburg, President of the Institute of Cell Physiology and winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology argued that:


“Deep breathing techniques increase the amount of oxygen reaching the cells and are the most important factor in living a life full of energy and free from disease. When cells receive enough oxygen, cancer does not occur.”

Dr. Otto Waburg


Laughter Yoga is therefore a unique practice that combines unconditional laughter with yoga breathing (Pranayama).

Most laughter and yogic breathing exercises are designed to stimulate movement of the diaphragm and abdominal muscles which, in turn, activate the parasympathetic system which is the calming part of the autonomic nervous system.

Laughter Yoga goes beyond pure laughter

With regular practice, a positive mental attitude is developed that helps people face life’s problems despite everything, happy despite everything.

Science has proven that there is no difference between fake laughter and real laughter, it literally ignores the intellectual system that normally acts as a brake on natural laughter. Studies show that verbal expression represents a truly negligible percentage of our communication, it seems to be around 7%.

Communication does not only affect what we relate to the outside, but also what we carry inside us, the messages we send to our mind. The non-verbal, para-verbal messages, which are part of our daily interaction, send continuous messages to our mind.

There is a profound connection between correct posture and non-verbal messages and self-esteem, the relationship between these two powerful aspects of our existence has been the subject of a series of studies, which over the years have led to the birth of the term Power pose, made known in 2012 by psychologist Amy Cuddy (Cuddy).

Body language influences the way others see us but it can also influence the way we perceive ourselves, the consideration we have of ourselves.

Gestures have an enormous power to influence our emotions, too, and becoming aware of our body language finally sets us free.


Characteristics of Laughter Yoga:

Let’s look together at the specific characteristics of the Laughter Yoga:

  •  You don’t need a sense of humor to laugh: the laughter that comes from comedy is conditioned. Laughter brings physiological and biochemical changes in the organism, YdR uses the body to laugh, helping people to dissolve inhibitions and shyness, to open up more and to begin to see the comical and light side of life.
  • You can laugh even if you are not in a good mood: there is a close connection between body and mind, everything that happens in the mind also happens in the body. Two-way connection between body and mind. The spicologist William James, in 1884, found that the mental state, positive or negative, is reflected in the corresponding expressions of the body, or “body behavior”. Every emotion in the mind has a corresponding behavior in the body. Children laugh more than 100 times in a day, while adults only 10 to 15 times.
  • You can laugh even if you are not happy: happiness is an emotion conditioned by the past and the future, hardly connected to the present, while joy is the unconditional commitment to being happy, triggered by joyful activities such as laughing, dancing, singing and play. It is a purely physical phenomenon, while happiness is a mental concept.
  • Pretend until you really make it, an old adage says: “If you’re not happy, act as if you are and you will become happy”. Let’s recite happiness. We have already mentioned the chemistry of happiness, when we pretend to laugh or be happy, the body produces a hormonal cocktail composed of oxytocin, endorphins and serotonin, precisely called JOY COCKTAIL. Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) argues that there is very little difference between thinking about something and making it happen.
  • Cultivate the typical playfulness of childhood: Robert Holden, in his book “Laughter, the best medicine” claims that: “Every child is born with a lot of creative potential to laugh, have fun, play, be happy and love. Any restriction on any of these actions has an adverse effect on the child’s growth and development. Anyone who grows up with the inner child will find health, harmony and happiness. Therefore, instead of growing up excluding the child within us, we should grow together with him.”. The innate wonder of children, the ability to adapt to all situations, are riches that cannot be lost, but that we must rediscover and cultivate in our lives. 
  • You can train your body and mind to laugh: you can learn to laugh, you can train yourself to laugh. Again citing NLP, we remember that by repeating any behavior of the body for a period of time, the mind begins to generate a predictable response. This is how we learned to ride a bicycle. Let’s talk about the phenomenon of conditioning that Pavlov talked about so much.
    Over time, people who practice Laughter Yoga become conditioned to be joyful through the physical experience of practicing. With YdR the brain develops new neuronal connections, capable of producing the chemistry of happiness in the organism.

Why Practice Laughter Yoga?

To obtain the scientifically proven benefits for our health, we need to laugh for at least 10-15 consecutive minutes, producing more oxygen in the blood, muscle relaxation, improved circulation and the release of certain hormones in the body.

For laughter to be beneficial it must be strong and deep and must come from the diaphragm, i.e. a belly laugh. Laughing out loud may not be socially acceptable which is why the Club offers a protected space and a safe environment where you can laugh without disturbing anyone. In the Club the conditions for laughing are created, otherwise it could take time to find the right moments in our days.

Laughter Yoga improves blood circulation, is a natural anti-stress, and has an immediate effect. It has the power to trigger positive emotions and increase self-esteem, helping to overcome shyness and inhibitions. Laughter Yoga helps to release the flow of repressed emotions, especially the most painful ones such as fear, resentment, and then anger, facilitating the prevention of conflicts, as tensions dissolve allowing us to openly consider the point of view of the other.

Laughter Yoga has made its way a long way in companies, and it is not difficult to understand the reasons behind it.

Emotional intelligence, which has gained a lot of ground in recent years, claims that a team, able to effectively manage and communicate its emotions, to be aware and able to control its moods, to interact fluidly with others, is  able to develop intrapersonal and interpersonal skills that allow us to to know ourselves better and allow to develop solid relationships first of all with ourselves and then with others.



If we think back to all the advantages that we have expressed before, deriving from the practice of Laughter Yoga, it becomes simple to understand how laughter becomes a fundamental and extremely useful tool within companies, to promote growth and corporate performance.

The typical issues that the Laughter Yoga deals with in companies, can be summarized as follows:

  • Stress management: we all know by now how much stress in the workplace has become an irrepressible plague, with consequent danger of burnout, physical stress, mental stress, emotional stress. The YdR can be an important tool for creating actions capable of counteracting forms of stress.
  • Create a happy workforce: healthy and energized. When we talk about a company we cannot fail to talk about TEAM. The YdR is a very effective tool that can support a motivated and energetic TEAM, this is known to be fundamental for a progressive increase in productivity and consequently profit. Develop a positive, optimistic attitude, giving life to the formation of a real team.
  • Teambuilding: those who laugh together collaborate, laughing is a very powerful social connector, it breaks all hierarchies and is highly democratic.
  • Peak performance: thanks to the ability to change mood in a few minutes, with the release of that famous cocktail of happiness and the greater production of oxygen, we will be able to make maximum use of our brain’s potential, increasing energy levels.
  • Communication skills: I am, I feel, I see, I believe, I create! Communication is the cornerstone of a functioning relationship. Expressing one’s emotions coherently and efficiently, learning not to repress emotions but to let them flow, understanding the mechanisms behind the expression of anger create an immediate response in ourselves and in the people with whom we enter into relationships.
  • Increased productivity: a motivated, cohesive, collaborating team is a functional team, and productivity levels are the first real response to a healthy and happy working environment.
  • Leadership: Laughter Yoga  helps to have intense synergy in the workplace and gives emotional balance. A fundamental help for the realization and achievement of one’s goals. A good leader is one who is able to get involved, to convey his own emotions and to understand those of others
  • Learning ability: the human brain is unable to concentrate for more than 90 minutes, the attention span is reduced, a Laughter Yoga session gives a dose of energy capable of improving both the learning ability and the power of concentration, with the expression of one’s potential to the fullest.

Talking about Laughter Yoga for me is a MISSION, as well as an immense pleasure, because it means bringing value, helping people create a harmonious space within themselves where they can cultivate joy.

If I have intrigued you, if you would like to learn more or learn about the Laughter Yoga, contact me and leave feedback.

I will be happy to answer you and take you with me into this magical world of lots of laughter.

Ask me if I’m happy!

Katia Caterina Griffo, Gordon Method Counsellor


Email: caterina.griffo@gmail.com

Instagram: @katiagriffo_counsellor