The Two-Way
9:51 am
Tue June 26, 2012

They Weren't That Funny - Indian Court Quiets Laughing Yoga Club

Laugh, and the world doesn't always laugh with you - well, at least near Sheetal Talao pond in Mumbai, India. A group of yoga enthusiasts has been ordered to lower the volume of its boisterous daily meetings. The devotees practice 'laughter yoga', devised by Dr. Madan Kataria, a Mumbai native, to improve well-being.

Unfortunately, their mirth appears to have contributed to 'mental agony, pain and public nuisance' suffered by Vinyak Shirsat and his family, according to the Times of India.

Members of the group, the Sheetal Jogging Association, told the AP they tried to talk with Shirsat's family but were not successful. Shirsat's lawyer claimed the opposite, saying the club members were 'defiant' and wouldn't quiet down.

The Laughter Yoga website says 'Unconditional Laughter' mixes with 'Yogic Breathing' to promote good health, using the principle of 'Laughing For No Reason'. When members get together to chortle, their laughter becomes contagious and long lasting.

That's probably what annoyed the Shirsat family, which was jolted awake each morning by 'hysterical laughter, clapping....and shouts of encouragement'. A Mumbai court agreed, ordering the club to lower their cacophony and instructing local police to make sure members follow through.

But if the Shirsats change their minds, the Laughter Yoga website lists more than 100 other clubs in Mumbai. There are many more around the world, and of course, there's online training as well.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.