Has life become too serious for you? Do you find yourself going days or weeks without laughing?
I certainly used to. I was in a job I hated and that filled my head with negativity and my body with rigidity.
In 1998 while in Mumbai, India, I read a newspaper article about a group of people that gathered every day in a nearby public park to laugh. It piqued my interest because they shared no jokes and didn't use any form of comedy. Instead they laughed purely for the sake of feeling good, just because.
I was puzzled but chose not to go and investigate. It would have taken a full one hour, and I was too busy complaining I was too busy. I mean, why would sane adults do this anyway? What was the point? This was ridiculous and they had to be crazy. Anybody can laugh like that. Ha ha ha. Done.
I quickly forgot about it all, and was so convinced I could laugh anytime anywhere that it took me 6 years to realize that I never did.
Eventually my heart took me back to Mumbai and its laughter clubs. I learned to laugh every day as a yogic practice using an exercise regime created by a medical doctor in 1995 called Laughter Yoga. This was a big turning point for me. I discovered how good laughing could make me feel and how easy it was to laugh, even when everything in my life seemed to be going astray. It was so profound that it triggered a cataclysmic reaction in my brain. The mask fell. I stopped being who I thought I should be and started being who I really wanted to be. I learned to always take full responsibility for my actions and how they made me feel. This did not change my life. It still is much better than that. It changed me.
The more I practiced and taught this exercise regime, the more I discovered complementary techniques that help to bring joy into everyday life. I also started to understand the underlying wisdom from both the East and the West that all these techniques pointed to. In time I combined this knowledge into a method that I call Laughter Wellness. It includes the Laughter Yoga approach of simulated laughter exercises, and expands its approach by offering a clear process that is easy to follow, and adding a greater variety of techniques and activities, insights, games, dances, songs and more – all glued together with lots of laughter.
This introductory course will introduce to you the founding principles and key techniques of Laughter Yoga and the Laughter Wellness method, and how they can help you as an individual laugh more (we won't go into how to teach group sessions).
No particular equipment, clothing, or physical abilities are required.
What your personal history is doesn't matter. Who you are now is perfect and most appropriate.
All can practice and benefit, with or without limbs, because this method revolves primarily around the breath and attitude (it's of course going to be more fun if you have limbs because these allow for more movements.)
All you need is a big smile and the willingness to try something new that only adds and doesn't take anything away. This is a "yes, and" approach to life, not "yes, but."
My goal is not to persuade you of anything, but rather to make you conscious of what is available to you. As Zig Ziglar once said, "no man is clever enough to remember everything he knows." There is always value in being reminded of what's important.
There are several thousands of Laughter Clubs around the world. Each is independent. They do not report to nor receive orders from anybody. Most are free and public. Each class leader has his or her own style and set of techniques, but the core activity is always the same: people get together just to laugh as a form of exercise.
Here is a joke:
- - -
Two farmers meet. One sells a cow to the other. Money is paid cash. The cow is to be delivered 1 week later. On delivery day however, the cow is brought but it's dead. Upset, the buyer asks for a refund. The seller refuses to give the money back, claiming that he has already spent it. The buyer decides to keep the dead cow. They each go their separate way.
A month later they meet again. The seller is surprised to see that the buyer has a very positive change of fortune. He asks what happened. "It's the cow!" says the man. "It was a true blessing for me."
"What do you mean?" asks the puzzled seller who knows he has been most unethical in this business. A dead cow is worthless.
"I gave it away as first prize in a lottery and sold 10,000 tickets for only $5 each" says the buyer.
"Didn't anybody complain?" wonders the seller.
"Only one person"
"What did you do?"
"That was easy. I gave him his $5 back."
- - -
Did this make you laugh?
At best you have chuckled for a few seconds.
Imagine reading this same story everyday for the next 50 years. At which point do you think it will stop being funny?
This is not a reliable approach if you want to laugh daily for a solid 10 minutes or more for the rest of your life.
Now try this: play the audio file at the top of this page (right below the title "How can we laugh more") and laugh along for as long as you can.
Yes your mind will know that you are faking it, but your body won't because it can't.
Your body can't think. It can only feel.
Fake it with enthusiasm for as long as you want and you will get significantly more happy chemistry than if you were genuinely laughing, for the simple reason that you will be laughing longer.
Humor does make us laugh, but only for seconds at a time.
Choose to laugh and you can keep going for hours on end. The only limit is that of your stamina.
You can buy the DVD version of this video on amazon.com
Using the principles she teaches, Pragito Dove M.A.,C.C.H., transformed her fear and pain into joy and inner peace. Dove is founder of the Laughing Buddhas Network and an internationally recognized author, meditation master and hypnotherapist. Her first book, “Lunchtime Enlightenment” (Penguin Group,2001), was published in five languages. Her new book ”Laughter, Tears, Silence: Expressive Meditations to Calm Your Mind and Open Your Heart” was released in March 2010. http://www.discovermeditation.com
You can buy the DVD version of this video on amazon.com
The moment you say “yes” to life the power of life goes to you. Discover what can happen when you embrace “yes” and abandon the restrictions of “no”. Through personal stories and laughter coaching tools Dan and Jill share the challenges and the rewards of saying ‘yes’ to your life!
Dan and Jill Johnson believe in the power of unconditional laughter to heal our bodies and our spirits, to de-stress and to create community. Jill is a yoga teacher and a certified cardiac and cancer yoga therapist. And Dan is a Certified Laughter Coach with The Levity Institute’s Certified Laughter Coach Training Program. Jill and Dan live in South Dakota where Jill is co-owner of a yoga studio, and Dan is a life coach and massage therapist. They’re owners of Joyful Living, a business that brings more joy to your personal and business life through laughter! www.joyfullivinglife.com
You can buy the DVD of this video on amazon.com
In this keynote address funsmith Bernie DeKoven talks about the psychology of fun and journeys on the playful path that enrich people's lives. During the course of their working lives, most people lose touch with the sources of their personal power. Thirty-five years ago, while developing a curriculum in theater for elementary school kids, Bernie made two discoveries that changed his life and some small but significant parts of the world: fun is fundamental to happiness, people can be taught how to have more fun. He eventually discovered that there was a direct connection between the experience of alienation, and the amount of fun people were having – that the more alienated people were, the less fun. Realizing he could help people make anything more fun – their jobs, their relationships, the things they make and do – Bernie set about creating public and private workshops for exploring the Playful Path.
Bernie DeKoven is a lifetime member of the association for the study of play and the 2006 winner of the Ifill-Raynolds award from the North American Simulation and Gaming Society. He calls himself a "funsmith" because it's the easiest way to define the last 40-plus years of his career. See www.deepfun.com
|00:00||01:06||Introduction Group clapping warm-up|
|01:17||19:12||Theory from Mihalyi Csikz Entma Haly. Haly was a social psychologist that began examining the motivation behind an individual's desire to engage in activities that provide no tangible benefit or purpose.|
|19:13||29:42||Theory from Moska Musston. Letting participants control their own challenges, and allowing them to find balance and fun. How this applies to Laughter Yoga.|
|29:43||37:14||Theory from Bernie Dekoven: Me Vs. We mentality; Finding "Coliberation"; Applying coliberation to laughter yoga|
|37:15||41:59||Dr. Madan Kataria explains how the theories Bernie Mentioned apply to his concept of Laughter Yoga.|
|42:00||49:34||Question: Is it possible to have coliberation in competitive games? The Accessibility of Pointless games and how they serve a larger purpose of making you laugh|
|49:35||52:42||Game: 3-4 person patty-cake|
Sebastien Gendry is a Laughter Wellness Coach and the Founder and Executive Director of the Laughter Online University (a leading provider of online education on the therapeutic uses of laughter) and the American School Of Laughter Yoga, LLC (the oldest and largest provider of Laughter Yoga education in North America).
A professional trainer of global vision and great generosity of spirit he travels over 70,000 miles every year to train several hundred Laughter Yoga Professionals in North America, Europe and Australia.
Emotionally open and intensely thoughtful, he encapsulates and shares the power of positive and playful energy and creativity.
He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and numerous other national mainstream media in the USA.