Barely ten days ago, two ladies from Bulgaria, Silvia Pencheva and Lilia Hristova, were trained as Laughter Yoga Teachers, by Founder of Laughter Yoga, Dr. Madan Kataria, in Bangalore, India. During the first week after their training, Silvia and Lilia have started the first Laughter Yoga session in Bulgaria. Here we have a detailed report by Silvia Pencheva, about the way Laughter Yoga movement has reached Bulgaria!
The first session took place on Jan. 23, 2010 at a healing center of Quantum Medicine, where we were invited by two wonderful people. As soon as they read the article about Laughter Yoga on my blog, they decided to invite us and give us a room to lead our sessions. They even offered to conduct medical examinations of the participants after one month of Laughter Yoga practice, so that we can provide to Bulgarians evidence that laughter has a healing effect.
Thirteen people came to the first session. They were a little confused at the beginning, because they had no idea what Laughter Yoga is.
There were people from various professions - Marketing Manager, Singer, Business Analyst, Accountant, Project Manager, etc. Although they have serious professions, they started laughing easily. For very few of them, it was hard to leave their mind behind and relax. Very soon everyone was playing like a child and sharing the common energy. They enjoyed the games and Laughter Exercises, and laughed from their hearts. We tried Laughter Meditation, and the laughter became unstoppable.
At the end of the first Laughter Session in Bulgaria, we all hugged each other, and I could feel the atmosphere of love, sharing and joy.
Everybody kept saying "Very good, Very good, yeay!!", and enjoyed themselves. Most of the people asked me if there's a schedule for the next meeting.
Here's what one of the participants, Nelly, said about Laughter Yoga: "Laughter Yoga... never been to such a session before… only heard of it. So I went, and after some 45 minutes, I couldn't stop smiling and felt really good. Hands warm, mind clear and everybody around smiling too, it is great. Some exercises brought me back to childhood, innocent and clean mind and heart and the "hmmm"- one, I really felt the vibrations."
"I like it. It entertains me and totally relaxes me. To laugh at all the absurdity... to our lives, to ourselves. It's an alternative way to look at reality", said Diana, another participant in the session.
We agreed that the next gathering will be in four days. Some people asked if they could bring more friends with them next time, and share with them the experience of Laughter Yoga. Later that day, one of the boys told me that it was a very strong experience for him.
The same evening we went out to dance with some of the people who attended the session, and while dancing they were making the "Ho Ho Ha Ha ha" clapping, it was incredible.
How did we ever come up with the idea of a Laughter Club?
Two years ago, I watched a video about Laughter Yoga, and it felt like discovering a whole new world. I knew right away, that this is what I want to do, and this is what I want all people to do. After continuous searching, it turned out that I can't find a functioning Laughter Club in Bulgaria. I decided to wait. I waited for 2 years, occasionally checking if someone started a Laughter Club nearby. My wait continued. Then, I started searching for a place in Europe, where I can go and get certified, and start a Laughter Yoga Club. Two years later, I decided to write to Laughter Yoga Teachers in nearby countries, so that they can train me as a Laughter Yoga Leader. After all this, I decided that I'd better go to the source of knowledge himself – Dr. Madan Kataria. It was such an honor to meet him in his land – India, and I consider myself very lucky to get this chance to spread the laughter. I know that all of us, including people here in Bulgaria, need to share the Laughter Yoga idea.