Emmy CLYT, Indonesia: I met Mr. Broto Wijayanto, who leads the Deaf Art Community (DAC), a youth group for deaf people in Yogyakarta in January 2012. Mr. Broto Wijayanto is a pantomime teacher and he coaches the DAC to be able to present stage performances in sign language. He is a father, brother, best friend, and also mentor to the DAC members. After I introduced the benefits and philosophy of Laughter Yoga, we started to do Laughter Yoga with 10 members in end of January 2012. We regularly practice Laughter Yoga on Saturdays, at 4 p.m
The reasons why I do Laughter Yoga with the DAC group because sometimes parents are ashamed to have deaf children and try to hide them and do not feel proud of them. People have placed this stigma on them that they are disabled, rather than consider them as kids with special needs. In fact they have the same feeling, tastes, dreams, emotions and passions as people who with normal hearing. They also have the same stress and joy, too. And they need stress healing like we all do.
One way to release stress is by sharing with others, not just through spoken words. Laughter is a universal language to express joy and happiness, love and peace to anyone, without discrimination, so laughter can break their silent world.
The philosophy of Laughter Yoga is “motion creates emotion,” so the action of laughing creates the neurochemical equivalent of joy. In doing Laughter Yoga, we play like kids. We laugh as we move and play. In doing so, we train our bodies to be happier, then our minds will follow. When we laugh, our mind will laugh, too. It happens to anyone who does Laughter Yoga, whether they have perfect hearing or not. Laughter will bring joy and has a stress healing function even to those who cannot hear. By doing Laughter Yoga, even the deaf will train their bodies to be happier and their brains will release the natural morphine called the endorphins, the feel good hormone. Laughter Yoga can help those with hearing impairment to laugh more, train their body and mind to be healthier and happier. Laughter is such a powerful tool to connect people easily. When people feel happy, they will care more for each other. And laughter can break their silent world and make them share and care each other.
On June 2, 2012, the DAC group practiced Laughter Yoga with some students from the Yogyakarta State University. There were about 30 people who did Laugher Yoga, and laughed together with no discrimination, as laughter is a universal language to share joy, love, and peace. Laughter unites all people with no reasons and unconditionally. (Emmy Liana Dewi, June 3, 2012)