A recent article in Gulf News reports the growing popularity of Laughter Yoga in Doha, thanks to Doha resident and certified Laughter Yoga teacher Gabi Pezo, who had seen tumultuous years while growing up in a “dysfunctional family”. After taking to Laughter Yoga, it changed her entire perspective towards life and helped her remain calm and positive even in the worst times.
Read how Laughter Yoga changed her attitude towards life:
Gabi Pezo, Doha: In 2007, before I moved to Dubai, I was working as an intern in New York and my boss at the time asked me what I wanted to do in the future. I told him that I just wanted to be happy and make others happy. I knew that was my purpose in life. But I just didn’t know how I was going to achieve it. He told me about this group of people in India who get together every day in public parks just to laugh. I became curious and looked it up on the Internet for more information and came across a training course to become a leader for Laughter Yoga and I knew straightaway that this was my calling.
The interesting thing was that when I told my Laughter Yoga trainer I was moving to Dubai he was quite sure it would not be possible to do it there. And somehow that stuck in my mind. So, I focused on other things like design work and travelling. In 2011, I realized that even though I had travelled, achieved professional success and had a fulfilling relationship with my husband yet something was missing. I enrolled to be a counselor at the church camp here in Doha and proposed to do Laughter Yoga with the kids. It was such an enjoyable and satisfying experience that I decided it was time to go back and really do this.
During my training in 2012 I received a phone call from my sister telling me my mom was hospitalized. In such a situation, it was really a challenge to bring myself to laugh. Well, Laughter Yoga teaches you to laugh despite your circumstances. And so I put my heart, my soul into this training. I was all the way in India, mom was in Ecuador and I had to finish my training.
I fell sick. I was tired, but despite all that I kept laughing. Mom’s condition got worse to the point she was admitted to Intensive Care. And since I was sick I decided to get checked before travelling to see my mom. It was then that I discovered I was two months pregnant. Not long after that my mom passed away and I went through a very difficult time. How could I laugh when I had lost my mom, when I was becoming one?
But I owe my sanity to Laughter Yoga. It really did help me focus on the positive. I took time to deal with my grief and continued to do a little bit of group therapy at conferences. Laughter healed my soul.
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