Laughter yoga Changed My LifeGo Back David Cronin, Australia 27 May 2017
When one of our members, Julie exclaimed recently Laughter yoga has changed my whole life, it reminded me of why I do this. She is a single mum, and sometimes brings her teenage daughter along to our weekly laughter club sessions. She openly admits to struggling with various demons, or monkeys on her back, issues in her world, whatever you wish to call them. But with regular laughter in her life she now feels not only the comfort of the social group, but a real change in her attitude.
She declares that she is more in control of her mood shifts. And feeling physically fantastic is the first step. We know that these benefits brought by doses of sustained laughter are both real and long lasting. This is the reason that I have continued to lead a laughter club or two for nearly twenty years. I have seen these benefits taken up by a whole range of people, both young and the more mature.
Their stories are part of what supports me, because I get all these benefits myself! Yes, it was nearly twenty years ago that Dr Kataria visited Australia for the first time. I have observed for myself what he stated in his book, that people who come to the groups can be sorted into two: those who come to maintain their health and well-being, and those who have a particular issue which they wish to deal with.
The beauty of Laughter yoga is that it unites both of these. Only last week there was a clear demonstration of this. We start our club with a round of introductions, each saying our name and something, anything about what is happening for us at present. This is usually an affirmation of their joy in sharing this session together, or for example they mention their next activity after the session.
They were all positive, some humorous, until the last person who shared that she was feeling lousy. The group energy was able to embrace her, to thank her for making the effort to come, and it carried on to give her all the support she sought for herself by attending. Laughter yoga was not always my main focus, but now that my children are adults I am speaking up laughter yoga full-time. And since our two children grew up with Laughter yoga, they use it in their own activities and events whenever they can.
I also coordinate the LY Clubs in our lovely city of Adelaide, providing this free community service to a growing number of members. It has been slow going from the beginning, some clubs come and go, but we are now rolling along steadily, with a committed core group in each club. Laughter yoga is applied here in different ways, in schools, aged care facilities, workplaces, as well as in the clubs and for themselves.
We are blessed with a goodly number of Laughter yoga leaders in this state now, trained both by me as well as interstate and overseas. Just as regular laughter is the key, keeping laughter yoga consistently running is bearing a bountiful harvest, real results in real peoples lives. I feel that I have got plenty of stories to share, lots of laughs that we have created, and some strategies that others may find useful. So I will be happily blogging regularly from now on. Thanks again to Dr Kataria and his wonderful team for this opportunity.