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In my regular job, I work in a manufacturing plant where health and safety is an important issue. A recent training film featured a three year old suited up in coveralls and hard hat, demonstrating the correct procedure for lifting objects. In this scenario our ‘worker’ toddled towards a box lying on the floor, intuitively bent the knees with straight back and picked up the package in a text book manner. What’s more, the child also demonstrated good sense in refusing to lift objects that were awkward or heavy.

Observation of children's breathing patterns are often suggested as a guide for modeling deep breathing technique - watching the abdomen expand with each inhalation, and contract with each exhalation.

These natural capabilities tend to become modified in various ways as we mature, sometimes with disastrous results. As adults the conditioning process can amount to a lifestyle far removed from anything remotely resembling health and well being.

In Laughter Yoga we are modeling children yet again - in their natural ability to play and explore, which is how children learn, and we, as adults are able to re-learn or remember how to live joyfully. This re-conditioning process has profound effects in areas beyond the Laughter Session and has a cumulative effect with practice.

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), is based on modeling. John Grinder and Richard Bandler, co-creators of NLP began by modeling the specific strategies of individuals who were highly effective in their field. They were able to elicit and codify those elements which were useful and replicate them in a manner which often exceeded the capabilities of the original models, having deleted those attributes which did not contribute to the desired outcome.

In a similar way, as adults we are able to model the learning strategies of children, and also each other, using play to move into explorative and creative thinking patterns, if we are willing to move beyond the limitations of self consciousness which is altogether absent in unaffected children. Many adults, including myself have experienced initial difficulty in moving through this barrier, however, everyone that I know of who has made the effort has experienced a transformation in positive terms.