Lessons Learnt From Laughter Yoga With School Children
Recently, I was invited by a school in Bangalore to conduct Laughter Yoga sessions with children from varied age groups ranging from nursery to class 10. I first did some training session before introducing a 5 minute Laughter Yoga session at the end of the morning assembly. Doing a laughter session with children has its own diverse responses as children of different ages react differently. Here are some of my observations:
The first group was of small children from nursery, lower KG and upper KG under the age of 5. It was an easy task to make them laugh and needed no special effort. From clapping to ho ho ha ha ha and very good very good yay - everything worked very well. But, when it came to doing laughter exercises, it was a little difficult as the little ones stood still most of the time. We realized that exercises like jumping and running around were much better for them as they reacted more positively. They were cheerful and laughed naturally as they played and jumped around. The one thing amazing about small children was that they learnt whatever I taught them very fast and were ready and willing to do as told.
The second group was of children from 2nd to 6th standard. The experience with this group was quite interesting. They were laughing very well and while doing laughter exercises their energy levels were so high that some of them, boys in particular, started pushing and hitting each other.
I guess this was because of enhanced energy levels. On the other hand I noticed that the girls were more calm and under control.In the next stage when I took the session without the teachers, the boys once again became extremely boisterous and disorderly. This time I had to call the principal to have them behave properly. The lesson learnt here was that the presence of teachers is very important while doing Laughter Yoga with young children. It keeps them in hand and they are more disciplined to learn and follow instructions.
The third group consisted of older children from standard 7th – 10th. As we all know that as children grow older they become self- conscious and inhibited making it slightly difficult for us to convince them and make them laugh. In the beginning, they were quite restrained and shy but gradually as I made them more comfortable, they started opening up and ended up laughing and enjoying themselves.