Laughter Yoga Keeps One Healthy & Happy
For years, Anak Agung Gede Sukarena, a middle aged man in Bali, did the rounds of doctors, healers, acupuncturists and alternative therapists trying to understand his ailments, which included shoulder and back pain, severe stomach cramping, migraines, insomnia and crippling phobias. By his early 50s, he lived in a state of total panic and fear. He was unable to sleep without someone holding his chest to ensure his heart would keep beating throughout the night. He could not bear to be alone, even for the time it took to go to the toilet.
Now 57, Sukarena is bursting with energy and joy – thanks to laughter therapy, which he started practicing six years ago under the guidance of laughter teacher Suambara, who also found relief with Laughter Yoga.
Suambara was an entrepreneur with a large staff; money was pouring in, but so were the headaches. When no medicines helped he resorted to meditation as well as Laughter Yoga and felt much better. The illnesses went and he started to share his experiences which were the beginnings of laughter groups across Bali.
People receiving the simple knowledge of laughter therapy from Suambara come from all walks of life.
Here are some testimonials from his followers:
Nenek Olas, 75 –I have been laughing and dancing with Suambara for the past five years. I had trouble breathing, but felt much better and stronger after joining the laughter sessions.
Astin, 37 – I had a thyroid condition. In the past I had a thyroid problem. My throat was swelling, I was dizzy and nervous. The thyroid has a great impact on hormones. I have been laughing for six months and I am well. I will do this for the rest of my life. I admit I felt foolish and embarrassed initially but soon I found myself swept up in gales of laughter, laughing at laughter itself.
Dr. Swandewi – I for the past 15 years have worked in the Gianyar public hospital’s emergency ward. Before starting laughter therapy I could not sleep. My schedule changed all the time, with night and day shifts. My mind never stopped working, so I lived under huge stressors. These days I can sleep. I feel happier and calmer and can take whatever the world throws at me.
Komang Suardika, 60 – I had been ill for 12 years. I was allergic to everything and had asthma so bad I was often hospitalized. Twice I have tried to kill myself. I had everything ready but some inner voice stopped me. Laughter really saved my life. Now off all medications I am happy and healthy and am looking forward to the rest of my life with laughter as the best medicine.