It’s a beautiful day when you can laugh for no reason!
Since 2010, I am a Laughter Yoga teacher. A very nice Indian medical doctor, Madan Kataria, created laughter Yoga in 1995. He felt inspired to use unconditional laughter as a therapy and an exercise for everyone.
With great pleasure, I accepted, this year, an invitation to try Laughter Yoga with physically and mentally challenged people from their psychologist, dr.Rosaria Stasolla, in a senior home, Piccola Casa del Rifugio, in Milan, Italy. This institution does not host just old people, but also people, of any ages, with big health problems: most of them are on wheelchairs, others had strokes and did not react to therapies, others are affected by dementia, are blind, deaf, mute. Many have more than one challenge to live with.
In my LY classes, in the past, I had experience with physically and mentally challenged participants, with prisoners, with blind people. I was not new to the so-called “special classes”.
Our project, however, went beyond all my expectations. Every morning we dedicated to LY, these women were quietly waiting for me, in a circle, on their chairs/wheelchairs. Then, as soon as I was close to them, I was welcome by smiles and spontaneous joy expressions.
There was no need to understand how Laughter Yoga is working: this is the best thing of all! Everyone can participate; it is enough to want being altogether, with joy, for a while. Then, the adventure can start.
We clap our hands, we fake laughter, we chant Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha and we end laughing for no reason at all! Our “inner child” can finally wake up: she was hidden in the deep of our hearts, and we come close to each other, a tour heart level, playing absurd situations, singing and laughing. Ther’s no competition at all and we can discover, without spending one single word for explaining, that particular kind of laughter, that is made of love: love for ourselves, love for our friends, for those who are close to us, for those who is no more here, on earth. In the hearty laughter, at the end, raising their arms towards the sky, we used to dedicate our laughing to all the people we loved, many of those women were smiling and saying “to my Mom”. I am now at the end of the first cycle of LY classes we agreed to do and I wish we will go on, eventually increasing our group of practitioners. The ladies always waited for me as I were a family member, with joy, and I share this same feeling. Their enthusiasm is a celebration of life, whatever our life conditions can be. These ladies made me a very preciops gift: they helped me to live, together with them, the inner spirit of laughter, that kind of spirituality I read in dr. Kataria’s book (I even translated it!). I knew about inner spirit but now, with them, I went to the deep of this concept.