Last year I did some survey among Indian laughter clubs to find out what works and what doesn't? Some points might be relevant for west also.
Laughter yoga clubs is loosely connected movement where all the social laughter clubs are free and one does not have asked anybody's permission to start a laughter club. Most laughter clubs in India need every day in public parks and the the word of mouth spreads around and people start laughter clubs in different areas by learning from each other. They invite the leaders from one group to start a new laughter club. It is no official coaching or training about laughter yoga methods.
According to rough estimates there might be more than 5000 to 7000 laughter clubs all over India but we are aware of only 3500 clubs. While we were getting their data of Indian laughter clubs Mr. Vasihiar from Hubli in Karnataka informed us that there were 63 laughter clubs in Hubli and adjoining towns but 13 of them closed down. I requested Mr. Viashiar to do some research and find out the reason why those laughter clubs stoped. His the feedback:
- The most common reason for closing down of laughter clubs is that there was only one laughter leader or anchored person who used to lead the laughter club every day. Due to any reason if he could not come to the laughter club there was no one who could lead the session. If due to any health reasons or the laughter leader shifted to other locality the club closed down because of lack of a leader.
- We also found out from the the boats that the clubs which closed down, there Anchor Persons were to bossy and egoistic. They were very controlling type and then the sessions like a military parade. They never allowed other persons to reach the session nor did they trained mode leaders.
- Some clubs members found laughter exercises to monotonous and repeatative. There was hardly any fun or playfulness in the exercises.
- Some clubs were started in the places where people had to come especially to do the laughter yoga exercises and after a while people find it difficult to go on regular basis. While at most places laughter clubs were started in the parks where people were already there to do their morning walk and they could easily take out time to do laughter yoga exercises as well. It was like a double benefit of them they could do their morning walk as well as laughter.
- Sometimes laughter clubs started too early or they started too and it did not fit into their schedule.
- Laughter clubs in institutions like blind schools and prisons stalked because of the head of the institution was transferred to another place and the new person in charge did not take the initiative to continue laughter sessions.