Well the first thing I can tell you about Laughter Yoga is that it’s nothing like Yoga – well not what we all know as Yoga.
I got into it out of pure desperation due to a disease I had in my articulations about ten years ago. They were just wasting away and I had no cartilage left or glands to lubricate them. It was very horrid so I opened up to this idea of laughter because I had heard of some miraculous healing it had done for some people.
Just simulating laughter until it becomes real at the beginning was unthinkable. Having been a clown for most of my life, humour and laughter went hand in hand. I never expected laughing for no reason would then produce an ever expanding sense of humour!?!?
I started organizing laughter sessions for purely selfish reasons. I had read that it’s easier to provoke a laughter fit if you are in a group and once you did then you got all the health benefits.
I found it outrageous that people really did laugh during these sessions far more than any of the funniest shows I had ever performed in. How unfair and ridiculous this is, I thought at the time. Laughing for no reason?
How dare they! It’s an offence to my profession and a threat too, we could become redundant!!
But the truth is I got better in spite of doctors telling me I never would be able to walk again plus I became a hero in this country being invited on TV to talk about laughter so many times.
I even created a non-profit-organization called the Laughter School (Escola do Riso), I have trained over six hundred people to lead a laughter session and now... everyone is doing it!
Very simple: We stretch a bit at the beginning to get into the gym class mode and then shift into cooperative games to wake up the inner child. What follows is a series of laughter exercises where the leader will say something like: Phone laughter! And everyone pretends to talk on the phone and laugh with a friend.
Between one exercise and another every one chants ho ho ha ha ha while clapping hands together for a while to get that oxygen flowing and de-blocking the body for spontaneous laughter.
After say about six exercises like that we go back to games or funny dances. Sometimes we use props like parachutes filled with balls or we put on some wigs, play with balloons...
Anyways when everyone has shifted to real laughter we just sit down, stare at each other and laugh our heads off. Finally we all lie down and that’s when the laughter explodes even more. Everyone gets to keep on going to their hearts content.
Then the meditation music comes in and the leader guides everyone through a beautiful visualization while we all relax.
The session ends with a bit of feedback from the participants, a few slogans, and cheering about being happy and healthy, and then we finish off with dancing and general celebration.
A session can take anywhere between forty five minutes and ninety minutes depending on how much fun we are all having and whether the entire group can follow the whole activity..
All kinds of unexpected benefits sprung from participating regularly in this kind of activity and I get to hear about them all being the founder in this country.
Everyone who was overweight has lost that. Difficult breathing pathologies like asthma and so on have subsided. People literally began to look younger. Maybe it’s because of all that oxygen that gets blown through us as we huff and puff, chant and play. Maybe it’s because we are happy and look younger then. Who knows, even the scientists are still scratching their heads over this subject. The truth still remains that laughter is very powerful. It can save your relationship, it can prevent you from getting sick and it can literally pull you out of the grave.
Meditation is a tricky thing, we know it’s good for us but who can switch their thoughts off?
When you laugh you do and fifteen minutes of it are equivalent to six hours of cross legged concentration.
Are you coming?
Come and meet us, there is so much more to know and experience that I even wrote a book!
Welcome to a new reality beyond your wildest dreams where you are in control once and for all of your emotional condition and can now chose your life experience.
To see our video of people laughing click our link below
Joanne Gribler (Ana Banana) is the founder of Escola do Riso (Laughter School) and author of the book “Laugh Now” (http://www.anabanana.org/laugh-now.html)
tel: 239 423 338
Check out our calendar: Laugher Day – 17 of August 2014 - This event is to raise funds to provide Laughter Yoga to retirement homes, schools and hospitals all over Portugal.
To find ou more about our laughter day click here