In the last five years I have facilitated laughter yoga programs in over 50 set-ups and laughed with 10,000 plus people across the world.
Wow! these numbers give me a big thrill.
From my initial pitches to corporates, schools and other centers to designing a session for a particular group to rehearsing it (more than once!!!) and then finally delivering a program with a ‘butterfly in my stomach’ feeling, I have come a long way – laughing out loud. It is simple amazing to look back in pride and with honour that I have lived many moments of joyfulness with complete strangers at strange places at almost every hour of the day in laughter yoga or as I like to address it in ‘laughter therapy’ sessions.
If you are here to find out what is this therapy all about then this link will provide more details on what is laughter yoga and its benefits.
Though I am still taking the journey as a laughter yoga teacher, I still want to put out her some valuable learning that I have gained through observing and becoming a part of all the laughter sessions with different people across age groups in these five years.
My top learning points
- Laughing is not easy: For sure, it is not. We all take our laughter for granted. It is on the same lines of that whatever is available for free, it is not valued. So is the simple art of laughing especially when we have to acknowledge – ‘Ok, Now I have to laugh for no reason or on some role play exercises!’ I have literally seen people’s bodies becoming stiff, their expressions turning sheepish and nervousness engulfing them in a laughter therapy session. I don’t deny that I am a trainer- It may be easy for me but what I notice is that we all are so conditioned on how much to laugh, when to laugh and when not to laugh that when we are not in that comfort zone, laughing seems to be a daunting task at hand. I absolutely understand those people who are introverts or dismiss the very purpose of laughing for no reason by calling it faking. We all have a shared space for our opinions on this planet. Coming back to myself, I have actually rediscovered my laughter in the last five years not only during a session but in general too. There is a freedom of expression in my laughter at all times.
- Laughing has improved my public speaking ability: I did a laughter yoga session just yesterday and after it finished, I told my partner, “I simply love public speaking.” Laughing has had a tremendous impact on my speech delivery, expressions, creativity and the ability to listen to others. The anxiety to walk upto someone unknown has gone for me. Today, I don’t worry for what kind of participants will I have in my session. My major focus lies on how will I make those 60 minutes useful for them.
- Laughing keeps me in the expanded mode almost all the time: We can only feel the expansion that comes from being joyful – it is very private and is indescribable. By not writing off laughing as a momentary activity of fun and adopting it personally as a mindful action, I feel a sense of joy within me, almost all the times. Not that I don’t feel sad or get upset but my overall mood is always in the uplifted mode. I can say that I have developed a more ‘open approach’ to life’s perspectives.
4. Laughing gives me a sense of purpose and contentment: My sense of purpose reinstates on completion of every laughter therapy session. The elation of contributing to someone’s life even for a momentary bout of happiness is unmatchable to any other achievement. When I hear back from people on how they have included some thing or the other from my sessions, I feel very content and get a deeper sense of connection with them.
My journey as a #laughteryogateacher with these learning points will continue. I believe that I will discover more wonders of mindful laughing as I tread forward but for now, I am pausing here to reflect upon my learning from laughter yoga.