Get Happier. It’s easy with Laughter Yoga.
A great way to open up to creativity, joy and fun.
New session starts April 14th at James Bay Community Centre, 140 Oswego. Thursdays 6-7 pm.
Come and try out the first night to see if you like it. Then register for the session after trying it out.
Call James Bay Community Centre 250.389.1470 to register.
How to be Happier Every Day
Ever notice how young children are just naturally joyous and happy?
Have you marveled at how they giggle so much?
Have you ever wished you could just run around and laugh for no reason?
You know what?
You can have child-like joy, laughter, happiness and energy…at any age
I know what you may be thinking: “Yeah, right!”
Well, I have to tell you:
There are thousands around the world who have recaptured joy, energy, enthusiasm for life, a bright smile and dancing eyes!!
Who are they?
They are Laughter Yoga folks.
You see, Laughter Yoga is the unique idea that:
We can laugh for no reason!
It’s a concept hatched in the mind of a medical doctor in India, Dr. Madan Kataria.
The good doctor was preparing a paper on “Laughter as the Best Medicine” and found many scientific studies showing all kinds of health benefits from laughter.
So, he thought, well why don’t we do it?
Why don’t we just get together and laugh?
So he and 4 others did so in a park in Mumbai, India.
From that small beginning in 1995, there are now over 6,000 Laughter Yoga clubs in 60 countries.
Shortcut to Happiness
Dr. K., as we affectionately call him, has found that doing Laughter Yoga helps people to get in touch with their Inner Joy.
He defines happiness as being caused by something outside of us; a great partner, family, friends, a good career, a dream home, car, travel and so on.
While Joy is something that is inside us and we can have despite all the challenges and “stuff” that may be happening outside us.
We can feel an Inner Joy, even when everything is not perfect in our outer world!
Laughter Yoga is a shortcut to that Inner Joy.
Yes, many of us thought: “How can I laugh ‘on schedule?’” How can I laugh when there is nothing to laugh at?
Some of us were even quite shy and awkward at first.
But it didn’t take long before we were laughing, having great fun, making new friends, letting our hair down, grinning from ear to ear and feeling good.
Want to Know a Secret?
Your body does not know the difference between simulated laughter and “real” laughter!
Either way, the diaphragm moves up and down and produces the “feel good” hormones like endorphins.
That’s the same hormone that produces the “Runner’s high.”
What runners are really aiming for, besides fitness and health, is that good feeling that comes when you exert yourself enough and the endorphins start pumping out.
Well, you can have the same “Runner’s high” with much less effort and no pain.
(I love George Carlin’s take on the old “No pain, no gain” mantra: “No pain…NO PAIN!”)
Bypass Rowing Machines and Treadmills
In fact, Dr. W. Fry, writing in the Journal of General Psychology in 1938, said:
“One minute of hearty laughter is the equivalent of 10 minutes on a rowing machine.”
So, you can bypass running, jogging, rowing machines, treadmills and so on and get the same health benefits as runners or joggers.
But beyond that are all the other health benefits:
* Improves circulation
* Boosts the immune system
* Stimulates digestion and internal organs
* Helps with pain management
* Slows the aging process
* Smooths out wrinkles
* Improves breathing
All this and:
No Yoga Postures!
Deep breathing is the only thing we take from yoga.
A Disease Free Life is Possible
The deep breathing is actually an important part of Laughter Yoga.
Dr. Otto Warburg, president of the Institute for Cell Physiology, and twice a Nobel Prize winner said this:
“Deep breathing techniques increase oxygen to the cells and are the most important factors in living a disease-free and energetic life. When cells get enough oxygen, cancer will not and cannot occur.”
No guarantees, of course, but:
Laughter Yoga worked for Oprah Winfrey
“Laughter yoga combines laughter with yogic breathing exercises. It is a perfect way to laugh and get exercise at the same time. It approaches laughter as a body exercise, so it is easy to laugh even if you are depressed or in a bad mood. Last year I highlighted laughter yoga on my TV program. I have tried it, and it works.” –Oprah Winfrey, January, 2008, Australia
Here is what some Laughter Yoga Folks on Vancouver Island have said:
“A lot of times we are so concerned about how we look or how others perceive us but in laughter yoga you laugh off your inhibitions and relax. At first I was apprehensive but soon I was laughing away.” -Kaitlyn Lande. Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan.
“I found the best way for me to laugh hard was listen to other people genuinely laughing, and so a group of people laughing was the best place for me to laugh! Thank you.” Duncan Brown. Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan.
“I heard of Laugh Yoga before. I always say it was silly. But when I actually did it I found out it is really good for you. I didn’t really expect that if had that kind of reaction to me. It was awesome.” – Rey Hermoso. Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan.
“Laughter Yoga has affirmed by belief that laughter can heal; it is a comfort to the soul and can change your world if you choose to look at with different eyes and engage your innate sense of humour. It has inspired me to try laughing at my most trying moments.” Lindsay Korns. Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan.
“Laughter Yoga has inspired me to try and laugh more after daily situations that may normally make me feel frustrated. After the session I felt rejuvenated, light, content, balanced and at peace with myself. I hope to remember this experience and use what I learned to increase my general level of happiness. – Katie Thompson. Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan.
“This experience made me feel so connected to my body and emotions as well as all the people around me. I felt energized, joyful, and positive at the end of the session. I would love to do this again! –Michelle Leach. Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan.
“After one session of Laughter Yoga I felt grounded, inspired and emotionally at ease. Everyone should take the time to laugh and there are few better ways to do so than with Laughter Yoga.” Dave Hall. Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan.
“Hahaha! Laughter Yoga is wild energy full of many emotions! I’ve never really experienced yoga to this degree of connectedness with my community. I felt very balanced and happy, my spirits were flying, my soul was at peace, and my belly hurt with happy pains. Thank you for sharing laughs, smiles.” –Navi Bhatti. Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan. P.S. I’m also interested in the leader training.
Elizabeth, Laughter Yoga Participant, November 2009:
“Laughter Yoga is an immeasurable avenue of emotional release.” – Elizabeth, Duncan, BC.
Matti Anttila, Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, October 2009 update:
“I read that laughter was healing from the Norman Cousins book “Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient.” Cousins laughed himself back to health from an often fatal disease.
I had been doing Laughter Yoga weekly when a friend said going more than once a week had made a big shift in his and his wife’s life. His wife had suffered a stroke so he was looking after her needs 24/7 and both were down emotionally. The laughter sessions now meant both of them had more laughter and lightness in their lives.
At that point, I also committed to going a few times a week and yes, something did shift. More lightness and ease and ability to smile and laugh more often. It was as if my happiness “set point” had been raised.
Marci Shimoff, in her wonderful book, “Happy for No Reason” explains it this way. Research has shown that big ticket lottery winners become very happy, even ecstatic quickly. That lasts for a while, but after about one year, they come back to the level of happiness they had before the win.
The other side held true as well. People who suffered horrible misfortunes in their lives such as losing both arms and legs in an accident, fell into terrible depression and despair, which also lasted for a while. But, after about one year, they also came back to their previous level of happiness.
Shimoff says that tells her we each have a happiness “set point.” We may fluctuate above it and below it, but it is where we consistently and habitually come back to.
The founder of Laughter Yoga, Dr. Madan Kataria, explains the difference between happiness and joy this way. Happiness is something that comes from outside circumstances. This could be a lottery win, getting married, buying a new car, TV or house, having children and so on. All the “stuff” of life “out there,” outside of us. Joy, meantime, is something that resides inside us, independent of outside circumstances.
Laughter Yoga has the ability to tap into this inner source of joy and awaken it in our lives, so that we feel it more and more every day, despite all the challenges and “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that life throws at us. We still have moments of more happiness and more unhappiness, but we come back again and again to this higher happiness “set point” or fountain of inner joy.
This quote lives with me and has inspired me to treat laughter as a necessary daily nutrient:
‘Submit to a daily practice.
Your loyalty to that is a knock on the door.
Keep knocking and the joy inside
Will eventually open a window
And look out to see who’s there.”
–Matti Anttila CLYT (Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher and Professional Laughter Dude) October 2009
NitaNg: March 13, 2009:
“Being a yoga teacher and volunteer at a local hospital, I’ve always been convinced of the benefits of laughter. When I first heard about Laughter Yoga and tried a class near me in Kuala Lumpur, I wasn’t so convinced that the concept of LY works. Well, maybe for some but not all. It might have been my lack of understanding or the lack of group dynamics (there were only 3 of us and only the leader had done it before).
Then I found Lee Jean and the laughter club in Johor Bahru. They have reaffirmed my initial interest and I have learnt a lot more about not taking myself seriously. Exercises like the Bill laughter and our own (Denise and I) creation, the Ah Long (Loan Shark) Laughter, showed that even when life is not all peachy but we can still laugh and feel better. I believe that the joy from within gives us hope and more optimism, especially right now during challenging times.
I now laugh more easily at anything and everything in my daily life and wish to share this joy with the world. After all, a roomful of laughing people, emitting strong positive energy can definitely beat much of the negative around us. In fact, right after my CLYL training, I incorporated LY into my yoga classes and workshops!”
-Nita Ng. Laughter Yoga Leader, Victoria, BC March 2009
“I’ve only been practicing Laughter Yoga for several weeks and I’m already noticing positive changes in my inner responses to stressful situations.
The other day I was backing out of a parking spot when somebody backed into my car. My first response was frustration and annoyance bordering on anger. As I got out of the car I felt a change taking place in myself. I started to relax, took a deep breath and starting laughing quietly inside myself.
By the time the other driver and I got to the back of the cars to see what damage was done, I felt open and calm. Very much the same way I feel after a Laughter class.
We stood there and watched a big dent in her car bumper slowly pop out leaving no signs of damage. I looked at the woman and saw that she was near to tears. I mentioned that she looked quite distraught and asked if a hug might help. I opened my arms, she said that she was having a terrible day and accepted the hug.
We held each other in a gentle moment that felt very healing. She thanked me for being kind and caring and left feeling a lot better.
I drove away from that accident felling content in myself for acting in a supportive manner at a time when anger could have easily been my reaction of choice.
I still laugh inside and feel good inside when I think of it.” –Paul, Laughter Yoga participant at Esquimalt Recreation Centre. July 2009.
Testimonial September 2009:
“It was a wonderful experience! I loved it!” – Barb Davis, Calgary, Alberta.
Testimonial November 1, 2009 Duncan:
“Laughter Yoga is an immeasurable avenue of emotional release.” – Elizabeth, Duncan, BC.
More here on our website:
Also, the current schedule is here:
You will love it. Just come and try it.
I know you are busy, it is the 21st Century after all and life has speeded up.
And that is another reason to come.
Laughter Yoga can help slow down time
We can build a sense of serenity over time.
That can mean we handle our tasks and our stresses more calmly.
Laughter Yoga folks report that they are having better balance in their lives.
Their lives no longer seem quite as hectic.
So…if you are feeling this is just another item to try to squeeze into my already jammed calendar…that is the very reason to come out to Laughter Yoga!
An internal change, a shift to higher “Happiness Set Point.”
It’s probably what Einstein discovered: Relativity.
Time is relative. When you have those endorphins working for you, when you are feeling warm and fuzzy, well, you just seem to get things done and there is less stress doing them.
You may have heard:
Stress is listed as the #1 killer!
And guess what?
Laughter IS THE #1 Stress Buster!
Again, we all have more outside stressors. So much is coming at us.
We can have less stress on the inside.
And Laughter Yoga Regulars do find stress relief on the inside.
Get More Done in Less Time.
That is the potential we all have…if we can get stress under control, find ways to release it in our every day lives.
That’s what Laughter Yoga can do and does for thousands around the world.
Prove it for Yourself.
All it takes is willingness.
If you are willing to “give it a shot,” to try it out, you too may find a happier, more fulfilled life…just by laughing!
Sound Too Simple?
We all want the “Magic Bullet” to solve all our worries and take away our woes.
What if it really was staring us in the face?
Could it really be that simple?
Could it really be that just laughing, even “simulated” laughter, can make life easier, more fulfilling, more joyous?
Is it possible that laughter can erase pain, give us more energy, health, happiness, joy and even longevity?
Dr. Kataria found a wealth of evidence to that effect in his studies.
In fact, you can check out his website for a small part of that evidence and see what laughers around the world have experienced.
And there is a further wealth of evidence to that effect on the wonderful website of American School of Laughter Yoga.
Victoria Laughter Yoga Club site:
You can even try out Laughter Yoga in the privacy of your own home first, if you like.
My website has a free video you can download and laugh along with me first: http://joyenergyandhealth.com/
So, there you have the story.
Why Wait Any Longer For The One You Love?
(as Bob Dylan sang)When the one you love is You!
Choose to enter your Inner Joy now.
The Key is waiting for you now. Come laugh with us.
Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher
Professional Laughter Dude.
P.S. Have Inner Joy Every Day:
- More energy,
- More health,
- More smiles,
- More laughter,
- More smiles,
- Increase circulation,
- Boost your immune system,
- Get efficient exercise,
- Stimulate digestion,
- Ease Pain (some headaches just disappear,
- Slow the aging process,
- Get more done in less time,
- Relieve stress,
- Access your Inner Joy more of the time.
Check it out: