Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Laughter Therapy 1

My name is Sophie.... HaHaHaHeeHeee, she continues laughing for a half a minute, then she looks at B who states her name, starts to laugh, and Sophie laughs with her and so does everyone else.
This how we introduce ourselves in the Laughter yoga club.

Sophie is the leader of this club. Earlier, before we started, she told us the history of laughter clubs and its founder Dr Kateria who began laughter clubs a decade ago. Sylvie was taught by Dr. Kateria. She then gave us some brief instructions and told us not to be concerned if at first, we seem to be faking the laugh. She also told us that we would not speak during the session, we would be communicating with eye contact and basically follow her actions. She emphasized that we must laugh with the other and not laugh at the other.

It was my second visit to this laughter club which was named Sunflower Club. Sophie had an assortment of bright funny looking headbands and hats, that we could put on by choice. There were about 15 of us and for some it was a first time visit.

For about 40 minutes, the leader did some actions,with laughter and we followed. Each laughing action which lasted about 5 minutes was followed by deep breathing or yogic breathing. Since we were in the couple of weeks of the New Year, many of the laughing actions revolved around celebrating the New Year, like dancing and toasting to the New Year. Ten minutes into the laughter exercises, I noticed that many were already getting belly laughs. People who looked anxious and reticent about smiling at the beginning of the session, were now looking relaxed, happy and smiling at one another. Did I mention that the majority of the group did not know each other before the laughter session.

The last part of the laughter session,included a group exercise, transmitting our laughter to anyone we knew who most needed it. Then we had a quiet few minutes of relaxation to music, then, sharing our experience verbally, about what we felt or received from the session - the only time we talked. Everyone was smiling and everyone stated how relaxed and happy they felt.

Have you been to a laughter club? Would you like to be in one? If you have any questions, please send them via the comments. Next week, we will continue with this theme.