Appointment To Laugh!

This blog starts with the presumption that you know what ‘Laughter Yoga’ is. If you don’t (and wish you did) you can find out here.

So, as you know (or have just found out) Laughter Yoga is a method of using laughter for physical, psychological and emotional health and wellbeing. Even if you are lucky enough to have a laughter club near you and attend regularly, to get the maximum benefits you really need to laughing every day and most of do this by learning to laugh alone. There are various methods of doing this and in this video, Doctor Kataria, the founder of Laughter Yoga, gives us a demonstration of how he manages to do it without disturbing others.

I hope you enjoyed that, it never fails to make me giggle. :-)

With practice, laughing alone can be very effective and a great start to the day but recently I’ve discovered another way to laugh with others using the internet and Skype Laughter Club. This wonderful online idea was started in 2009 by Ines and Anu Saari. They had the idea of using Skype to link up people around the world to share laughter together and it has grown in strength each year since. What’s more, this is a free service!

The hope is that eventually it will be possible to link up with people to laugh with every hour for 24 hours a day and while that goal hasn’t been achieved yet, I don’t think it will be long.

For people like me who have busy lives and travel around a lot, Skype Laughter Club has been invaluable. It is a wonderful experience to join a group of people from all around the world and laugh with them and afterwards I can’t keep the smile of my face. Some of our laughter is just of the exercise sort, so laughing for ‘the health of it’ without the emotional feelings that we normally associate with laughter but if you laugh with willingness and most importantly don’t judge the laughter as being ‘real’ or ‘unreal’, most of us will experience spontaneous, joyous laughter occurring too. The point is (all Laughter Yoga participants know this) your body doesn’t know the difference between laughing as an exercise and spontaneous laughter. If you join in a Skype Laughter Club session and laugh for the full length of the session (usually between 15-30 minutes) I guarantee you will feel wonderfully relaxed and exhilarated afterwards. All you need to do is to be willing to laugh and remember that you ‘laugh for your health’s sake’ and don’t depend on anyone or anything to make you laugh.

There are some guidelines to joining a session.

- You should concentrate on your own laughter. You need to be relaxed in order for laughter to flow. Make sure you are in an environment which is comfortable and private. Many people find it easier when they are lying down with their legs drawn up, feet on the floor. Try to focus your attention of how laughter feels in your body which will help you disengage from your thoughts. 

- No talking or singing during the laughter session. The session is purely about laughing together and no other verbal communication is allowed. This is to help you disengage from the logical, critical and rational side of your brain so that you may experience the ‘flow’ of laughter which many people find similar to a meditative experience.

- Typing (writing) is allowed – keep it friendly. Skype allows the facility to send messages. Personally I find this can be distracting and pull me back into a fully cognitive state, so I tend to only send or read messages at the beginning and the end of the session.

- It is polite to inform you are leaving the session. Sometimes it is necessary to leave before the session ends. This is perfectly ok but it is polite to send a goodbye message rather than just disappearing. Each session is led by one of the volunteer leaders who give up their time to facilitate the session (although they love it) and it’s nice to say thank you.

Some of the members of my club (The New Forest Laughter Club) have expressed interest in Skype Laughter Club but have been a bit confused about how it works.  Joining instructions are below and you can read more about this on the Skype Laughter Club website.

Video Instructions to how to join.

 


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