When did you first encounter laugh-yoga and what is it?
We call it “Laughter Yoga”, but any word is ok, it can also be called laughter therapy, laughing yoga....
Laughter Yoga is a unique exercise routine developed by Indian physician Dr. Madan Kataria. It combines laughter exercises with yoga breathing (Pranayama) which brings in more oxygen to the body and brain, making one feel more energetic and healthy.
I always felt that laughter could help me when I felt depressed, angry or lonely. So I searched the internet and found the homepage of Dr. Madan Kataria (http://www.laughteryoga.org/
) with a lot of information and videos.
I learned that anyone can laugh without relying on humor, jokes and comedy. In Laughter Yoga laughter is simulated as a body exercise in a group but with eye contact and childlike playfulness it turns into real and contagious laughter. It is based on the scientific fact that the body cannot tell the difference between fake and real laughter.
Based on these videos I practiced some time laughter yoga at home alone. Soon the idea was born: I want to be a laughter yoga instructor!Where did you train to be an instructor and do you teach a class?
In 2012 Dr. Kataria came to Mexico for a 5 days Teacher Training and a one day seminar. This was in May, exactly on my birthday! So I made myself a gift to travel to the training to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I spent a wonderful time with many new Laughter Yoga teachers, with Madan Kataria and his wife and some other experts who travelled from the U.S. to the training. When I came home to Ecuador I not only was a new Laughter Yoga teacher, but also knew that I would practice it every day and open a Laughter Club to get enough practice until I could do seminars for other persons.
Since this training I am laughing every morning for 15 minutes and do breathing exercises for another 15 minutes or so. I founded 3 Laughter Clubs in Ecuador, two of them are still meeting once a week.
I did four more trainings on laughter, wellness and gibberish (nonsense). One in Ecuador with a master trainer from the U.S., one in Austria and one in India (Bangalore) with Madan Kataria and the last one was this year in Athens, a training with the gibberish and nonsense professor Alex Sternick. In 2014 I visited for 7 weeks the Laughter University where every laughter professional shares her knowledge and gets to know new routines and ideas from others.
In Ecuador I did many sessions with seniors, school children, with employees, children with special needs, choirs and so on. I did three certified leader trainings and some of my leaders are members of my laughter clubs and lead sessions, when I am not here.