Laughter Yoga

Laughter is the Best Medicine – Getting Back to Basics

I  Googled these words ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and was pleasantly surprised that two full pages of images came up, with all sorts of interesting quotes. At times I forget that some of the general public are relatively unfamiliar with the concept of community laughter clubs and how we get together and have fun, laughing, singing, dancing about. We feel very connected with ourselves and each other also physically, emotionally and mentally uplifted following a laughter session. It is lots of fun and I am thankful to be involved with the laughter movement which started ‘by accident’ by an Indian Physician, Dr Madan Kataria twenty years ago in March 1995. Read all about it and the basics of why we get together and ‘laugh for no reason’ on my Blogger.

Workplace Affirmation

Affirmations are best read aloud in the morning as part of an energetic hygiene routine. Here is the link to this Workplace Affirmation and if you would like to receive it as a PDF file, please email me. If you are not yet receiving my monthly newsletter and feel it could be of interest, either phone or contact me and I will add you. The affirmation begins as follows:

I say to myself, I am going to work today, as I drive, walk, ride or sit in public transport, I will be focused and prepared to roll with what happens on the day, giving each situation my full attention, being in the moment and holding strong firm boundaries with fellow employees so that I can do my job to the best of my present ability. I will each day leave work knowing that I have applied myself and as I return home on the return journey, I will focus on my breathing, being present, looking forward to coming in the front door and taking time to be present there also……….

And again here is the link to this Workplace Affirmation

Laughter Member’s Take on Humour, Jokes & Laughter.

Ross Normand is our ‘elder’ laughter club member, who was 80 on the 22nd August 2014. Ross wrote this essay on humour sometime ago and since joining the Ferntree Gully Laughter Club, his appreciation of humour, jokes and laughter has become enhanced. Consequently he made some changes to the essay and felt to share it with me and has granted permission to share it with you. Thank you Ross. We appreciate your written contribution and yourself for being a valuable, regular member to our Ferntree Gully Laughter Club.

HUMOUR, JOKES AND LAUGHTER
by Ross Normand

“A serious and good philosophic work could be written entirely of jokes.” Ludwig Wittgenstein, (1889-1951 A.D.) Austrian-British philosopher. Humour is an amusing and creative activity that makes its presence felt in many situations. When used in an enlightening or playful way humour can be wonderfully uplifting, but it can also be quite destructive, particularly if employed in a vulgar way or used in such a manner as to embarrass and/or ridicule people. Most people of all ages and cultures respond favourably to good humour; its spiritual nature makes us laugh and expands our philosophic outlook on Life.
Humour takes many forms such as wit, satire, sarcasm, slapstick, cartoons, mimicry, etc. Here is a trilogy of jokes which may, or may not, appeal to your own particular sense of humour —
George Bernard Shaw, the famous playwright, once invited Winston Churchill to the opening night of one of his plays and ended the note by saying, “Bring a friend, if you have one.” Churchill replied, expressing regret that he could not attend on the first night but said he would come on another night. “If there is one!”.
Ben Jonson, a colleague of William Shakespeare, was once asked to explain the pun, a form of wit. Ben replied, “Pun, what subject?” The friend laughed at this pun, but said, “Oh, the King.” Ben then said, “But the King is not a subject. He is the King”.
Mulla Nasrudin was born in Eskishehr, Turkey, in the l3t Century A.D. Sufi mystics still recount many of his quaint stories; here is one of them. – Nasrudin entered a teahouse one day and declaimed, “The moon is more useful than the sun.” Someone asked him why. “Because at night we need the light more,” said Nasrudin.
Laughter Yoga is a world-wide practice that originated in India; it helps man to better integrate the workings of his mind, body and soul. Nobody knows exactly why we laugh or why anything causes us to make a strange noise, but it happens from an early age. Babies smile, then coo, and finally chuckle when they are amused. Jokes often occur when an ordinary idea is twisted by somebody in an unusual, but pleasingly unexpected way. Here’s an example —
A man speaks to his doctor after an operation. He says, “Doc, now that the surgery is done, will I be able to play the piano?” The doctor replies, “Of course!”  The man then says, “Good, because I couldn’t before!”.
Humorous events were often brought to my notice when, as a small boy, I lived near the Mont Albert Railway Station. Standing at our front gate one day, I noticed an Army Officer, who must have been coming home on leave from the Second World War, for he wildly embraced a girl coming to meet him in the opposite direction and swept her off her feet. Not only did I witness this stirling deed, but so too did a couple of teenage girls who stood on the footpath near me. One of them said to the other, “I wish that was me !“ I smiled and had a bit of a laugh, because I was quite sure the Army Officer and the girls involved in this little episode were completely oblivious of me — one small boy playing nearby on his three-wheeled trike.
Humour, according to some experts, cannot or should not be explained. But the vast majority of people who do theorise about it conclude that humour is a very healthy activity, or that it is a gift from God, or that it is an unexplainable event very much akin to a mystical experience. Humour seems to give us, above all, a great opportunity to have a good laugh about happenings in Life!

HUMOUR, JOKES & LAUGHTER
by Ross Normand

Bibliography

The World Book Encyclopaedia, U.S.A. 1974 Edition
– Volume 9 Article on Humour

Wikipedia Encyclopaedia, Wikipedia Foundation, Inc. U.S.A.
– Article on Humour

R.M.I.T. University Lecture on “Humour” (2009)
– at The Melbourne Theosophical Society Ltd.

The Melbourne “Herald” Newspaper, 1965.
– Article “Churchill Said It”.

The Sufis by Idries Shah.
– Doubleday Anchor Book, U.S.A.

A Little Help For Recovery Through Laughter Yoga For Sharc Residents

I am not proud to share that my father was an alcoholic and another member of my family was as well for quite a few years. Little surprise then how delighted I was to be asked by Jenni Furby, the Team Leader at Sharc, to do a session of laughter yoga for the about a dozen residents.
Sharc stands for Self Help Addiction Resource Centre, situated in Carnegie and “provides housing, education, advocacy and family support to members of their community affected by addiction and related problems to recover and achieve meaningful, satisfying and contributing lives.”

Their website is http://www.sharc.org.au/ and it is so good to know of this program for me personally, as it is dear to my heart and we all know that drugs and alcohol effect not only the participant but the whole family. It can lead to so much destruction over a lifetime on many levels, including the most basic one of shame and lack of feelings of self worth, feeling alone and wanting to hide from the world. Of course then we cope the best that we can and I am grateful, I say this even though it may be repeating myself, that such a wonderful self help program exists and that the residents are given this support up to a year if needs be.
Returning to my part in all this. Well it was a fantastic session and several staff members joined in as well, which was terrific to experience laughter yoga, as it is still a relatively new concept, to laugh for no reason, other than that it is of great benefit to you. We began with a circular breathing exercise, which helped to ground everyone, coming into the moment and more mentally and emotionally settled, ready to begin the laughter exercises.
Some were over the top with the laughter and everyone who shared were positive and the following day, checking withthe head staff member on the day, Matt Rothman the feedback was excellent.
We finished with laughter meditation, where most were lying on the carpet and a couple were sitting in a chair , when we did laughter meditation, a free form laughter, leading then into a full body relaxation and short meditation.
I would like to share the testimonials which I gratefully thank Jenni Firby for acquiring for me; always a good thing to have positive words to share on.

“The teacher was lovely”
“I appreciated the concept of it”
“It was outside my comfort zone but was good to try something new”
“It was a good experience, I enjoyed myself and remained open minded to it. The lady who ran it was nice”
“I really liked the meditation at the end”

Thank you staff at Sharc once again for calling me in to share the joy, energy and upliftment of laughter yoga. I appreciate the opportunity and would ask and welcome anyone reading this post to put me in touch with similar organisations or pass this on to someone on a team with whom you feel it could benefit.
Wishing you much love and laughter.
Lynette Mitchell xxxooo