Laughter Yoga

Laughter Yoga With School Children – Live For Live

Live4Life is a project run by the Macedon Ranges Council, promoting rural students’ mental health. As part of this project Laughter Clubs Victoria Inc was approached, because of the importance for school children to be given the opportunity to experience laughter yoga. In March, Merv Neal presented a laughter session for Live4Life.

Here is an except from the Live4Life e-newsletter:
“What an awesome day to kick off the Live4Life program for 2014! Over 550 young people from across the Macedon Ranges Shire gathered at host school Sacred Heart College in Kyneton to Launch the program, and enjoyed enterainment from Issac & Jimmy, Flaxxon and Mumblr, as well as a Laughter Yoga Session with Merv Neal.”

And the YouTube video of excerpts from that session.

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And for those of you who want to know more about the program, here is some information from the Live4Life home page, which says it all!
“Live4Life is a youth mental health primary prevention initiative targeting young people in the Macedon Ranges, Victoria, Australia
The Live4Life initiative is a community-wide response to a reported increase in 2009 from schools, police, community health and medical services to depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide in the Macedon Ranges Shire, particularly at Year 8 level (13-14years). The Youth Development Unit of the Macedon Ranges Shire Council, along with schools and community leaders, identified a need for a coordinated, collaborative response with a focus on seeking solutions prior to the need for crisis intervention Live4Life is an innovative, evidence-based, local community driven response to youth mental illness. The initiative aims to provide a local solution to a global problem by adopting a whole of community approach to increase knowledge, reduce stigma and improve mental health service pathways that are appropriate for young people.”

How wonderful to hear about such amazing work being done with school children and I welcome any comments or sharing of other programs which help look after the mental health of our future citizens, who will lead the way forward into all of our futures. They need all the help they can get.

Retirement Villages – When Your Time Comes To Decide, Will This Phase Be A Challenge?

Retirement Villages – When Your Time Comes To Decide, Will This Phase Be A Challenge?

Recently I had the opportunity to present laughter yoga to a very large group of over 170 retirees at the General Meeting for the Willow Lodge Retirement Village at Bangholme. Most of the residents were present because there were burning financial issues which are affecting retirement villages nationally.
I love how being a laughter yoga leader takes me into many differing segments of the community, presenting me with an insider’s perspective, as often I am included in part of the meeting. This helps round off my understanding of current trends and issues amongst the different groups that I present to.
This particular one raises the question about how we feel and cope with the different phases and periods we go through as we live our life. I will share my view, raising questions for you, the reader about your own life, as often we can shut out or be oblivious to our own mortality. We can ignore certain things because we wish to avoid pain or confrontation until the time we are literally forced to face it.
Referring here directly to issues around getting older and wanting to perhaps hang on to things as they are, resist change, remember the past, not wanting to move forward.
This relates to outgrowing our home, downsizing, the difficult decisions to be made about our future as we get older, needing to move on and embrace change.
There is light at the end of the tunnel! There is hope! The first stage may be moving to a smaller house, town house or unit, when we start to slow down, feeling that it is all too much, we can feel a drain on our finances and our physical or psychological energy. Or we may have had our children move out and leave us, as it becomes time for their next phase in life also. Some of us have then as well lost our beloved partner.
The next option or one after the initial downsize can be a retirement village, prior to aged care accommodation, low care and then high care. This is where hope comes in for many happy and active years, living independently in a retirement village of your choice.
This phase of your life can be extremely rewarding, surrounded by people on your own wave length. It can be as you choose it to be, busy with a life filled with many activities and external excursions or it can alternatively be lived restfully. Living simply in a community, quietly and peacefully in the comfort of your own home or space, as you choose.
These years are extremely rich, an opportunity for growth and personal involvement with friends and family visits with less of the tiresome things such as overheads, loneliness and worry. There is a security to be felt in belonging and becoming involved in the retirement village era. It opens you up to new things, a new way of being and lifestyle.
My visit to Willow Lodge at Bangholme was personally gratifying. I was made welcome and Ray, a committee member was great getting totally involved with the demonstrating laughter yoga, mixing in the audience which was lots of fun for everybody. I was asked to help draw the lucky number prizes and then stayed for a cuppa.
My experience was positive and I found the residents to be vibrant, contributing and leading full lives, showing me when it is my time, nothing is to be but rather it will become a period in my life to be welcomed, lived fully and embraced.
After all, we take ourselves with us wherever we go. Whatever internal beliefs and structures that have become our foundations, will renew as we pass through these various life phases and changes.
Therefore I say to you. live each day now fully and positively. Laugh more. Breathe consciously, allow others to help you and do good where you can. Who you are today will go with you tomorrow.
Here is an excellent testimonial from Kay Smart, Secretary of the Willow Lodge Village Residents’ Association Inc.
Dear Lynette,
On behalf of the Willow Lodge Village Residents’ Association we would like to thank you for entertaining our residents at the recent General Residents’ meeting on 21st November 2013.
It was noted that your presentation followed a particularly serious meeting, with residents showing a lot of concern over a current situation affecting all their finances. However, your exercises and approach, certainly made them forget their problems for a while. The pictures that were taken are a testament to their acceptance of your actions. They couldn’t help but laugh which was the point of the exercise.
Thank you once again for coming to our meeting and “lightening” it up.
Regards
Kay Smart
Secretary Willow Lodge Residents’ Association