Hi, my name is Alexa Fong Drubay.
My past included being a chef, restaurateur, fashion model, interpreter, China cultural specialist, and a coordinator. Today, I spend most of my time focused on Laughter Yoga.
As a certified Laughter Yoga Teacher & Laughter Ambassador, I am very serious about my laughter, ha ha ha!
Yes, I have had the opportunity to wear many hats so far and this has afforded me many wonderful experiences with all kinds of people from different cultural backgrounds.
Even though I am a speaker of several languages, my favorite language of all, is the Universal Language of Laughter.
I enjoy sharing the benefits of a daily, mindful Laughter Yoga practice and giving presentations on Laughter Yoga resilience and self care to all types of audiences.
To see my full CV, click here: alexacvwebsite
My personal Laughter Yoga Story
Why am I doing this?
My cousin Melanie Rudolph, who happens to be a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher in Louisville, KY , introduced me to this wonderful practice 8 years ago at a family reunion down in Memphis, TN. I will never forget how good I felt after the session. Then I got preoccupied with my busy life and forgot about it until Winter 2014 , when I decided to do a speech on Laughter Yoga at my Toastmaster’s Club in Swarthmore, PA.
After having researched Laughter Yoga, I was so impressed by its many health benefits, that I made a spontaneous decision to travel to India to study with the founder of Laughter Yoga, Dr. Madan Kataria. So in August, off I went to Bangalore where I enrolled at the Laughter Yoga University and began with a Silent/Spiritual Retreat followed by the Teacher Training. My mission was to return home prepared to start up a Laughter Yoga club in my community and beyond. All my life I had been looking for a way to reach out and help others. I found that, not only did Laughter Yoga give me great personal satisfaction but it allowed me to connect with people in a way I never experienced before.
I wish I had learned about the power of laughter sooner. It could have helped me during my awkward teen years. It could have helped me during my college years. It could have helped me during trying times in my life- in very confusing, abusive relationships and dangerous situations. It could have helped to make me more courageous and self-assured.
I lost someone I loved to suicide. Had I been practicing Laughter Yoga earlier, perhaps I could have helped him. These laughter exercises could have helped me assist others who suffer from anxiety, loneliness and depression and who are in great need of lightness and hope in their life.
The world has become a very serious place. Sadly, we have lost our inner child. Most of us live lives filled with stress, pressures & anxiety which cause illness. We are bombarded with negative news, sensationalism and violent imagery. So much pain and suffering. What we’ve forgotten along the way, is that we each posses a powerful power tool deep within us. It is called our laugh. We all know that laughing makes us feel good and we all want to laugh more. So how do we do this? What are the techniques? How can we keep it up, even when it may feel awkward at first?
If I can do it, you can do it too!
Laughter yoga is a unique concept where anyone can laugh for no reason, without relying on humor, jokes or comedy. I can show you how to rediscover your inner child, how to unlock the secret to your happiness and joy.We initiate laughter as an exercise in a group but with eye contact and childlike playfulness. What may feel strange and fake to you at first soon turns into real, contagious laughter.
A mindful daily laughter practice will improve the quality of your life. Do it for yourself and feel what a difference it makes!
Why is this called Laughter YOGA?
We combine laughter exercises with yoga breathing. We focus on diaphragmatic breathing (deep breathing) and drawing out the laughs. This brings more oxygen to the body and the brain which makes you feel more energetic and healthy. Laughter releases those positive endorphins in the brain and boosts your immune system.
Typically, when laughing at jokes, a person laughs for 4-5 seconds. Laughter Yoga participants are guided through a series laughter exercises based on everyday situations and are encouraged to keep up the laughter for 30 seconds plus. This may seem a bit unusual and strange at first but after a 10 mins. first time laughers, begin to relax and really get into the session because they are beginning to feel more relaxed and are starting to have fun. The yoga part of Laughter Yoga is the breathing. We do not perform yoga poses.
Scientific Evidence of real vs. fake laughter
The body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter if done with willingness. You get the same health benefits. So don’t worry, “Fake it until you make it”. The real laughter will follow if you are open to trying this and just have fun with it. However, to receive the maximum benefit from your practice, it is important to build up your daily laughter to 10-15 minutes of sustained laughter every day. I will teach you some easy techniques on how to incorporate laughter into your life.
Laughter Yoga was created by a medical doctor, cardiologist Dr. Madan Kataria from India, with just five people in a Mumbai park in 1995. Today, there are more than 6000 Laughter Yoga clubs in more than 108 countries throughout the world. This wellness movement has spread without the use of any paid advertising. Skeptics are the ones who haven’t tried it yet or aren’t ready to experience it.
If you open yourself up to trying something new and unusual, with the goal of being more lighthearted, giving yourself permission to be more playful, you will soon unleash the power of your laughter. It really is a health phenomenon with only good side effects!
This year marks the 23rd Anniversary and plans and construction are underway to open the Laughter Yoga University outside of Bangalore, India.
Inspiration: Wonderful Short Movie
Special Cudos :
Thank you, Melanie and Thank you, Dr. Kataria for inspiring me!
I am also grateful to everyone I met during my training in Bangalore. It was fascinating to meet Madhuri Kataria and the amazing and talented Laughter Yoga University support staff .
I also loved my exchanges between the LY Trainers and fellow students from all over the world (Germany, France, Spain, Mexico, India, Scotland, Jordan, Singapore and USA), who are there helping to build up the Laughter University curriculum and to my classmates who impressed me with their skills, backgrounds, laughter and creativity.
Posing with the oldest Women’s Laughter Yoga Club in Bangalore. They have been laughing together for 14 years, 6 days a week!
These ladies meet in the afternoon for an hour, rain or shine. It has become a wonderful social support group for them. Many of these women’s children are living in foreign countries and so instead of staying home alone and being sad , these ladies decided to nourish and spread their laughter with their extended family at the Laughter Yoga club.
Photo credit for “It’s up to me”
Alexa Fong Drubay