Two years ago, I hopped on a plane to Bangalore, India to spend two weeks at a Spiritual/Silent Retreat and Laughter Yoga Teacher certification training led by the founder of Laughter Yoga(LY), cardiologist Dr. Madan Kataria.
Fortunately for me, many Master Trainers and other LY professionals from around the world were also there, which was a great opportunity for me to meet others, who have been doing such important work to brighten people’s lives with laughter.
This was a perfect way for me for gain and in-depth knowledge of the development of Laughter Yoga since 1995. It was also exciting to hear about plans for the future Laughter Yoga University.
Since I was traveling such a great distance, I added a few days to the beginning and to the end of my training for some exploration. Indian friends in the US arranged for me to stay with their relatives in Bangalore.
This is how I met Bhavani M.and her charming husband Murali, who hosted me in their beautiful home in downtown Bangalore. They patiently answered my 1000 questions and were the most gracious and generous hosts ever, introducing me to Indian cuisine, culture, spiritual matters, customs, etiquette, politics, rituals and celebrations. They showed me temples, took me shopping, cooked Indian delicacies for me, invited me to a wedding, explained things at the market and so much more.
Now I have an Indian sister, who I cherish!
It was such a rich and vibrant time for me, which I will always treasure.
18 people showed up at my first laughter club session at Smedley Park, PA in September 2014. The response has been so welcoming from the community, I was able to develop two, weekly laughter club meetings that I lead with the help of my devoted Laughter Leaders.
Ernie Oktay (www.laughteryogafriends.com who has been teaching Laughter Yoga for 7 years now) was instrumental in helping me to develop my practical laughter club skills. Thanks for being my Laughter Buddy!
Laughter Buddies are so important. You can call your Laughter Buddy any time of the day and just laugh. It’s helped me through many an tough time. Robert Rivest is another one of my Laughter Buddies.
My mom lives in France and when we miss each other it helps to skype or call and just laugh. It’s instant heart connection. : )
….and then I met Joan Leof, a wonderful writer and now one of my mentors,from Wilmington, DE , who kept prodding me to lead me first Laughter Yoga Leader certification training. She wanted to be trained as a Laughter Leader and kept seeking me out. I wasn’t sure I was up for the challenge and thought I still needed more experience before I could offer a training but she had so much confidence in me and so did Master Trainer Lynda Tourloukus, that I scheduled my first training in December 2014 and it was a big success!
So far, I have done 8 Trainings and draw students from VA, MD, DE, PA, NJ and beyond and it’s been a wonderful ride, where I have learned so much from my students and have been able to share with them the many benefits of Laughter Yoga. It is thrilling to see how they apply their new knowledge. We are all evolving and growing together and it’s a beautiful journey.
Today marks my official 2nd year as a Laughter Yoga Teacher and I am filled with gratitude for all my friendships, experiences, exchanges and connections that I have made so far.
I am also deeply grateful for all the LY connections that I have made throughout the world (thanks to facebook, skype, phone laughter). Cheers to my online LY friends and to those I have been able to laugh with in person- it’s great to know that we are all connected and that we can reach out to each other through laughter. We are able to seek each other out during our travels and to support one another in our work and develop deeper friendships and networks.
It’s comforting to know that I can look forward to meeting all of you one day in your part of the world and that we can share a laugh together AND that even if things get tough, we can comfort each other through laughter.
I also wish to thank my Laughter Club members, who brighten my life each week and who continue to teach me so much. Thank you for your trust and loyalty and above all, your amazing laughter energy, which makes every laughter club session a delight!
Thanks also to my wonderful Laughter Leaders, who inspire me and the clever and imaginative ways that they are weaving their newfound Laughter Yoga skills into their lives (privately, with their work and with their groups). YOU ROCK!
Most of all, thanks to my cousin, certified Laughter Yoga Teacher Melanie Rudolph, who introduced me to Laughter Yoga at a family reunion down in Memphis, TN years ago. It’s all her fault! Ho ho ha ha ha!
We are all interconnected, WE ARE ONE.
It’s a wonderful thing, to be part of this global Laughter Yoga family!
Love & Laughter to you all!