Laughter Blog

World’s biggest eye contact experiment Laughter Yoga style Where has the human contact gone ?

Wow! such a super laughter club. We had oodles of fun and laughter. It just happened to fall on the same day as the World’s biggest eye contact experiment. Now of course I could not be in more than one place at the same time so we joined in at our laughter club in North London. Laughter connects people, it is an incredible social connector so it seemed perfect to add a minute of eye contact to the start of our workshop. Of course we paired up with people we did not know and our experiment was a little different with an added 20 seconds of laughter after the minute.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the new exercise and some of our participants suggested we do it again and we will 🙂

So, what’s it all about ?

Encouraging more human connection by way of one minute of eye contact between strangers.

The annual experiment was created by Liberators International. The Liberators are the global organisers of the annual experiment. They are a peaceful international social movement founded in Perth, Australia and are passionate about creating participatory public demonstrations for peace and videos that allow us to see that beyond our differences there is love and humanity.

Why ? Where has the human connection gone ? You just need to sit on a bus or a tube, worse still at a restaurant with friends and see how many people have their necks bent, heads down focused on their phone or tablet. We are so not in the here and now and not connected with those around us. I would hope that those who took part have come away feeling encouraged to connect more with those around them.

On that note, I came across this super idea on my facebook feed the other day. So simple but so needed! We can all do this when we meet with family and friends. Let’s embrace the concept of being in the moment, being present and appreciating the wonderful people who are there with us in that moment.

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A short video of us taking part in the experiment.

Our session this week was also filmed by a proper camera man from our kind venue sponsors, The Kindness Offensive. They are making a film of different activities that are held at their bookshop. More info via http://thekindnessoffensive.com/  We are looking forward to see their film 🙂 TKO are creators of the worlds largest random acts of kindness and free giveaways, run by volunteers.  I must add the short video above is my filming!!! Ha Ha.

Our next laughter club is on 26th November. Hope to see you then 🙂 Rsvp via http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/laughter-yoga-wellness-london-9871639126

#eyecontactexperiment #eyecontact 

Happy World Smile Day A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

At Laughter Yoga Wellness UK we Love Smiling too and today we celebrate World Smile Day. World Smile Day is celebrated on the first Friday of October annually so Today 7th October 2016 is World Smile Day. #worldsmileday

As if by magic you can literally change your mood to a more positive one in seconds. All that is needed is a Smile!!! Try It 🙂

smiledayy

World Smile Day is celebrated on the first Friday in the month of October every year. The idea of World Smile Day was coined and initiated by Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts. Harvey Ball is known to have created the Smiley Face in 1963.[1] The World’s first World Smile Day was held in the year 1999 and has been held annually since.

After Harvey died in 2001, the “Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation” was created to honour his name and memory. The slogan of the Smile Foundation is “improving this world, one smile at a time.” The Foundation continues as the official sponsor of World Smile Day each year.

The message of the World Smile Day 2010 is “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile.”

Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu
When someone smiled at me today I started smiling too
I walked around the corner and someone saw me grin
When he smiled I realised I had passed it on to him
I thought about that smile and then realised its worth
A single smile like mine could travel round the earth
So if you feel a smile begin don’t leave it undetected
Lets start an epidemic and get the world infected 😀

When we smile we feel good, the recipient of that smile feels amazing and better still smiling, like laughter is infectious.  We then create a day filled with many smiles. How Awesome is that 🙂

Each time you smile you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness.

worldsmileday

Warning, you can seriously bring Joy to someone’s day, Just Smile!!! A smile creates that warm fuzzy feeling inside, that feeling that someone cares, someone took the time to share a smile with you.

If you are having a bad day, take a moment, take a deep breath and greet yourself in a mirror with a big beautiful smile, inside you will be smiling back and amazingly it will pick you right up. Smiling releases endorphins that help to pick up your mood and release stress, just like magic.

Some Smiling Facts 

  • Smiling is Contagious
  • Smiling lowers stress and anxiety
  • Smiling strengthens your immune system
  • You’ll be more approachable
  • Smiles make you look more attractive
  •  Smiling releases endorphins

dont-forget-to-smile-smile-quote

Smiling is an act of kindness. Create a ripple of kindness today with an infectious smile.

Happy World Smile Day

 

Illustrations of Woodland Laughter by Shoko Kimura Laughing in Nature with our London Laughter Club

Laughter Club on Saturday was extra special for a number of reasons. Firstly embracing the lovely Summer weather we decided to Laugh in Nature and what a better place than Queens  Wood, an ancient woodland in North London.

Queen’s Wood was once called Churchyard Bottom Wood, and was originally part of the Great Forest of Middlesex. It was said to be the site of a plague pit. In 1898 it was purchased from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners by Hornsey Urban District Council, and renamed Queen’s Wood in honour of Queen Victoria. (Thank you Wikapedia 🙂 )

The second reason that made our Laughter Club session extra special is because we were joined by Shoko Kimura, an illustration student and as part of her MA: Communication Design course, she is working on her major project about how she can demonstrate a humorous approach to her reportage illustration. She is researching ‘Laughter Yoga’ because of the importance laughter has in our daily lives. The theme is to combine laughter and observation drawing.  As part of her project she had a quick interview with a few of the participants.

Shoko has so very kindly shared her illustrations with me. We were pretty much constantly moving and enjoying the feeling of freedom that the woods allows. Totally awesome that she captured these incredible illustrations in the short time that she had. Love Love Love them. So very talented 🙂  Check out Shoko’s Website http://www.shokoportfolio.com/

Laughter Yoga Illustration 3
A slightly different Meditation at the end.
Laughter Yoga Illustration2
and some breathing exercises that originate from Yoga

Ooo and for our final treat, we were joined by Francesca,  a Laughter Yogi friend who shared some awesome games with the group.

So the day began when we met for a cuppa at the Woodland Cafe which was great to get to know one another before the session. A rare opportunity to do so prior to the session.

Then during the workshop we had Tree Laughter obviously! Hi Hi so we swayed like trees and laughed as our trees blew in the wind. To round off a fabulous afternoon of laughing in the woods we went to the pub for more socialising. I must say, there is something truly special about laughing in nature and I am sure the trees loved it too 🙂 Ha Ha

Finally a few shots of Francesca and Kasia grounding with tree energy 🙂

Laughter Yoga in the Woods

Woodland Laughter in London

 

Laughter Workshop at St Mungo’s Wellbing Day

St Mungos Laughter Yoga

Every Tuesday not far from Clapham Common there is a beautiful hidden gem of a space offering a day filled to the brim with laughter, creativity, holistic therapies, support, drama, film making, art therapy and and a full range of activities to help improve peoples confidence and creativity.  It is run by a lovely lady called Jeanette and a team of wonderful volunteers. This is the St Mungo’s Wellbeing Day.  You walk in through the big black gates and hidden behind them is a gorgeous garden where they also run a gardening project, another hugely therapeutic activity. You are greeted with a warm smile and made to feel so very welcome.

Laughter Yoga Workshop at St Mungo's Wellbeing Day
Laughter Yoga Workshop at St Mungo’s Wellbeing Day

There are a number of therapy rooms where they offer everything from acupuncture to Reiki to Massage. I could see a queue of people, some with acupuncture needles sticking out from their ears! and other patiently waiting for acupuncture which seems very popular. St Mungo’s is an amazing charity where they help homeless people. They not only help people back in to housing, they then help them to rebuild their lives, their self esteem and so much more.

There are so many reasons for people finding themselves homeless, which can be anything from breakdown in a relationship, to mental health break down, to loss of a loved one, loss of a job and the list goes on to just being down on ones luck! So at a time when people find themselves in desperate need of support, they find themselves losing their homes! Homelessness can literally happen to anyone and I for one have met homeless people from all walks of life, very much like laughter has no boundaries, nor does homelessness! They say we are literally just a few wage slips away from potential homelessness! This is a fact.

I have been involved in helping to connect the St Mungo’s wellbeing day with holistic therapists for a few years now and have offered Reiki there previously. It now gives me great pleasure to bring the magic of laughter and cheer to these beautiful people who have been down on their luck.  A much needed “pick me up”.

St Mungo’s Vision is that everyone has a place to call home and can fulfil their hopes and ambitions.

I invited my laughter yogi friend Suz to join me for yesterday’s laughter workshop and we both thoroughly enjoyed the experience which I can only describe as magical! to see so much instant positive change in people in such a short space of time. One lady told us after the workshop that she hasn’t felt so good in a long time. If I have ever wished I had taken a before an after shot, this was it WOW! This lady was just beaming and almost unrecognisable after the session. She remarked that she could not believe how she felt so full of energy. In fact she was actually hesitant to join in at the start worried it would be too energetic as she was feeling tired and low in energy. WOW! I am sure pleased she gave it a go! We ended the session with a grounding dance which everyone just loved. 

Not everyone was brave enough or willing to join in so we did have a group of onlookers who appeared to be laughing almost as much as we were so all in all everyone, even those who watched from a distance got so so much from the experience.

So Suz and I will be back for a longer session next time which will allow for an extended yoga nidra meditation and sound healing.

Just amazing, so so happy that I have the tools to help create almost instant positive change for those who so need it.  A beautiful experience and really looking forward to the next one. 

If you are a holistic complimentary therapist, the St Mungo’s Wellbeing day are always looking for volunteer therapists for Tuesday’s in South London. Please get in touch with Jeanette who relies solely on volunteers for this fabulous service. More details can be found at http://www.mungos.org/services/recovery_from_homelessness/wellbeing_days

A lovely testimonial from Jeanette at St Mungo’s Wellbeing Day from our facebook page 🙂

St Mungo’s Thank you, Odette and Suz for coming along to our very special Wellbeing Day and doing such an amazing and heart felt workshop. It was such a joy to have your amazing energies with us and thanks for passing it on!

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Jeanette, The Wellbeing Day

Why Laughter Workshops ?

I love nothing more than a deep belly laugh and I realise that I am very lucky that laughter and humour comes naturally  to me, well most of the time although Laughter Yoga has helped me to learn to laugh more freely in the face of adversity.

So why laughter yoga or a laughter workshop ? That is a good question and interestingly enough, initially I did not get it at all. As someone who laughs a lot I found it rather strange that people would need to force laughter when they could laugh freely but laughter is infectious so let it out, forced or real and it soon becomes hearty and real 🙂

Without a doubt laughter yoga is fun, social and a great way to meet people and make new friends. Not everyone can laugh freely and we often do not have enough opportunities for spontaneous laughter in our busy lives. I have just today received an email from a guy who came along to laughter club asking when the next one is, he enjoyed it so much and he realised that he needs more laughter in his life. Sometimes we just take life too seriously and forget to laugh, or even how to laugh. This is why Laughter Clubs are so important and the reason why many Laughter Leaders offer community laughter clubs.

Laughter Clubs provide an opportunity to bring laughter in to your life without leaving it to chance.

The other amazing thing about laughter is how quickly it bonds a group together, a great team building tool and of course the social element. Some amazing bonds and friendships have formed in my own laughter club.

A Laughter workshop provides a safe environment where it is okay to laugh without judgement so it provides a safe space to laugh away, a total release for many.

So what is the difference between spontaneous laughter and the sort of laughter you will get in one of our workshops.  There is a big difference in the fact that in an average laughter session you will most likely laugh for around 10-15 minutes where as general day to day spontaneous laughter, tends to be for a fraction of that, at around 5 seconds. You are also leaving laughter to chance, you may or may not come across something funny.

The laughter that really benefits our health is the extended deep belly laughter and this is something we practice in our laughter workshops. We do need that extended 10-15 minutes of laughter to really reap the health benefits. A typical one hour laughter workshop does just that.

Laughter for Depression

I recently had someone come along to my laughter club who suffers from bipolar disorder (aka manic depression). She contacted me the next day to tell me how much the laughter yoga had helped her to “release the demons”, as she put it. Laughter Yoga and Laughter Workshops are very effective for helping people with depression, anxiety and so much more, simple yet effective and a wonderful way to release and re-energise. On that note, I should add that there are some contraindications as with any form of exercise.  People suffering from minor and major psychiatric disorders can participate in a laughter session except those who are not in touch with reality e.g. schizophrenia, Hyper mania (manic part of bipolar depression)  sometimes known as bipolar II. Even a short Laughter Yoga session can make so much difference, in particular in the workplace where stress is a huge issue causing illness and absenteeism.

I work with a several holistic tools in my Stressbusting Laughter Workshops. A combination of all or some of them, Natural Laughter Skills, Laughter Yoga, Gibberish and Sound Meditation.

Life is better when you are laughing laughter_thumb LaughterMeditcine

 

World Laughter Day in London with Odette and Suz A Day without Laughter is a Day Wasted - Charlie Chaplin

Wow what a gorgeous day we had for World Laughter Day in London on 1st May 2016.

The day was hosted by myself and Suz from www.laugh4life.uk

We were met by a fabulous group including two Laughter Yogis and Oscar the delightful little dog.

WP_20160501_001  World Laughter Day Meditation

It was unbelievable to be totally blessed with Glorious Sunshine which seemed to appear from nowhere, such a beautiful day.  We crawled just a few minutes walk away to enjoy the sunshine and laughter in a local park at Embankment. The flowers were out in abundance, just perfect.

I must say this is as far as we crawled and this turned out to be perfect to enjoy a few hours! of laughter, fun and games in the sunshine.

Just a few snapshots and a short video clip of our day, a day to celebrate Laughter Yoga, Love, Peace and Happiness.

Love Peace and Happiness exercise created just for World Laughter Day by Suz. 

 

World Laughter Day London Laughter Crawl a celebration of Laughter in London

Totally excited to be celebrating World Laughter Day in London on 1st May 2016 at 1pm. Hosted by Laughter Yogis Suz and Odette

world laughter day London

For further info and to join us please visit http://laughteryogalondon.eventbrite.com/

We have a fabulous day of spontaneous laughter along with some laughter yoga exercises. We will start the day off at Trafalgar Square and then head off as a group, hopefully picking up more people to join us along the way for more laughs around London.

Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha See you there !!! 🙂

World Laughter Day 1st May – Laughter Crawl of London

#laughteryogalondon #worldlaughterday #worldlaughterdaylondon #flashmob

Laughter keeps you feeling Young Laugh and the world laughs with you.

Researchers studying the process of ageing know that laughter improves blood circulation to the head and to the heart.  Laughing is good for you. A good belly laugh every day improves mood, improves physical health and improves emotional health.

Laughter can also help you look younger too! No jokes, really. Did you know it requires as many as 15 muscles to squeeze facial muscles into a smile? Now what does this mean? It simply means that laughing actually helps increase the blood flow around the face, helping you look and feel younger.

Stumbled upon this fabulous clip of a lady at just 102 years young! Now, no surprise to me that this lady has reached this ripe old age.

 

One Minute Laughter challenge Nominate your friends to Laugh

So it all began on April Fools day after a few failed attempts at April Fooling my friends, I decided to call a friend of mine who really needed cheering up and I challenged her to a one minute laugh and timed her. It was completely hilarious and allowed her to let go, release and laugh in the face of adversity. That is something we can all learn to do by bringing in more laughter in to our lives. Laughter Yoga is the perfect platform for all of us to laugh wholeheartedly in a safe non judgemental environment. This can really allow us to release, feel better and give us the strength we need during hard times.

The day continued with around 8 or 9 laughs on the phone in person and on facebook voice chat. Wow, what a day! so much fun which had me completely buzzing and full of energy for the rest of the day.

I had my laughter yoga club the next day which provided an opportunity to video a few more one minute laughs as well as one more on April Fools day from an unsuspecting friend who visited. He is a full time carer and boy oh boy did he need it! He loved it 🙂

Check out some of our One Minute Laughs.

This has followed on giving me the idea of bringing more laughter in a really fun way to not just my friends but their friends, friends of friends and so it will go on creating a massive chain, a ripple of laughter.

So now I begin my mission to bring laughter to as many people as I can 🙂 Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha.

The idea will be to nominate some friends, they in turn nominate theirs, have your timer at the ready as although one minute does not sound like a long time, when you are laughing continuously it seems like forever! Ha Ha and it feels like a workout.  It really is a workout, so they will need to be fit enough for the challenge!  Apparently 10 minutes of laughter is equivalent to 30 minutes on a rowing machine! Better still if you can video your friends laughing, with their permission of course, I will be happy to showcase the best clips on my youtube channel.

Let the Fun Begin 🙂

Using my contact form, you can send me a link to the recorded clips and those that are selected will be showcased on Laughter Yoga Wellness London.

Here’s the link to my Youtube Channel and be sure to subscribe if you want to keep in the loop on the laughs.

Click to contact me with a link to your video along with permission to share.

#laughteryogalondon #laughteryoga #oneminutelaughter

 

 

 

 

One Minute Laughter Laughter Yoga Wellness Workshops in London

So today is April Fools Day and my two attempts at fooling friends failed miserably.  Still feeling mischievous and in the mood for fun and laughter I decided to telephone a few friends to cheer them up with one minute of laughter, stop clock at the ready! Ha Ha

On Saturday I hold my community Laughter Club in Holloway North London at The Kindness Offensive on Camden Road and I will be taking some video clips of one minute laughter so decided to practice a little.

My first victim! okay, willing participant 🙂 really needed cheering up which was perfect as laughing in the face of adversity can give us so much strength when we need it most to face life’s challenges. So I rang my friend and laughter yoga colleague and we had such a hoot. She was so thankful for that brief one minute of laughter as it really picked her up and made her feel so much better.  Actually that one minute extended in to more like two as we both could not stop laughing.

I proceeded to call 2 more friends followed by four more on facebook telephone chat. I now feel fantastic and knackered as laughter gives us a workout! It really does. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their one minute challenge. Try it! Ring a friend, have your timer ready and you will most likely be surprised by this simple yet effective way to boost energy and feel great, a perfect start to your day.

Subscribe to our You Tube Channel and check out our very first One Minute Laughter Video.

One Minute Video Laughter with Ian, a full time carer 🙂  What a sport and he loved it. Not only did he Love it, but he needed it! As you can probably imagine it is hugely stressful to be a full time carer so although just a minute, I feel this was quite a release for Ian.

In a typical one hour Laughter Yoga Workshop you will experience between 10-15 minutes of deep belly laughter.

Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha 🙂

#laughteryogalondon #laughteryoga

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