World Laughter Day 2020 flourished through Modern Technology

Having run Laughter Yoga sessions to celebrate World Laughter Day for the past 8 years this one on 3 May 2020 stands out.

World Laughter Day falls on the first Sunday of May every year when Laughter Yogis around the world come together to ‘Laugh to Promote World Peace’.  We offer our sessions to anyone who would like to join us to experience the uplifting zest for life they will feel from taking part whilst honouring the theme of our sessions for World Peace.

My first World Laughter Day was in collaboration with another leader in Ledbury in 2012.  Subsequently, I have run my sessions at Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge where we have been able to take advantage of the good weather outdoors to run the event (other than one year when we had drizzle).

I have loved making it a special event with a meaningful theme and enabling more people to experiencing Laughter Yoga for the first time through their curiosity. Watching people experiencing the joy and freedom through laughter is truly awesome and, being part of the caring connection it creates always touches my heart.

With the COVID 19 Social Distancing shadow hanging over us it was prohibited to run any ‘in-person’ Laughter Yoga sessions.  At first this felt absolutely crushing.  Then the Laughter Yoga community began to run trial on-line sessions via Zoom and Skype.  With a few restrictions on the type of laughter exercises, we have been able to adapt our sessions so we can still run them for our laughter club regulars and beyond.

For me, one of the highlights of being able to run the Zoom sessions is that all my different Laughter Club members have been able to join the on-line sessions if they wished.  Mostly I run my clubs in Stourbridge, Dudley and Halesowen and I have another one in Malvern.  How wonderful it was that the Malvern Club could meet and laugh with the other clubs – a true meaning of the connection created through the Zoom sessions.

I am still buzzing from the effects of World Laughter Day when there were 14 of us on my Zoom session, including several of my Laughter Yoga colleagues and a couple of people that I have trained, along with my regular participants.  I could never have expected them all to join in my usual World Laughter Day in my local park.

The day just got better and more incredible as I joined another 6 sessions run by Laughter Yoga leaders and teachers at their World Laughter Day sessions.  Dr Madan Kataria (Founder of the Laughter Yoga Movement), attended the session given by Lotte Mikkelsen, Master Trainer for the UK and there were over 500 people attending Dr Kataria’s own session later in the day.  On my screen, I could see, hear and laugh with many well-known Laughter Yogis from around the world, all of us sharing the power of laughter to connect with each other, laughing for World Peace and also for the Health of the World.

Thanks to the power of Internet Technology, this was a World Laughter Day that truly lived up to its name.