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.

Laughter Yoga – The Black Country Buddhas meet Merrie Maggie

Back in August 2018 I was delighted when Shaun Cadwalleder, Gareth Philpotts from My Home Vitality, Black Country Buddhas and Simon Tomlinson from Genuine Confidence attended my Laughter Club in Wordsley and made a video including parts of the exercises during the session and chatted to me about the benefits of Laughter Yoga after the session.  They then went on to describe how they felt during and after the session, affirming the benefits of regular laughter.

The video is 20 minutes long comprising:

  • From the start to 2.00 minutes in: The team talk about attending the session
  • From 2.00 minute in to 6.00 minutes in: Clips from the Laughter Yoga session
  • From 6.00 minutes in to 14.35 minutes in: Interview with Maggie
  • From 14.35 minutes in to end (20.19): The team discuss how they felt after experiencing Laughter Yoga.

Here are the links to the video team:

My Home Vitality: https://www.myhomevitality.com
Black Country Buddhas: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-black-country-buddhas/id1385543464?mt=2
Genuine Confidence: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simon-tomlinson-901a6911/?originalSubdomain=uk

Since publishing this post they have also posted an article about Laughter Yoga, which I contributed to and they again included the video at the end of the article:

Laughter And Laughter Yoga

Laughter Fit – Documentary Video

During April and May 2016 I have been working with Niamh Conway-Carroll and her student colleague Hannah Burgess from Staffordshire University.  Niamh is a Journalism student and chose to do her thesis on the benefits of Laughter Yoga.

Niamh and Hannah attended a ‘Merrie Maggie’ Laughter Club in Wordsley and also ‘Merrie Maggie’ Laughter Club  in Malvern in order to gain sufficient video footage and interviews with participants, and also Graham Comfort with whom Niamh was carrying out a case study, in order to create the video.  Also assisting in the delivery of the Malvern session was Avril Phillips who had recently qualified as a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader with me a few weeks before.

Click on the video below to see the video, which has been very professionally put together by Niamh and I hope conveys what we do during a Laughter Yoga sessions and also how beneficial (and how much fun) participating in Laughter Yoga is: