with Bharata Wingham, CLYT, E-RYT 200
Registration starts at 2:00 pm. Program begins at 4:00 pm.
Yoga Alliance Hrs: 12 (Approximate)
Laugha Yoga is an ancient, new idea for reconnecting us to our true self. Through Yogic Laughter sessions, Laugha Nidra® (guided deep relaxation following the laughter), pranayama (yogic breathing practices) and meditation we can reach a profound level of peace, joy and relaxation.
Get your certification to lead Laughter Yoga sessions and bring the healing and uplifting practice of intentional laughter to others.
In this program you will:
- Play freestyle “laughter games,” which release endorphins and T-Cells to produce immediate and profound boosts to your mood, immunity, health, creativity and confidence levels.
- Discover why prolonged intentional laughter, a simple technique that has been overlooked for centuries, is being recognized again as a therapeutic method (first publicized in the West by Norman Cousins in his book Anatomy of an Illness).
- Learn how to use laughter as a form of social medicine spreading social health to the world.
- Receive a certificate to lead Laughter Yoga Sessions (Certified Laughter Yoga teacher) after completion of the weekend.
- Receive a downloadable zip file filled with printable handouts of laughter benefits, writings and audio/video.
- After completion you will be listed with Dr. Madan Kataria’s world-wide Laughter Yoga Pro Zone website for six months free of charge.
- Be eligible for 12 Yoga Alliance continuing education hours.
Your Health is a Laughing matter! Do you remember Norman Cousin’s ground-breaking research into the power of laughter to heal? How it helped him overcome his own illness? People who can enjoy a good laugh are healthier, and, now science is validating what the sages of old have been saying all along: That a good belly laugh can improve our health.
In April of 1997, Swami Vidyananda and I were invited to participate in a staff “Laughing Meditation” at the New York IYI. We both enjoyed it so much that we decided to begin it at Yogaville. The meditation caught on and now many ashramites, visitors and program participates tickle their funny bones each Thursday evening.
A wise man once said, “Seriousness is a disease.” And, laughter can go a long way in curing it. Modern science is discovering the wonderful benefits of laughter and humor. Laughter releases the body’s natural hormone, Endorphin, which causes the “natural high” enjoyed by runners. It also builds our immune system by increasing our blood’s T-cells, the body’s natural illness fighters and antibodies.
In a press release on November 15, 2000, The American Heart Association said, “One of the best ways to protect yourself against a heart attack is to laugh often and exuberantly… The study is the first to document that laughter and an active sense of humor may help influence heart and artery disease…’The old axiom that laughter is the best medicine appears to hold true when it comes to protecting your heart,’ says Michael Miller, M.D., director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore.”
“Although laughter may not actually cure anything, it does boost immunity,” says Kathleen Dillon, PhD, professor of Psychology at Western New England College in Springfield, Massachusetts. (See Fitness Magazine, March 1998)
Finding the humor in our life’s circumstances can help us develop control over those situations that have been bothering us. The best kind of laughter is enjoyed when we can see our own folly, our own short comings; we are not laughing at anyone else. My deepest laughter comes when I discover my personal foolishness.
Laughing meditation has the power to bring us totally into the present moment. For me, it is one of the most experiential practices I can do. I always leave feeling energize and rejuvenated. Perhaps the best way to describe it is to have you think about a time you left the movie house after a hilarious film. Can you remember the good feelings, the smiles everyone had as they left the theatre? Well, at Yogaville, each week, at least once, we have the opportunity to enjoy that kind of experience regularly, and for free!
There is no need to feel alone in this practice! In the March 4, 1998 edition of the Los Angeles Times, front page, column 1, was this headline, “A Good Guffaw a Day.” The article said, “Across India, laughing clubs gather each morning and force themselves to giggle in unison. Devotees say the practice improves health and that the beleaguered nation could stand to lighten up.” When the organizer of this movement in India declared January 11, 1998 as World Laughter Day, 10,000 people turned out at a Bombay race course to chuckle together! Quoting the Los Angeles Times further, “By the end of the session, everyone appeared flushed, happy and relaxed.”
Fitness Magazine declared laughter as one of the 5 top priorities for a healthy lifestyle. “Laughter RX: At least 30 minutes every day…could chase away the blues.” And quoting Hinduism Today, about the founder of 150 laughing clubs in India,”…the good doctor has popularized ancient yoga breathing and posture that exercises all 32 facial muscles… opens the breathing, builds self-confidence and even alleviates high blood pressure and arthritis.”
Well, most of us already felt that laughter was very good for us without it being scientifically proven. We just knew it! But, it is nice to have science prove that such a simple practice, regularly undertaken, can have such wonderful benefits.
I guess that is why good comedians are some of the most highly paid people in our culture. It is a form of social medicine. Laughter can serve as a “friend catcher;” it can draw people to us. “Most everyone wants to share in a good belly laugh because they literally feel better, naturally, in a few seconds,” says Victor Williams, a Humorosteologist.
So, I invite you to ENLIGHTEN UP! Enjoy the connection between laughter and spirituality. Discover how laughter hee, hee, heals, and creates a deep sense of peace in your life.
Read an article by Bharata in Hektoen International Journal published by the Hektoen Institute of Medicine about how medical science is discovering the how laughter can be very beneficial to the overall health of people.
Comments from participants:
“Ha! Ha! Thanks! I’m holding you – and Yogaville, responsible for this sudden life change! I was a completely introverted photographer and professor at VA Tech before showing up at your door! LOL! Crazy how life turns out! Thanks! [Later] Teaching laughter yoga tomorrow at NASA!!! Just found out I’m in the large auditorium with 74 engineers! NOOOOOOO idea how my calm quiet life turned into this! LOL!”
“Since taking your workshop, a new spirit surrounds me. My family and co-workers see it….seriously! I laugh all day long without the logical mind chatting it up. I talk about it as much as I can….and have my co-workers chanting VERY GOOD VERY GOOD YAY! Yep….even at staff meetings.”
“I feel fortunate I got a chance to learn the laughter skills from one of the best!!”
“I work with seniors, and I wanted methods to help give the seniors permission to laugh. I got it.”
“This program was recommended by my wife. It made for a wonderful couples weekend.”
“Most valuable aspect was Bharata’s spiritual depth – I expected to learn “how to” I found the spiritual connection very enriching and didn’t expect it.”
“I need more access to joy and happiness in my life – this is it!”
Bharata Wingham, CLYT,
E-RYT 200, a Laughter Ambassador and versatile teacher best known for teaching Laugha Yoga® and laughing meditation. He was trained and certified by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the world-wide laughter clubs.
He has trained hundreds of Laughter Yoga Leaders and lead thousands of people through Laugha Yoga sessions.
Bharata is also an Integral Yoga® instructor, guiding students in physical postures, deep relaxation and meditation. He is the author of Laugha Yoga: Combining the Joy of Laughter and the Bliss of Yoga.
Visit Laugha Yoga website: www.laughayoga.com.
Laugha Yoga Resources: You may also practice Laugha Yoga with the DVD: Laugha Yoga: Combining the Joy of Laughter with the Bliss of Yoga, with a talk included on Your Health is a Laughing Matter. You can also order the CD and Mp3: Guided Laughing Meditation, all are available from Shakticom.