We organized a week long Laughter Meditation camp at Suniket Park, Indore, India and the response has been astounding. It included copious breathing exercises and a number of guided relaxation techniques.
Instead of doing the sessions while standing up, the participants sat down all through on yoga mats in a relaxed manner. This facilitated those who had physical problems to participate in the program. There were many of them who said that they felt relieved of long time depression, head ache and limb pain. The new format of doing Laughter Yoga has been well received and we propose to conduct many more such camps.
Those new to the concept were amazed to discover laughter flowing effortlessly like a fountain during laughter meditation segment. Some of them were laughing naturally after so many years. And, they couldn’t believe it! So, next morning they came along with all their family members. Such is the power of laughter!
The correspondents of national dailies who covered the event have brought out heart touching stories of some of the participants in the camp.
The story in the Hindustan Times ran like this:
Indoreans beat the blues, laugh away stress
By Amrita U Kadam, HT Correspondent
Indoreans gather at a park early in the morning to participate in the laughter meditation camp at Suniket Park near Khajrana Square on Wednesday.
Atanu Sen Gupta, a marketing executive in a multinational company now greets people with a smile, doesn’t feel the work stress and is all set for his next business trip. His better half Tannistha, doesn’t crib anymore, even when her maid is on leave.
Sounds unusual, doesn’t it? But it is true going by the experiences of this couple and many others who participate in ‘laughter meditation’ camp, which began last Monday at the Suniket Park near Khajrana Square.
Certified laughter professors, assistant general manager (training) of State Bank of India Jagat Singh Bisht and his wife, Radhika, have been instrumental in gathering Indoreans at the park early morning and helping them have a hearty laugh.
“Laughter is a serious job. It needs to be done with proper guidance. We tell people to forget the past, avoid thinking about the future, just be in present and laugh,” said Bisht.
This is the first time that a camp of this sort has been organised and would continue till Saturday.
GS Narang, who attended the first day of the camp alone, now gets his entire family along. “I just felt healthy and relaxed after the session, so I got my wife and son along too. I even asked my father-in-law and mother-in-law, who have come down from Jabalpur, to join me.”
Another participant Bindu Patel, an active practitioner of art of living, encouraged a group of youngsters to attend the session. “We all are preparing for civil exams and hence, we thought that this was the best way to deal with the stress,” said Patel.
The morning sessions with loud ‘Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha’ have attracted the regular morning walkers and those in the locality.
“I have arthritis for last few years and used to think of joining them for a long time but I just used to sit in my balcony and look. Now, I finally gathered courage to come down from my apartment and be a part of it. I would suggest people not to delay joining the laughter sessions,” said Sarita Chugh.
For ten- year- old Advait Pradhan, laughter yoga helps him perform better in studies and other activities. Another housewife Anita Punjabi says that it has helped her deal with the headache. Looking at their glowing faces, a morning walker Vilas Chandwaskar says, “I have been coming to this park for last so many years but I have never seen it get as lively as it is has after the laughter session.”
(Hindustan Times, Indore, Friday, May 25, 2012)
The Times of India news network brought out this story:
Laughter yoga gaining currency as natural stress reliever
TNN | May 27, 2012, 02.14AM IST
INDORE: Laughter yoga is fast emerging as the healing balm for people having their life full of stress. This therapy has attracted a lot of people from all walks of life barring age as they find it a natural stress reliever.
Dr Arvind Deshpande, a retired agricultural scientist, says that though he is keeping well with his health even after retirement, he was attracted towards it as he wants to improve life from the existing better stage to the best one. "It has helped me a lot in stress management," he said. Suniket Laughter Club held a week-long laughter yoga meditation camp, which was concluded here on Saturday.
Atanu Sengupta, who works with an MNC, says, "I have experienced lots of differences in my life since I started doing laughter meditation. It has helped me have control on myself."
Often people go for such an exercise in search of a natural pain killer. For Amita Punjabi, who is a housewife, laughter yoga has proved to be a complete cure to free herself from severeheadache she had been suffering from. "The exercise has proved to be a natural pain killer for me and now I am completely free from any mental tension or depression," claimed Punjabi.
Even teenagers have found a new love in the unique exercise. Rakshit, a Class VII student, who is regular at laughter yoga classes, said that it is like a game for him as he does not feel any kind of loneliness while attending the laughter yoga classes.
Mukesh, who is a practicing advocate, says, "We meet criminals as part of our job quite often. Once I give them some tips of laughter medicine, they completely open up before me which helps me a lot in putting up their cases in court."
GS Narang, an industrialist, who also runs a charity organisation in memory of his daughter, said that he has introduced the laughter meditation at the centre. Mahesh Varma, a banker, says that he has made it a point to attend laughter yoga classes along with his wife.
Even mentally retarded children have been benefited from the therapy. RS Maheshwari, a teacher at Rotary Paul Harris School for mentally challenged, says, "It has helped me a lot in cultivating calm mind among these children."
Keeping it in view, an international laughter yoga teacher based in the city, JS Bisht*, is planning to open a university on the subject in Bangalore. "Laughter meditation is the purest kind of laughter and a very cathartic experience that opens up the layers of your subconscious mind and you will experience laughter from deep within," says he.
(Times of India, Indore, Sunday, 27th May 2012.)
The laughter meditation camp has created a lot of awareness about the healing effect of Laughter Yoga. We feel good that we have been instrumental in touching lives of some human beings in the town. It has been a very fulfilling experience for us.
Radhika and Jagat Singh Bisht
Certified Laughter Yoga Teachers
(* Correction: Dr Madan Kataria, the founder of Laughter Clubs Movement, is setting up the Laughter Yoga University at Bangalore, India.)