Laughter Yoga in Mental Health / Yoga du rire en santé mentale

Sophie Terrasse, Canada
« Back
Saturday, 23 March 2013 18:09:59

La version française de l’article suit la version anglaise

I had the privilege to be invited two times, in fall 2008 and fall 2009, by the Mood Disorder Association of Ottawa. To begin, I would like to share what I felt when I entered the room: the atmosphere was very heavy and highly depressed, and I thought to myself, now I can really appreciate how my regular practice week after week in the laughter club has allowed me to gain the experience and confidence necessary to be able to independently stay internally in control, without being affected by the very special context of this unusual workshop.

I started by very briefly introducing the concept of Laughter Yoga to the participants, explaining to them what the potential health benefits are. Immediately after that, I spread the contents of my BIG SURPRISE BAG filled with funny hats, sunglasses and necklaces in the middle of the room... and you should have seen the metamorphosis that took place in the group! Their eyes sparkled; laughter came from all sides as people found themselves decked out in funny apparel – within minutes, the energy of the group changed from sad and distressed to light. This first session with this group, as well as the next session the following year, was extraordinary; and I will always remember with gratitude this opportunity which I was lucky to have to be there and to witness this transformation, to be able to – even if only for an hour – illuminate the life of this group of people.

Testimonial

Every third Tuesday of the month, Mood Disorders Ottawa invites a guest speaker to make a presentation to members and the general public. The topics are usually mental health-related with the purpose of educating and sometimes enlightening and enriching the lives of those in attendance. On the evening of September 16th 2008, MDO was lucky to receive all of the above and more from Sophie Terrasse with her interactive presentation on Laughter Yoga.

Below is a personal account from a member who attended Sophie's presentation:

This was not solely an intellectual exercise, we had to get on our feet and "laugh for no reason!" This was a particularly tough crowd because the majority of us struggle with a mood disorder. For some of us, just getting out of the house was a major accomplishment! But the ice was broken five minutes into Sophie's introduction when she opened her bag of funny hats, masks and costume pieces. Once we were wearing these items, most of us had a license to be goofy and goofy we were. And the effect? Magnificent!

Almost everyone in the room participated in a series of laughter exercises that reduced many of us to giggling fools, and it was bliss! We were like children again. One participant said "Most people don't expect to go to a depression support group and have a good time!" Another had only come to the presentation to check it out, but he left "light-hearted and glowing." Many commented that it felt like we'd had an aerobic workout--just from laughing. Our endorphins were flowing and negative thoughts chased away.

So, I concur with Reader's Digest, "laughter is the best medicine," and the only side effects are positive. Thanks, Sophie and please, come again.

Kindest regards,
Jackie
Jackie Cooligan PRESIDENT MOOD DISORDERS OTTAWA

-----------------------

Yoga du rire en santé mentale

J’ai eu le privilège d’avoir été invitée à deux reprises, en automne 2008 et en automne 2009, par l’Association des Troubles de l’Humeur d’Ottawa. Pour commencer, je souhaiterais partager ce que j’ai ressenti en entrant dans la salle: l’atmosphère était lourde, chargée et hautement  dépressive. Je me suis dit intérieurement combien j’appréciais l’expérience acquise semaine après semaine dans mon club de rire auprès de personnes plus conventionnelles,  avant de faire face à ce défi d’animer  une session de yoga du rire auprès d’un groupe de personnes souffrant de santé mentale ; cette longue expérience d’animation hebdomadaire dans mon club de rire me donnait le support intérieur et la confiance requise pour ne pas me laisser déstabiliser par l’atmosphère et l’énergie si particulière de ce soir-là.

Je débutai en introduisant brièvement le concept du yoga du rire tout en mettant l’emphase sur les bénéfices potentiels de cette approche au niveau de la santé et plus particulièrement de la santé mentale. Immédiatement près cette introduction, je me  suis dirigée au centre de la pièce et  j’ai vidé mon  ÉNORME et ATTRAYANT SAC À SURPRISES rempli de chapeaux amusants, de lunettes extravagantes, de colliers et bracelets multicolores.. Vous auriez alors du voir ce qui s’est passé à ce moment là! Le groupe s’est littéralement métamorphosé;  les yeux vides auparavant s’animèrent soudainement et devinrent pétillants, les rires commencèrent à fuser  ici et là au fur et à mesure que les participants se découvraient affublés des déguisements – en quelques minutes l’énergie hautement dépressive du groupe se transforma en une énergie joyeuse et lumineuse.

Cette première session avec ce groupe, de même que la suivante fut exceptionnelle et je  me souviendrai toujours avec gratitude d’avoir eu cette opportunité  d’assister à cette transformation, d’avoir été capable – ne fut-ce que pour une heure d’illuminer la vie de ce groupe de gens.

 

Témoignage original du président de l’association (traduction à venir)

Mood Disorders Ottawa Mutual Support Group (MDO)

October 5, 2008

Every third Tuesday of the month, Mood Disorders Ottawa invites a guest speaker to make a presentation to members and the general public. The topics are usually mental health-related with the purpose of educating and sometimes enlightening and enriching the lives of those in attendance. On the evening of September 16th 2008, MDO was lucky to receive all of the above and more from Sophie Terrasse with her interactive presentation on Laughter Yoga.
Below is a personal account from a member who attended Sophie's presentation:
This was not solely an intellectual exercise, we had to get on our feet and "laugh for no reason!" This was a particularly tough crowd because the majority of us struggle with a mood disorder. For some of us, just getting out of the house was a major accomplishment! But the ice was broken five minutes into Sophie's introduction when she opened her bag of funny hats, masks and costume pieces. Once we were wearing these items, most of us had a license to be goofy and goofy we were. And the effect? Magnificent!
Almost everyone in the room participated in a series of laughter exercises that reduced many of us to giggling fools, and it was bliss! We were like children again. One participant said "Most people don't expect to go to a depression support group and have a good time!" Another had only come to the presentation to check it out, but he left "light-hearted and glowing." Many commented that it felt like we'd had an aerobic workout--just from laughing. Our endorphins were flowing and negative thoughts chased away.
So, I concur with Reader's Digest, "laughter is the best medicine," and the only side effects are positive. Thanks, Sophie and please, come again.
Kindest regards,
Jackie Cooligan,  PRESIDENT
MOOD DISORDERS OTTAWA
mooddisordersottawa.ncf.ca

Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 March 2013 18:09:59 )
  • Hits: 910
  • Comments: 0

Latest Comments

  • No comments posted yet, be the first.

Write your Comments

  •   Captcha

    Not Case Sensitive

Back