A bunch of laughter lovers from all age groups gathered at the lovely Suniket park in the midst of Indore to celebrate World Laughter Day early in the morning. The message of health, happiness and world peace was spread amongst the members through ‘rumour clinic’, an innovative act of communication. It was followed by a fun game ‘pizza-pasta’ to enhance the mental alertness of the participants.
There was the usual round of clapping, chanting, breathing exercises, childlike playfulness and a whole array of laughter exercises. On the special occasion, celebrity laughter cat walk, funny orchestra and laughter kirtan were organized by Suniket Laughter Club which meets every Sunday morning regularly at the park.
Looking to the onging IPL T20 matches, new exercises based on cricketing theme, like cricket laughter, umpire laughter and huddle together laughter, were instantly created on the spot by the laughter leaders. The four elements of joy – singing, dancing, playing and laughter – were practiced through old Bollywood melodies. ‘Follow the leader’ was great fun as always.
According to Dr Madan Kataria, the founder of laughter clubs, “When you laugh, you change and when you change, the whole world changes around you. The practice of laughter yoga causes the body to release certain feel good hormones into the blood stream related to feelings of happiness, warmth, unconditional love, bonding, tolerance, forgiveness, generosity and compassion. This precludes the production of hormones that correspond with hatred, fear, violence, jealousy, aggression and the emotions associated with war and oppression.”
Later in the evening, the giggles from Indore crossed the Indian ocean on air waves to join the entire globe in laughter. Skype laughter leaders Radhika and Jagat Bisht from Indore, laughed over skype with laughter enthusiasts from Japan, Israel, Bahrain, Finland, Denmark, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Ireland, Germany and several other countries.
“Laughter yoga has transformed my personality. I was short tempered and got annoyed easily. Now I am relaxed and enjoying life,” shared Vijaya Mahurkar, a retired school principal.
Mukesh Shivhare, a club member recently appointed as a civil judge, felt, “As an advocate, I found my job full of stress. Laughter sessions uncluttered my mind and enabled me to prepare peacefully for the examination.”
“I treat patients the whole day and feel fatigued. I look forward to Sundays to laugh with my buddies at the garden,” expressed Sai Mudaliar, a yoga therapist and reflexologist.
Arvind Deshpande, a retired professor from agricultural university, opined, “The health benefits of laughter are widely known. Leave aside all that, is it not enough that we feel good when we come together for weekly laughter? Feeling good in life is most important.”
Laughter yoga teacher and founder of Suniket Laughter Club, Radhika Bisht runs free yoga, laughter yoga and laughter meditation sessions on a daily basis for ladies. She feels, “It is a very fulfilling experience as I see before me ladies coming out of depression and becoming cheerful.”
“We are practitioners of the art of living. Every week, for a change, we come to the laughter club and feel that this is the science of living. The benefits of laughter exercises are scientifically proven,” said Vikas Samadhia who joined the celebrations with other members of the art of living foundation.
D C Rathi, income tax officer who has just retired, loves the physical exercises like Tak jhoom laughter, Calcutta laughter and Sumo wrestler laughter “because they clean up my respiratory track and I feel relieved from physical, mental and emotional stress.” Parate, an official of Bank of Baroda, adds that it makes us physically active and mirthful and we carry the laughter home to our family members.
Jagat Singh Bisht, laughter yoga teacher and founder of Chetana Laughter Club, told ToI on the occasion, “This is very difficult time indeed for our country. We have anger, despair and anguish all over. Under the circumstances, we need to smile more and relax. Unless there is inner peace and we are stress free, how can the society flourish?”
“I felt unbearable pain in my limbs and felt so bad that I never took medicines. After joining yoga and laughter sessions, the world seems much better,” disclosed.Sarita Chugh, a housemaker.
Vandana Wadhwani, owner of a reputed watch and jewellery showroom, conducted laughter sessions in New Delhi recently. She said, “ I feel like a little girl in this club though I am a grandmother. I love the exercises and owe a lot to this club. It keeps me cheerful all through the week.”
(With inputs from the Times of India, Indore)