Dr. Nathan Mansbach, Mexico: The First Annual Latin-American Laughter Yoga Conference was held in Mexico City in October, 2011 with about 50 participants from different countries: Mexico, Venezuela, USA, Chile and Ecuador. It was an inspiring weekend full of joy and laughter with many laughter professionals presented their reports on how Laughter Yoga has helped them in their different pursuits. The conference opened with a brief party followed by an incredible night tour around Mexico City on a double-decker “Laughter Bus”, where all riders had a great time laughing, singing, dancing and interacting with citizens in a city that stays alive until late night.
Besides the fun and entertainment, there was reading of papers by laughter teachers which helped to generate more awareness about the benefits of laughter and how it has helped millions of people worldwide to keep good health. Adrian Hernandez B. (Mexico - “Ho-Ho Music”) showed us how we can utilize music, dance and play in Laughter Yoga, and how much creativity we all possess to compose and decompose a song, so that we can apply it in our sessions. Erika Ruiz (Venezuela - “Forget about Memory”) explained how Laughter Yoga can help seniors with memory loss, with or without Alzheimer, by reducing their frustration or anxiety when they cannot remember things and when they feel alone. Luis Gomez, (Mexico - “Unleash your Joy”) made everyone cry and laugh with a touching presentation about his work in prisons, and surprised all participants by bringing into stage a recently freed woman prisoner, who shared her experience in jail and how Laughter Yoga helped her during the last months.
Abby and Giovanni Pinango from Venezuela talked about how they fought breast cancer with ‘opportunity and positivity’. They now apply Laughter Yoga to manage stress and anxiety in breast cancer patients. Shanda (Mexico) delighted us with ‘Zorba the Buddha’ an Osho meditation that focuses on a human beings capable of enjoying and celebrating earthly pleasures just as Zorba the Greek did, and at the same time, remaining in the silence serenity of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. Sebastien Gendry (USA) “Pranayahahama” shared his expertise in the applications of Pranayama to our Laughter Yoga practice and how one can obtain full benefits from various routines of diaphragmatic breathing.
Laughter Yoga sessions were also conducted by new Laughter Yoga teachers which were very inspiring. Ricardo Llorente (Ecuador - “Laughter Yoga and Addictions”) reported on how patients accounted a 100% healing rate by applying laughter exercises and meditation into their activities in a local clinic. Laura Gentry, ‘The Laughing Pastor’ from USA guided all participants into a hilarious presentation on how can Laughter Yoga can fit within traditional religious practice and how it makes us more soulful, compassionate and connected. Adriana Castro and Alejandra Lopez (Mexico - “Laughter without Tickles”) took us on a playful journey of Laughter Yoga for children based on an educative model of human development with positive attitude, promoting values of peace and non-violence. And once again, Sebastien Gendry from USA shared his expertise on how to apply Laughter Yoga in companies.
And last but not the least, we would like to emphasize that beyond our learning experience, the Congress created a deep connection and a family bonding atmosphere that permeated our souls through endless unconditional love, compassion, joyful dancing and service.
Looking forward to laughing with you next year in our 2nd Latin-American Laughter Yoga Conference in Mexico! Ha ha.