Friday, 15 March 2013 10:54:45Back

ELVIE PUNZALAN ESTAVILLO, Manila : Laughter signifies togetherness! It can help revitalize relationship in workplace and strengthen bonds among people. Due to too much stress, the workplace nowadays has the tendency to become very serious. To help their 100 employees counter such situation, Ms. Carissa de Mesa, VP, Human Relations Dept., Fortune Life Insurance, requested for a Laughter Yoga session for their wellness program, with the theme: “ Fortune Life Securing Tomorrow… Today.” After about a year of making our schedules meet, finally we did it last January 31st. Ha ha ha!

At the start of the LY session, I asked who among the participants want to live till 100 years old and beyond, and most of them raised their hands. So I told them to join Laughter Yoga Club, and narrated what my cardiologist, Dra. Bingloy Diaz of Makati Medical, said: my heart is like that of a 25 year old person, that made the participants clapped admiringly and gleefully. My doctor added further that I will live beyond 100 years. Elated and grateful were my initial reactions until it dawned on me that she herself may no longer be around, and so are all my friends. That elicited a loud approving laughter from the participants.

It has been said that life is like a mirror, and so is laughter! We act like mirrors for other people. The number of people I make laugh on and off my LYoga sessions -- is the reflection of how much I laugh! Ha ha ha! When I saw how Mr. Raygar Abuel, Fortune Life’s VP, Executive Management Department laugh, I requested that he partner with me as we demonstrate the different kinds of laughter. He was a natural! He gave it all to the LYoga session and immensely enjoyed himself. His contagious laughter combined with mine really put the house down. Everyone kept roaring with belly laughter. I asked Mr. Abuel to be a LYoga leader and put a Laughter Yoga club himself. Happy job awaits him when he retires.

The numerous high-tech inventions and gadgets that abound us unfortunately bring with them high pressure, high tension to our modern world. Stress levels are higher than ever before! Many people experience enormous burnouts and stress in the workplace. There is a misconception that serious people are more responsible and more productive. The truth is that the more productive people are those who treat their work seriously, BUT take themselves lightly.

Many methods have been introduced to reduce stress level in workplace, but Laughter Yoga is the most cost effective, less time consuming and is the only single routine exercise, which can effectively reduce physical, mental and emotional stress simultaneously and give emotional balance. Why not? When feeling stressed and tensed -- one can just burst into silent laughter, and if not possible in the presence of other employees, simply go to the washroom and laugh out loud… to drive the stress and tension away . Follow up the belly laughter with deep breathing exercises and pronto -- one instantly becomes calm, relax and de-stressed, positive and happy, right at that moment!

Mr. Abuel and myself demonstrated one of my favorites, the hearty laughter, which is good for the mind, body and spirit. In a jiffy, it can make one feel better after just a few rounds of doing it. By extending the arms upward and tilting the chin upward a bit while laughing, sends the flow of blood faster to the brain.

We did other kinds of laughter that elicited almost endless laughter from the participants, like Lion Laughter, which Mr. Abuel obliged to do and be photographed doing it. When I asked what the participants were laughing about, for a moment, they were startled. Yes! They were laughing and jubilant for no reason at all! Ah! The wonder and magic of Laughter Yoga!

Laughter Yoga is a breakthrough! It is an effective laughter delivery system that makes a person laugh continuously for about 30 minutes with short breaks for some yogic breathing and stretching exercises. Though we may laugh the natural laughter everyday, it however only lasts for barely a few seconds here and there. It is not sufficient to bring about powerful physiological changes in a person. Only Laughter Yoga is the ideal system which helps extend laughter at will. Let’s laugh to that!

Companies abroad which introduced LYoga sessions for their employees, have reported a happier workplace, increased efficiency, better communication, increased sales and productivity, creativity and better teamwork, decrease in illness and absenteeism and reduced employee turnover. Remember, “people who laugh together, work better together!”

Below are some reactions of the participants:

Ann Cuadra – “The Laughter Yoga session was good. Ms. Estavillo handled the participants very well. Highly recommended to other groups.”

Carisa De Mesa – “It was a positive experience!”

Evelyn Carada – “Great stress-buster!”

Angela Mayor – A good way to get rid of the day’s stresses. Definitely I learned several useful information.”

Raygar Abuel – “Ha, Ha, ha. I really enjoyed myself.”

Jem Nocelo – “Laughter Yoga is one of a kind learning meditation experience.”

Darren Fuelles – “I never thought that healing oneself and learning how to have a positive outlook in life could be this much fun! Ms. Estavillo really has one of a kind approach in carrying on her advocacy.

Cocoy Nepomoceno – “A very refreshing experience!”

Ricky Cornista – “A great way to relieve stress!”

Let’s laugh to a healthy, happy, positive us! To laugh, visit: www.youtube.com/lycphohohaha. For more info, visit our website: www.laughteryogaphils.com and email us at laughteryogaclub.phils@gmail.com

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