Melanie Rudolph, USA: My mother took her own life when I was just eight years old. This was very traumatic. I don't remember laughing much as a child and later made decisions in my teenage years that was not always in my best interest.
My own healing path in time prompted me to study "Wellness" and I got an M.A. in Wellness Management & an M.A. in Applied Gerontology from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. What I learned in the university helped, yet after I graduated there was still a part of me that did not feel well inside. I wondered how I could have integrity teaching wellness to others when I did not feel well myself.
Many years later, I saw Laughter Yoga on the Oprah Winfrey Show which really intrigued me and I knew this was something I had to investigate so I flew to Dallas, Texas in January 2008 to become a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader. As soon as I got back I started the Louisville Laughter Yoga Wellness Club. Our first session was on February 13, 2008 which was attended by 33 people and incidentally it happened to be my mother’s 25th death anniversary.
Many things have happened since then. I hosted a daily Laughter Yoga session on the phone for an entire year, trained as a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher in India, and more. In that process I saw my inner joy finally unfold and bloom.
I am now more joyful in my life than ever before. Laughter Yoga has helped me tap into my authentic, pure, overflowing laughter. Also, it has allowed me to shift & transform my thoughts of painful experiences to create space for new, joyful & “laughful” experiences.
To me, Laughter Yoga is a way of life and a spiritual experience. It is not a one time experience. It has been the catalyst that helps me continually tap into something greater than myself.
After working for 8 years in the Pharmaceutical Industry, I realize profoundly that Laughter Yoga is a Medicine that I want to prescribe myself daily. Laughter Yoga is a direct access to the healthful, joyful and peaceful essence of me that is good medicine for my mind, body and spirit.