Why I love Laughter Yoga
Sebastien Gendry, USA


My name is Sebastien Gendry. Teaching and promoting Laughter Yoga has been my full time job since 2005.

This unique method has played a major role in shaping who I now am. I spent the first decade of my adult years in an inner state of confusion. I conformed with society and what I thought was expected of me: my father had worked hard all his life, so I too worked hard. In my head this was what it meant to be a man. I became a workaholic who thought he could handle the stresses of a successful business, but still I felt miserable. It was a time when I routinely worked 60 to 70 hours per week running my own company in England.

I could do things better and faster than anybody else and never learned to delegate. The more business flourished, the deeper the dark and narrow hole I called work became.

It got so bad that eventually I sensed and saw myself dying in a self-made box of anger and sadness. I felt that I had crashed and burned. All the work, the awards and my successful business partnership, which seemed to define who I was, stopped being priorities. At age 31 I decided I would not die the richest man in my cemetery and closed shop. I changed lifestyle, job, country, and pursued activities closer to my heart.

Things improved, and yet "joy" still eluded me. I had lost my confidence and a sense of who I really was. I claimed inner peace, but my face didn't know it. I rarely smiled, and was so convinced that I could laugh anytime I wanted to that I never did. Life unfolded primarily in my head. I did not own the emotions of my body, and constantly played the victim role. There was always someone or something to blame when I felt bad.

Then Laughter Yoga came along. One day I read an article about the emerging movement of Indian Laughter Clubs and found myself instantly on fire. While I could not make any sense out of what appeared to be adults behaving like idiots in public spaces, I deeply resonated with the idea of "laughing for no reason." My heart knew something that my mind couldn't get. Within three weeks I was on a plane to Mumbai, India, some 8,000 miles away. I had to learn more.

Here is not the place to expand on what happened next. It wasn't much, and it still is everything. I discovered that I could laugh as and when I wanted to, and that this could make me feel good even when everything in my life seemed to be going astray. It was so profound that it triggered a cataclysmic reaction in my brain. The mask fell. I stopped being who I thought I should be and started being who I really wanted to be. I learned to always take full responsibility for my actions and how they made me feel.

I am greatly indebted to Dr Kataria for having followed his own light. His inspiration to laugh as a form of exercise did not change my life. It still is much better than that. It changed me.

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Latest Comments

  • Kathleen Chambers

    Sebastien, I really appreciate your writing of your Laughter Yoga journey! Mine was to help my daughter to live...I believe it was actually meant for me...God bless you in all the good you spread to so many with the blessing of laughter! <3

    Love & Laughter,
    Kathleen Chambers
    Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher
    New, Mexico USA

    Monday, 8 June 2015 02:48:00

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