Andrea Betke, Germany: I had my first Laughter Yoga experience in the year 2000, but it was only in 2010 that I became a certified laughter leader and started two Laughter Clubs. I worked for different major commercial enterprises. They hired me to increase their sales, to connect the staff and to find solutions for products and services. A year later, I felt that it was time for change and decided to become a full time Laughter Yoga teacher.
The training with Dr. Madan Kataria was a wonderful and profound experience. After the training I worked for 6 months in a yoga seminar house, where I offered 45 minutes of Laughter Yoga for their employees and guests. These sessions became well known and people of all ages started coming from nearby areas, hospitals and rehabilitation centers. In just three months over 1000 people participated! In addition, I also conducted laughter workshops for children and seniors did one-on- one coaching and organised Laughter Yoga walks and other activities.
For 6 months I had a daily Laughter Yoga workout of 45 minutes up to 3 hours. With this experience, I was able to understand the profound meaning of Laughter Yoga - my own feeling of joy, inner peace and an idea of unconditional love. The greatest pleasure was to see people happy and free from suffering. For people with burnout or depression it often took only one Laughter Yoga session to start new. It was amazing to see this.
I understood the deep impact and significance of laughter for peace, because at the end of every session I could see the participants were filled with the highest energy, with joy, love and peace. My sessions always ended with 3 big thank-you-laughs - One for health, one for peace on earth and one for connectedness.
In 2013, when America and Syria broke went into conflict, the laughter community in Germany every day sent a big ‘laugh message’ for peace the two countries, till one day there came a message that it would not come to an armed conflict. Laughter Yoga had worked its magic - May every day be World Laughter Day.