Heine Bo Hansen: In 2003 I attended my first Laughter Yoga session in a local club near my home. It turned out to become a life changing experience. I went to the club, thinking I could work on my laughter like a muscle, making it stronger. But quickly I discovered, my weakness was not in the belly but inside my head. I was a very shy person with a quiet laughter. Did not have the nerve to laugh out loud, and was afraid to be laughed at, if I did.
The Laughter Yoga sessions where all the people laughed funny and for no reason at all, helped me to relax, and to set my own laughter free. Later, after a meeting with Dr. Kataria, I trained as a certified laughter teacher and was really hooked onto it. Until that point, I would never have had the nerve to stand in front of a group, doing or saying anything. That had changed now. Laughter Yoga gave me the confidence that I could do almost anything.
Good things started to happen, and in 2004 I opened my own Laughter Club, which has now existed for 10 years. During these years, I have conducted many laughter sessions in the club and also outside at private parties, in companies, at schools, with a lot of different groups. It was a new experience every time. In fact, one of those experiences is very special to me. A few years ago, I was invited to do a laughter session with the Danish association for people with brain damage. When I accepted the invitation, I don’t think I realized what I was going to do with these people. On the way to the session, while driving I got nervous, because I actually did not know how they would react to Laughter Yoga, and if they would be able to do anything at all.
In the group, I saw people with light brain damage, but there were few with heavy damage, especially one, who was on a wheelchair not doing much, but just looking at all other attendees. During the session, they all laughed the best they could, except him. He kept looking at us, but after a small break, he started to respond. He had an electronic spelling device, where he could write messages. He started typing a message for me, saying these words: “Since I got my brain damage, I have not laughed at all. There has been nothing in my life to laugh at…..until now”. I just stood there reading the words, and saw him actually laughing his own way.
That moment was powerful like nothing else I have ever experienced with Laughter Yoga. After that, I have always said: “If I can make just one person laugh, which didn’t think he or she was able to, my mission is complete”. It changed my life. I saw the power of Laughter Yoga and the best job in the world to be a laughter teacher.