Sukumar Satpathy

Mandie Navarr, USA: I am the owner of Universal Laughter Yoga with a passion for sharing the joy of laughter. Throughout my youth and into adulthood, I was an avid swimmer and runner with a fascination for nutrition.

Life has a tendency to take us along a frequently twisting path with unforeseen changes in our perfect plans. So, by the time I was in my mid-thirties, I found myself to be a single mother of 2 children whose father had abandoned us all, leaving me as the sole provider and caretaker with little time for exercise and pampering. I was floundering in the stress filled life that so many of us find ourselves living.

Then, in 1997 at 37 years old, I was unexpectedly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a progressively debilitating disease that has no cure. Doctors encourage those dealing with this degenerative disease and other chronic illnesses to eliminate stress as much as possible and to exercise to maintain the best health possible. Following the medical experts advice, I jumped back into the pool and started swimming. I also began to attend yoga classes and to study nutrition. Through my research on alternative therapies that could tame my M.S., I became intrigued with the natural healing benefits of laughter and a positive attitude which kept popping up again and again. I discovered Dr. Kataria’s website discussing Laughter Yoga and its health benefits.

In the fall of 2008 upon finishing a Pilate class for people with M.S., our instructor invited us to attend a new class called, Laughter Yoga. I was thrilled and excited so I hurried over to the class. As it turned out my Laughter Yoga instructor was Akhil Jhaveri, an engineer with multiple sclerosis. When the class finished, I was left a profound feeling of joy and lightness of spirit. I resolved to somehow make sharing this amazing gift with others my life’s work and mission.

Three months later, when Sebastien Gendry, owner of the American School of Laughter Yoga traveled to Dallas, I received my training and became a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader. I gained further training in 2010 when I became a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher under the direct guidance of Dr. Madan Kataria.

I currently conduct Laughter Yoga sessions for people of all ages and abilities. I regularly lead classes at the M.S. Society Lonestar Chapter weekend camps and wellness programs and at senior homes in the Dallas area. I am committed to helping others increase the joy in their daily lives thus, optimizing a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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