Recently I did a laughter yoga workshop for a group of Australian indigenous men.

They are from a group known as the “Stolen Generations”. What this means is that as children, they were forcibly taken away from their parents and Aboriginal families and adopted to white parents, causing unbelievable trauma and hurt. The government (and church) had a policy that the parents were incapable of giving the children a proper up-bringing in terms of our own (weird) culture. This practice was widespread from before 1900 and continued right up until the 1960’s & even into the 1970’s!! Unbelievable but true!

Before the workshop I decided to do research around this and found information on Google which wasn’t available anywhere even just 10 or so years ago:
Between the years of 1770’s when white man first settled and the 1850’s between 80 and 90 percent of the indigenous population were killed either by slaughter or by disease brought by white man, sometimes deliberately in jars! (This info is verifyable according to best known population historical data.)

The entire remaining population was driven off their land on the eastern & southern sides, mostly thousands of miles away to the Northern Territory. This invasion is one of the most devastating & cruel in human history, including complete extinction of some tribes including the entire indigenous population of the state of Tasmania. I had no idea about  this and realised just how well covered up it has been in our society.

As you can imagine I became a bit nervous about presenting the workshop. I had no idea how I would be received. When I first stood up I totally blanked out and forgot all the bullet pointes that I had remembered & visualised.

Fortunately the one thing I did remember was to demonstrate my practice laughter. After a long laugh (heightened by the nerves) I relaxed, remembered everything and the workshop went off like a real hit. It was an amazing and humbling experience for me.

The quality of these people, especially their forgiveness was overwhelming. Their own culture is based on sharing and high spiritualism and all that I spoke to were proud of it and very much aware of its advantages over our own one with its materialistic craziness of competition and scarcity.

One guy came up to me at the break and

said something which has left a lasting impression on me:
“You know this is exactly what we do (have done for thousands of years)....we get together (usually around a fire) we share experiences, we meditate, we dance and we laugh!” Another said: “With what we have had to go through in our lives (as an example, a large  % of them had served extended jail sentences) we have learned to laugh about it!” 

It was a fantastic session, and it totally expanded my heart.
I left with the utmost respect for these men.

Channel 9's "Pursuit of Happiness" program last Friday was a wonderful show which gave an excellent insight into laughter yoga.
To view it click the link:

It's a great contribution from reporter Charles Wooley & Producer Danny Keens who obviously enjoyed bringing us some uplifting news for a change!

6th of October 2011.    This morning I had a fit of anger.
I was about an hour late getting off to work.

Our new puppy dog & my 5 y.o. son were driving me nuts.
I lost the plot!
And I started feeling guilty about the example I was giving my son!
But all this wasn’t enough to bring on the boiling rage I felt.
.....Something under the surface was seriously bugging me.

Something!.... I didn’t even know what!

I forced myself to do my yoga-laughter empowerment practice.
Immediately I was laughing I felt better enough in myself to apologise to my son & explain that it wasn’t his fault.

Instead of raging I called my boss & after some discussion, discovered that the anxiety causing my anger was to do with the lateness of some engineering reports we are working on & our inability to find the time to complete them.

We made a plan to finish them next week, THEN I FELT RELIEF!

I’m here to tell you that having the ability to laugh whenever you want to won’t solve all your problems.
But it will give you the space to be able to take appropriate action.

Yoga-laughter empowerment is a very valuable tool for everyday life.

Three days ago I had a bad migraine, triggered as usual by bright light. This usually puts me out of action for 24 hours or so. But because I did yoga-laughter for the first hour afterwards my recovery was 4 times faster, & my experience was far better than normal.

I am lucky these days because I don’t get severe headaches anymore. (I have had migraines infrequently most of my life). Normally I have gotten really annoyed when I get the vision impairment that indicates a migraine coming on (it stops me doing all my things for 24 hours....very inconvenient). But this time I had just come out of a laughter session and didn’t want to ruin my good state.

I went to a cafe & ordered a coffee(!), and laughed with my face in my hands for a whole hour.

TRANSFORMATION! The lights in my field of vision were not really annoying. Cosmic man! For the first time in my life I really enjoyed seeing the kaleidoscope type display....the colours were so rich, the patterns so interesting! Migraine is accompanied by a flood of gluggy feeling chemicals entering the blood stream, but this time I felt the effects being counteracted by the positive chemicals laughing generates. I really felt much better.

4 hours later I was able to take my son & puppy to the park and participate (in a slower kind of way)....something that would normally have been impossible. Another 4 hours later, I felt back to normal. I was amazed at how quickly I had recovered.

When I did laughter yoga I had a transformational experience.
I needed several hours of silence after it to process the stagnant stuff that was released with the laughter. It is an excellent healing technique not to mention the honesty & grace that Michael & David charge it with.
I look forward to going again.
Veronica de Ferrari,
Author & Former Director Wesley Mission Jobnetwork,
In Yoga-Laughter we do a breathing exercise & practice laughter to trigger a natural laughter spasm. If you observe someone naturally "splitting their sides with laughter" you will see that s/he exhales fully and sometimes gasps for air. So a laughter spasm is triggered most easily by laughing when you have fully exhaled.

The breathihng exercise we do is to pretend you just heard or saw the funniest thing in the world but are not allowed to laugh (due to your surroundings). You hold it in, hold it in, but suddenly you just can't hold it in any more and it bursts out! Breath out all the way then start giggling,,,,see what happens!       Simple? Yes it is!
The day after I wrote about how I was able to use yoga-laughter to beat pain on a massage table, I had a horrible accident.
I crushed my finger in a steel jaw clamp, giving me bad laceration, & possible damage to the bone.
Could that be the universe saying..."oh yeah? let's really test you!"
My response was pretty natural....huge agony accompanied by shock & a massive dose of adrenalin.
I had to race to the doctors with blood pouring everywhere.
Now if you're expecting that I was able to switch off
the pain with laughter, sorry to dissapoint you!
But here's the thing. Having pain is one thing but I was getting hugely frustrated, angry & upset at my own stupidity
....I was going  DOWN man. big time.
I made myself laugh...pretty half-heartedly mind you
at first but it did make me feel better.
After a while I did notice a physical shift...the bad-news feeling I had in my stomach & limbs because of my anger & being down on myself.....began to lift. After that I was able to see things in perspective and it didn't seem so bad.
I got first class medical attention and things kind of flowed as smoothly as possible. I think if I hadn't had the help of yoga-laughter I would have plunged into dispair and made it a lot worse.
Empowerment?...let's just say I prevented myself from totally dis-empowering myself. & I'm sure I will heal faster now.
And Yes! I was able to divert my attention away from the pain with yoga-laughter.
With laugh, Michael

Today I went for a massage. The massager was a real pro who knew exactly where all my knotted muscles were, and was ruthlessly determined to release them.
I started squirming...... It was painful!
But I knew if I could just stay still enough to allow the process,
I would feel much better later. Ouch!

I remebered how laughter is so empowering in other situations
so I started doing yoga-laughter. Lo & behold! My mind instantly switched off from the pain and I was able to bear the ruthless massage! I actually felt that the laughter affected my muscles as well and made it easier to relax.

It was quite hilarious really. When the digs got deep I would roar with laughter!
Another string to the yoga-laughter bow.
Lots of Laugh, Michael

Yoga-laughter is doing practice laughter to trigger real laughter.
This happens very quickly in a way which is spontaneous & natural.
After only  a week or 2 practicing 10-15 minutes a can develop the capacity to laugh at any time whenever you want to.
The main thing about developing this capacity to laugh

whenever you want to is that it is very empowering,
& very useful for everyday life.
Many situations of modern life are stressful.
But it is mostly far healthier to laugh than get stressed,
& I mean healthier physically as well as mentally.
Because when you laugh the body injects a huge dose of "happy chemicals" in to the blood stream (mostly endorphins) & halts the production of cortisol, the "stress hormone".
Laughing, (or at least doing laughter breath) helps you to stay"bouyant" and handle most situations better.

3 Steps: Yoga-Laughter
1. Laughter Breath: Laughter breathing is easy....try it now!
Breath in a shallow breath.
Pretend you have just heard or seen the funniest thing
in the whole world, but are not allowed to laugh!
Hold it...hold it...hold it!
Finally you just can't hold it anymore
and your breath bursts out with a big huff! Breath out all the way.

2. When you have breathed out fully, start giggling. Pretend you are "spliting your sides" and can't stop laughing!
Very soon you won't be pretending anymore!
Laugh as much as you want.....It is so much fun!

3. Stop when abdomen muscles are tired, or when you feel like it. Your mind will be totally still at this point.
Now just watch your natural breathing.
It will have become soft & delicious In yoga this is called easy breath It is an important step in yogalaughter: it prolongs your tranquillity. Now repeat these 3 steps over & over until you have had enough joy & release.

WE are presenting an introduction to Laughter Yoga tomorrow at the DEEWR.
It's an exciting opportunity for us to spread the love of laughter.

If you are just joining this site, we would highly value your comments which you can place on the blog.

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We put out newsletters, articles  & valuable references connecting you to health & well-being information. relating to laughter yoga.

Don't forget to check out the original & main site for Laughter Yoga....
Love & laughter Michael

Laughter Yoga Sydney CBD
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