Montag, 12. Oktober 2015

My Journey to the Laughter Yoga Festival, August 2015

I almost missed it – the first Laughter Yoga Festival with Dr. Madan Kataria in Bangalore, India. It was not very apparent on Dr. Ks Website. But since several German laughter yoga colleagues asked me indepentently, if I would like to join, I soon realized: I want to go and I have to go. My partner encouraged me to go, my son could stay with his grand parents.

Travelling with Laughter Yoga
Only three weeks after, we were sitting in the airplane to India with four Germans to face a new adventure: laughing, singing, dancing and playing in India. Since my travel mates Jürgen, Mo and Haesoon were really keen to fulfill their upcoming job as “Laughter Ambassadors”, we had a lot of fun and laughter already on the flight. On the way from Delhi to Bangalore, we realized a little Laughter Yoga Airplane Flashmob. Usually, I am very sceptical about actions like these where you do laughter yoga  without asking the people before. But the reactions of the passengers were very positive. Some came afterwerds and asked for laughter clubs, others participated in the exercises, many applauded afterwards, and even the pilot said “thank you to the laughter yoga team”, when he announced the landing.

Laughter Yoga at School
Right on our first day, we experienced a special hightlight of our trip. We visited a school where laughter yoga is part of the classes. There is even an own class room just to do laughter yoga. On this day – August 15th -  we experienced the celebrations of India’s Independence Day at this school. And we could see how it is possible to integrate laughter yoga into daily life of the students – and how much fun the children have. Dr. Kataria visits this school (very nearby the office building of laughter yoga university) regularly and offers free laughter yoga sessions. Some pictures of this School and the celebrations, you find here…

Laughter Yoga International –  a unique community
The Festival took place in a beautiful meditation resort near Bangalore – the Ancient School of Wisdom. There was silence, a huge variety of plants and animals, peace and very delicious Indian food. Around 30 people from all parts of the world had found their way to this place. Beside us – altogether 6 persons from Germany – there werde laughter yogis from Italy, Malaysia, Israel, Denmark, Portugal, Indonesia, Venezuela, Singapur, USA, Belgium, Libanon, England and of course from India. It is always beatiful to see how people of such different culture, background and religion feel immediately connected by laughter. There were many inspiring conversations, moments of laughing and crying together, hugs, encouragement, caring for each other and a lot of joy. This feeling of connection also expressed itself by a Love Song with “I love you” in all the different languages.

The Rhythm of Joy
The first thing we learned in the Festival: Laughter Yoga is not only Laughter Yoga. Dr. Madan Kataria made clear that his intention was to amplify the concept of laughter yoga and bring in new ideas. For this, he had engaged Kula and Sofia, who were incredible with their Body Percussion Work. With very simple methods, a basic dance step, some clapping rhythms and some sounds, they created a dynamic group energy which was exceptional.

There was also the musician Pintu, who just had to play his guitar with his funny smile, and everybody was fascinated. We all were encouraged to be creative, invent new melodies, songs and movements. The only condition: Every song, every dance, should contain whatever kind of laughter or sounds like “„hoho haha hihi“.

Laughter Yoga University? That’s all of us!
Madan found a clever way to organize a festival like this. Instead of fixing timetables and inviting dozens of speakers, he organized it “Indian style”. There was no program, just a whiteboard on which everybody could write down a workshop he would like to offer. The whiteboard was filled very quickly with interesting topics from laughter yogis who had to offer far more than only laughter yoga. Some might think now, "well, Dr. K took a very easy way". But why not? He just did it in the way he likes to proceed things: “Keep it simple”. Of course, from German perspective not everything was organized in a perfect way, some things might be superficial or were missing, some things might have happened at the wrong time in the wrong place. But after all, we realized that everything was fine as ist was and fitted well. Finally, we enjoyed such a variety of a program which we would have hardly had anywhere else – and all this for a fair price. 

My conclusion: We can all shine
I took home many inspirations for my work. But I also realized: Everything is in us. Every single person has the creativity to develop own exercises and ideas, everybody has the potential to shine. We all have the abilities to bring laughter, joy and love to the people. And this is not about competition with each other, neither about being the number one. Nobody takes away anything from anybody, if we all follow a common vision. I realized for myself: the more openly I give away ideas and inspirations, the more comes back to me. Not only as positive resonance, but also in form of wellnes, happiness and wealth.

Dr. Madan Kataria gives the best example for this. He does not claim to be the “Guru”, he rather acts as a “collector of ideas”. With laughter yoga, he did not invent something absolutely new. But he brought together several elements in a genius way and spread those out to the world. He was the one who made possible this worldwide movement, which is spreading more and more every day. Now, with his new extended view on the four elements of joy (dancing, singing, playing, laughing), Madan is doing the same. He collects ideas by the people. He does not take them away from the people, but spreads them and lets the people shine. As he himself says: “The best teachers are those who make stars out of their students.” Thanks, Madan, for this great lecture!

Infos and Videos from Laughter Yoga Learning Festival

Next Laughter Yoga Learning Festival: 1st to 7th February 2016 in Bangalore, Indien

Workshop „Body Percussion“ with Kula & Sofia: 14th – 16th Oktober 2016 in Cologne, Germany

Facebook-Page about the Festival...

Next International Certified Laughter Yoga Teachers' Training in Germany: October 19th till 23rd, 2016

Videos of the Workshops




Playing and more…

1 Kommentar:

  1. איזה סיכום מקסים לפסטיבל גדולללללללללללל