Laughter is the Best Medicine

Laugh Yourself Healthy with Laughter Yoga

poor Linda she called and sent me an email actually and said can you write an intro for me and you never want to ask a guy that teaches laughter Yoga is a professional clown and plays the ukulele and all these fun things and not write a funny intro so thank you for being a good sport my name is michael bork you see a couple of things on there I'm a certified laughter yoga leader as Linda said I'm also the CLO of laughter ship LLC cielos chief laughter officer sorry getting a little lingo going I'm trying to keep it keep it down on the streets for you guys but before we start we are gonna be talking about laughter yoga which is a true yogic pursuit it's called hacia yoga so before we begin we are gonna open our session if my clicker works I have no idea why it's decided to stop on me oh well there we go all right I I hit the right button so namaste everybody namaste so namaste means the spirit within me honors the spirit within you it's a traditional Indian greeting of respect and we'll learn a little bit of an alternate version of that here in a little while let's see if with that ah hey we got the clicker to work too so just a little bit about me you guys can read that I'm not gonna read that to you but one of the things that I just recently did is I got a master's degree in organizational psychology and what that basically is it's the psychology of group behavior why groups work together why they don't work together how to get them through psychology to work together better part of that as I started studying positivity and authentic leadership and positive psychology which is a really fascinating field in the study of laughter and that has led me to laughter yoga and I've been running laughter yoga classes and seminars and workshops all around the state for about just over a year I actually got certified last July I had started a few laughter clubs in March of that year of last year so just a little over a year so you can see all that other fun stuff and again I don't need to read that but I do want to read the learning objectives this is I hope you get out of this class so in this session you're not only gonna learn about laughter yoga in general but how it got started and what's happening with laughter yoga now you're gonna understand the difference between conditional and unconditional laughter by the end of this hopefully you're gonna understand the effects of laughter on stress management your health and your mind and hopefully you well you will if you participate you're gonna gain an experiential appreciation of how unconditional mirthful laughter affects you so before we get into all of this as I mentioned this is called hacia yoga it was we'll get into a little bit of the history but this is one of my very favorite most recent shots I went down to Valdez that's out on the boat harbor in Valdez they had a really cool event called a rock and flow fest and it was a rock climbing and yoga festival but it was not just yoga it was the flow arts and the flow arts include slacklining and yoga and meditation and Tai Chi so they had rock climbing and all these cool flow arts including laughter yoga I got to lead several sessions out there so what's gonna happen in this lecture here today is as I said it's interactive so the first about half of it is gonna be me talking about laughter yoga telling you about laughter yoga but I want you to at least get the juices flowing a little bit so before we get into any of the talkee talkee part I need everybody to just repeat after me it's very simple ha [Laughter] what you all have engaged in give yourselves a round of applause you just engaged in unconditional laughter we I didn't say you have to be happy I didn't say here's a joke and I want you to laugh I just said laugh and you did it started out with just repeating ha ha ha and it went into laughter and I could tell after about the third iteration people out here were just openly laughing why because I just got a whole group of adult people in a room up at the University of Alaska campus to go ha ha ha ha ha the fun has just started trust me all right so we talked about unconditional laughter so laughter yoga is two things it's unconditional laughter plus yogic breathing what's called yoga prana or yoga pranayama you may have heard that if you ever see people doing yoga pranayama purely they're undulating their bellies and their diaphragms and they're doing these weird almost Lamaze like breathing exercises and we'll talk about why they're doing that but the first part is this unconditional laughter so what is unconditional after it's easiest to describe it as oh it's or sorry conditional after to start with what we adults uh engage in mostly is conditional I tell you a joke you think it's funny that's a condition you laugh you see somebody fall down you think it's funny you laugh things like that so you have to put conditions on whether you laugh or not right everybody's following on the idea of conditional laughter what we do in laughter Yoga is we try and trigger unconditional laughter that's childlike laughter that's laughter just for the sake of laughing just like what we did haha that is unconditional laughter just laughing for the sake of laughter so more on that here in just a little bit so we talked about the unconditional laughter and then the yogic breathing now yogic breathing is conscious mindful breathing so everybody do this with me I need you to breathe in through your nose hold it hold it and just let it out you just engaged in a yogic deep breathe not hey laughter yoga yogic deep breathe which you'll find out the difference in just a moment but the goal as it says here is you're trying to exhale twice as much air as you're inhaling now that's unconscious breathing you can't do that over and over that's physically impossible but what we're trying to do in yogic breathing is we're trying to push stale air out of our lungs everybody everybody's sitting in this room has at least thirty to forty percent of the air in their lungs that's stale we're lazy breathers where you have terrible posture we slouch we sit in front of computer screens all the time all of that inhibits good air flow getting into your lungs so it's a very simple concept we use the diaphragm in our belly muscles and our core muscles like a bellows pump we laughs foolhardy belly laughter now I want you to do this with me again but this time we're gonna say ho ho and I want when we say it to everybody press on their diaphragm if you can find your diaphragm and you should feel it jump it you go ho very good now if you are doing it right you feel your belly bouncing up and down and just from that little bit you're probably working out your your abs just a little bit you might even feel a little bit of a burn this is an aerobic and cardiovascular exercise when we engage in purposeful unconditional laughter okay so we're gonna get much more into the yogic breathing here in just a little bit as we get into the experiential part but the application of laughing and yogic breathing produces what dr. Kataria who we'll learn about in just a moment says is a completely unique mind body experience and anybody the engaged in laughter yoga so by a show of hands even if you haven't done it with me who here is he has done a laughter yoga session raise your hands okay so there's a few folks it's the only exercise and it truly is an exercise it's the only exercise that I've described where you get immediate benefits right from the beginning so already I can guarantee that all of you have endorphins more endorphins flowing through your bloodstream now than what you did when you walked in here why because as soon as the human body recognizes that we are engaging in a laughter activity whether it's our body bouncing in silent laughter or just saying ho ho and ha ha repeatedly a little bit your body has started releasing endorphins it's told itself oh we're laughing that feels good we're gonna release some endorphins now it is not a whole lot if you think of a faucet we've just barely turned it's just trickling out it's barely dripping out as we engage in more laughter it produces more and more endorphins and it starts doing some of these other great things that we'll talk about that's really awesome for the body so the history of laughter yoga laughter Yoga was started in 1995 in Mumbai India by a guy named dr. Madan Kataria he's a medical doctor and back in the 90s he was studying why no matter how well people ate no matter how much they exercise no matter how good they lived they did everything right supposedly that you're supposed to do and they were still getting sick why well he theorized and it's been held up ever since and actually this last study of laughter started way back in the 60s that's where dr. Qatari really started researching he started in 95 but he was going all the way back to nineteen sixties research showing the physical effects of laughter on the human body and those slides that I showed you about conditional and unconditional laughter those were actually slides from a 2007 study done on the chemical affects the blood chemical effects of laughter and we'll get into that just real briefly but it started in 1995 when he realized I need to come up with a way for people to be happy happy and well in his words joyful which is unconditional happiness so he developed a humor based laughter program he called five of his friends and he said show up at the park and it was one of their downtown parks and Mumbai said show up at the park at five o'clock in the morning and bring a couple of jokes with you doesn't matter they don't have to be good jokes just bring jokes so five of his friends showed up in this park in Mumbai and they would stand in a circle and he had given them some instructions he said I'm gonna tell a joke and I want everybody to just go hahahaha it doesn't have to be real just I want you to simulate this laughter so they would start out and one person would say you know why did the chicken cross the playground and everybody would go why and to get to the other slide and then they would go to the next person who would tell a terrible joke and the next person here's the problem as doctor could tell you because Tarija tells it they ran out of clean jokes in about five days so then it started going to less clean jokes and more offensive jokes and all the people that had started coming for this crazy thing were they just watch people laughing and they they were intrigued started drifting away so he had to figure out a way to get the same benefits of laughing based on humor but a way to simulate it to make it unconditional laughter for no reason no stimulation and that's how he with his wife Midori Midori is a longtime yogi and has formed this partnership of laughter yoga with dr. Kataria they developed this hacia yoga this idea of laughter and breathing combined for this great physical mind-body benefit that leaves you energized that leaves you a happy that can fight stress and do all these other great things all right so that's how laughter yoga started where is it now there are over seven thousand laughter yoga clubs in over a hundred and eight countries so that's over half the world there's over seven thousand clubs now I will be upfront eighty percent of them are in Asia India a lot of them in Thailand Singapore Vietnam but there are about 1500 laughter yoga clubs estimated in the US you all in Alaska there is only one and it's here every Thursday so in addition to running laughter yoga and teaching it and in corporations and and things like that I run a free weekly Club every Thursday over at Raven Landing senior setting Center building number four absolutely free it's from twelve ten to twelve fifty every Thursday you can come there's no attendance where we don't keep track if you can show up show up if you can't no big deal we have about 15 to 20 regular attendees that that have been coming for about a year and one of them in fact I think she's even one of my quotes here yeah this is amazing I walked in with low energy in a foggy mind I skipped out feeling wide awake and full of energy and was ready to quit her job she was really bummed out her boss was really bumming her out she started coming to laughter yoga cuz I knew her from something else that said just come and try it you'll be amazed not only does she not wanting to quit her job she just got promoted now I'm not saying that laughter yoga did that I'm just saying I hope it put her in a better frame of mind to get her I'm not making any guarantees of future successes based on your short participation in laughter yoga one of my other very favorite quotes laughed so hard I almost peed my pants and she did not she didn't pee her pants she almost peed her pants this is teal anybody know teal Rodgers does the aerial silks in town runs Golden Heart Performing Arts she was one of my very first students uh and she's come to every class that she can she's a very busy lady right now we were down in Valdez at the rock and flow festival together I had to get her a sign and I wanted to put it on here but she couldn't take a picture she hadn't hung it yet I'd said I laughed so hard the tears ran down my leg which I thought was really amazing so so what happens when we laugh and I'm gonna go through a few of the in more detail but a lot of this is going to be through the experiential what your what you're gonna feel when we start engaging in laughter but some of the stuff that you're gonna see is a greater flow of the of oxygen to our brain as we talked about in yogic breathing we're trying to push all the stale air out through our laughter exercise and then through the yogic deep breathing we're replacing that stale layer with fresh air fresh air has fresh oxygen fresh oxygen to your brain gives you a mood boost in an energy boost just from the deep breathing part and refreshing the lungs the other part is the more energy you're going to be getting the energy from both the oxygen increase as well as the endorphin boost that you're getting from the laughter exercise as well more motivation can a better connection laughter is is a great medicine everybody's heard that I won't say it's the best medicine because I'm sure there's other medicines that are better for life-threatening diseases but laughter is a pretty darn good medicine nod with me if you can agree that yeah okay it's even a whole section in The Reader's Digest and they know what they're talking about so laughter so really it's a really good medicine and it's also a great social thing when we engage in laughter and we're making eye contact with people in the laughter group with us it increases those and strengthens those bonds and that's a really really key component as a side a side benefit but really a primary benefit of laughter a lot of this other stuff relieving of stress strengthens the immune system studies have been shown you get sick less if you laugh more your body's immune system is boosted through the simple act of laughter so again this is a mic making this up this is science says that you get sick less if you laugh more I think that's amazing all right we're zooming through but we're really about halfway through our program so we need to start talking about some contraindications of laughter and yes I do need to say this because laughter should not hurt but you can overexert yourself all right so when we're doing our laughter exercises a few things to keep in mind we should be doing full hearty belly laughter everybody do it with me say ho ho ho oh-ho-ho ha ha ha ha ha alright that foolhardy belly laughter right alright so if we start doing that and we're doing a laughter exercise and you start getting a cramp or you start feeling a pain or you get short of breath or you start feeling dizzy or anything that doesn't feel like laughter should stop it can't be any clearer than that you're doing it too hard now we're not going to be getting that aggressive and vigorous in this class this is more of a taste of laughter exercises but there is something called runaway laughter it's an actual condition people you've heard the giggles everybody get the runaway giggles well what can happen is you can get runaway laughter have you ever been in a class when we had somebody it hasn't happened for a while but we had this one particular lady that she would laugh so hard she would have to sit down and she would almost pass out and I mean I was a new laughter yoga instructor I don't want to just walk up and slap somebody that's I mean that's just but really how do you get somebody out of there running away like running away laughter so what happens is think of like eh laughter hiccup um is really what's happening is uh so if you feel any of then stop doing it you're doing it too hard okay all right so no more about contraindications I do like this quote from dr. Kataria this is the the man himself I have not seen anyone dying of laughter but I know millions who are dying because they're not laughing and that's really true science has proven over and over and over again if you have a happier frame of mind you live a better more fulfilled life now doesn't mean you make more money doesn't mean that you're more successful it means you live a better more fulfilled life I can tell you that laughter yoga has changed my life personally I was always a happy guy thank you I was always a happy guy as I said before and you saw on the screen I'm an Elvis impersonator and a clown and I play the ukulele and I do all this other stuff but even still everybody has that little nagging doubt and the bad thoughts well just through the simple act of laughter it is managed to reduce a lot of that I feel of the ability to deal with things better if that's the most scientific way to say it why because I've learned a powerful tool and it looks like this and you just turn it off just like that see so you use laughter as a tool now it doesn't mean that if somebody stressing you out you'll look at them and go ah that's a really good way to get into a fight but you use laughter as a tool more about that here in a moment so there's in as laughter yoga session there's four distinct phases we're only gonna probably do three of them although we'll touch on the fourth one through one of our exercises but the basic phases we do warm-ups because this is an aerobic and cardiovascular exercise we do some laughter clapping which I'll teach you how to clap here in a moment and then the laughter exercises themselves now usually in an hour session you do about five to ten minutes of the first couple of things and the bulk of it is the laughter exercise is 30 to 40 minutes of solid laughter exercises that's where you get a really good maximum health and and in physical and psychological benefit the last part is laughter meditation and yes it's a real thing but what you just saw me engaging in is what laughter meditation its natural laughter I feel the laughter inside I live the laughter and it's always bubbling just below the surface I'm able to just bring it out anytime I want I know it's it's a little creepy to watch but but trust me the power will soon be yours all right all right so as I said namaste means the spirit within me honors the spirit within you in laughter yoga we have a slightly different version we like to say that the funny bone in me tickles the funny bone in you and we bring it together in a gesture of humor and we say Hamas stay so Hamas stay everybody now the reason that I'm sure this is I would like everybody to put their hands together like I know aren't they adorable those I I wish they were my dogs I love that little patch Adams dog I just want to know George oh good boy all right so the reason that I'm teaching you the namaste hand gesture is this is how we're going to clap alright so when we clap we want to make sure that we're making full hand to hand finger to finger palm to palm good solid you shouldn't be breaking your hands but definitely it should be nice and good solid clapping alright now if we were just continue to do this this would be really boring and we'd all probably get tired and we'd all stop down go ahead and hold your fingers up anybody's hands tingling raise your hands up a little bit if they're tingling almost everybody's hands should be tingling what we have done is we've activated acupressure points and our fingers that is stimulating circulation in yoga they believe you're activating your Chi you're feeling your Chi flow through the simple act of laughter and clapping now what we're going to do is we're going to start off with some basic shoulder rolls let me get to the right screen so you can see a little idea now this is now dr. Kataria is the guy right here in the middle I get a little fanboy crush thing going on he's one of the most approachable guys in the world and he has Skyped with me and contacted me last year he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize folks for his work with laughter yoga and we'll talk about why here in a moment but to get an email where he calls me Mike the great I was ago he called me Mike the great I know it's ridiculous all right so we're gonna start off with some shoulder rolls now I'm gonna teach you as part of these shoulder rolls the four basic laughter sounds now you can if you would like feel free to stand up and I'm gonna try and have everybody do it at once if if you are going to stand up you do not need to everything that we're gonna do you can do seated but if you want to get the full benefit to be able to move around as fully as possible go ahead and stand up if you're gonna do that let's do that now so that we can have to get give the cameraman a chance to curse me out and readjust if needed all right so we're gonna start out with some really basic shoulder rolls and this is just a nice easy right shoulder just a backwards motion now when we do this this is our hahaha shoulder now when we're doing this do this to your ability level I've got a bad shoulder so you're gonna see on my left shoulder I can't do this nice full motion so we'll do it to your ability level this is your hahaha shoulder we're gonna go alright stop now I know left shoulder we're gonna make that same motion and this is our Santa Claus shoulder this is the ho ho ho shoulder so remember hearty belly laugh alright stop now on the right shoulder we're gonna go the opposite motion if you're going backwards go forward if you're going forward to go backward now this is our little kids shoulder this is the he shoulders we're gonna go all right now stop now the last motion on the other shoulder go opposite this is the creepy weasel this is the all right now everybody all together we're gonna start on the right it goes hah Oh nicely done now I need to teach you I taught you how to clap I need to teach you how to end one exercise and move into the next one and it's through a simple pattern called ho ho hahaha everybody say that with me ho ho hahaha alright so we had started making some of those motions and sounds earlier we're gonna combine that with our laughter clapping everybody remembers the full putt of the full palm to Paul alright so we're gonna go now whose heart rate is up just a little bit yeah breathing a little bit it's a little stuffy in here so that's contributing but I kid you not we just sat there and clapped and said ho ho ha ha ha and we got our heart rate up now it's time to do the second part which is the deep yogic breathing everybody remember we talked about that so what we're gonna do is we're gonna make the namaste posture and this is called the mountain deep breathe so whenever we breathe in we breathe in through our nose when we breathe in for this posture we're gonna raise our hands up over our head we're gonna hold it I'm going to say hold it hold it we're getting oxygen exchange then we're gonna laugh it out not breathe out that's boring we waste all that air it's easier to show you than to explain it so just follow along everybody little breath out breathe in hold it hold it nicely done alright now let's do that again what I want you to remember is with yogic breathing remember we're trying to exhale twice as much as we inhale right so I want you to find that natural spot where you want to stop laughing and just go a couple of haha spaz that alright push a little bit of extra air out this one will be a lot easier because we've already brought our heart rate down just a little bit so back into that mom posture little breath out breathe in hold it hold it very good all right so we have done some laughter clapping we've done some deep breathing I need to still teach you that mechanism to go between one exercise and another so we're gonna do three ho ho hahaha all right followed by a childlike show of exuberance all right and that looks like this yay okay so we're gonna do three ho ho hahaha followed by yeah you guys ready I know you can do it nicely done now you're gonna hear me either say that or you may hear me say very good very good yay whenever you hear either one of those start doing it with me until everybody is doing that in the room everybody got it alright so next on the list is laughter practice no we did a little bit of that with learning our four laughter sounds but really what this is is this is a chance to get used to looking somebody in the eye and laughing with them now you notice I say laughing with them what did I not say at them we never laugh at people in laughter yoga what we want to do is we want to share in the laughter Linda would you like to come down here and be my willing assistant give her a round of applause all right so what we want to do with with laughter practice is we just want to because you all have never been in one of my classes before I just want you to get used to just looking some in the eye just that so find a partner just do a little bit of ho ho haha laughing you can do whatever and when you hear me ho ho hahaha then and do the three then throw your hands up and say yay so find a partner [Laughter] [Applause] all right now everybody go ahead and have a seat have a seat don't worry the laughter is not done I just want to give you a little bit of a break we're gonna do a little more talking we're gonna do just a quick deep breathe oh right where you're sitting we're gonna do what's called a couple ends insetting to breathe in through our nose and blow it out then we're gonna breathe in through our nose and blow it out then we're gonna breathe in and hold it and hold it and laugh it out alright so little breath out breathe in last one hold it hold it hold it great you guys are doing amazing all right so I I grew up in Chicago and I used to go and watch The Oprah Show back when she first started so I need everybody to look underneath their seats and you're gonna find this amazing invisible jar it looks like a jar a hand cream I need you to just reach under there it looks oh it's about this size now ladies and gentlemen boys and girls children of all ages you are so lucky what you hold in your hands today is from the makers of laughter lard laughter cream laughter powder this is laughter lotion 2.0 that's right ladies and gentlemen laughter lotion now this is highly concentrated stuff the mere touch of laughter lotion to your skin causes instantaneous laughter so I need you to use the utmost caution that's why children were not encouraged to be in this class we made a special exception she's very bright but but mostly not able for kids right so I need everybody to just very clear carefully unscrew that jar all right now hold the lid up I need everybody all right now just throw that behind you you're not gonna need that anymore well safety first look behind you before you throw things now I just need you to take one finger and just dip it in your skin on your finger is very thick so you're not gonna feel the effect yeah it's get a little giggly to start but you're gonna hold up but I want you to just pick somewhere on your face don't stick it in any noses or eyes or ears or anything like that but just now get a little bit more on it [Laughter] so let's talk about yay why do we say yay well it's because we're trying to reengage that childlike sense of play as I said when we were kids we used to laugh on average three to four hundred times a day for no reason unconditional laughter just think of something funny and you just and you're just laughing because you're laughing cuz you're a kid and it's cool to be a kid well as we get older we start laughing less and we start getting to the only time that we're laughing is conditional laughter where we have to watch something or have something happen or how to see something happen to somebody else and find that funny so just by the simple act of throwing our hands up in the air and yelling yay that's a simple way to reengage that childlike sense of play because as I mentioned three to four hundred times a day that was a study done back in the 80s anybody want to guess what the 2015 study was but a little higher than that but it was about less than 75 times a day is what kids are laughing at naturally now less than a hundred times in a 3 to 400 back in the 80s so terrible so we need to get everybody laughing more that's why in India they actually have laughter yoga as part of their school curriculum there's a couple of tests Praja they have a somebody called a laughter ambassador paid for by the Indian government who goes and teaches laughter yoga in schools here's the cool thing some of the stuffs you'd expect there they're listening better they're more well behaved but they're also seeing that by engaging in laughter yoga right at the beginning of the school day and right after lunch the kids are learning better their retention scores are higher a lot higher like 50 and 60% higher why because they're getting more oxygen and they're able to focus because this is a great stress reliever so we talked about the endorphins and the oxygen but let's talk about cortisol anybody ever heard of cortisol cortisol is a stress enzyme it's in your blood it's a it is evidence of you being under stress now we're all under stress to certain degrees at any given time cortisol when it when it's at high levels in your body it causes all kinds of bad things laughter yoga in that study I was talking about in 2007 when they were studying the blood chemistry they showed about a 30 to 40 percent reduction or suppression of cortisol levels through laughter yoga why because we when we laughs more were stressed less some other great things when we laugh our body secretes acetic acid that's a vasodilator so even though our heart rate is going up our blood pressure is going down and they've shown it can go down by tens of points so 20 30 points sometimes in one laughter yoga class now this isn't dr. McGillicuddy's a snake oil I've not shown or seen anything that laughter yoga cures anything but it certainly makes a big difference in a lot of things I am an asthmatic I've had a inhaler with me to varying degrees my entire life I use my inhaler less now why I don't know maybe it's the clear mountain Fairbanks air right you know sure yeah we'll go ahead no I mean honestly I think it's because I'm breathing better because I'm engaging in this conscious breathing and laughter exercises okay so we we've gone through a laughter cream lion laughter now this one I need to take my glasses off because you guys can stay seated for this one but this is a pretty specific laughter exercise that is designed to clear out the bottom two lobes of your lungs so I need everybody put their hands up in the claws of a lion need you to open your eyes really wide now the really important part here is you got to open your mouth and stick your tongue out and go [Applause] [Laughter] [Applause] see I hear a lot of lung clearing on that one usually gets me coffin too but you can see just in these little bits of exercise now normally when we're doing a lion laughs in a laughter class we're gonna do that for a good minute minute and a half it's an extended amount of time because that's when you're getting the maximum amount in fact the students are usually saying Mike when are you gonna stop because your your muscles are starting to almost cramp up because that deep hard press so it's a great quick exercise silent laughter one of my very favorite ones and this is one of the ones that I teach as a tool you don't have to engage in that kind of laughter when you find yourself under stress I'm gonna teach you a daily affirmation it's up on the up on the list too and that one's powerful but you can just engage in easy silent laughter it looks like this now what I'm doing though is I'm engaging my core muscles right I'm still doing full hearty belly laughter but I'm trying to do it without making a sound are you guys ready to try some silent laughter okay go ahead and stand up if you'd like sorry cameraman alright so what what you you don't have to make eye contact but it is a lot more fun when you're when you're doing so but just try and do foolhardy belly laughter try not to make a sound very good very good all right well yeah go ahead and stay go ahead and stay standing do we need a deep breathe let's do a deep breathe let's put our hands out in front of us when we breathe in we're gonna bring our fingers in towards our chin and lean back slightly that's opening up our lungs as much as we can everybody little breath out breathe in hold it [Laughter] nicely done alright so the next exercise we're gonna do is called progressive laughter easiest way to think about this is it's layers on or levels on a stove so we're gonna start out at a low flame barely a chuckle huh oh just like that okay and then I'm gonna say and then and you're gonna kick it up one notch and I'm gonna say and then and that's where you're about a medium high flame and then I'm gonna say into then at the top level that is did you show where the bathrooms were in here you should know where the bathrooms are for that top level okay that's all I it's too late now just hold on and then I'm gonna bring you back down to that bear chuckling with with saying and then our again okay so we start out very basic low chuckle and then [Laughter] [Applause] [Laughter] nicely done alright we are we have a few more laughter exercises to do do we want to do another deep breather let's move on to the other one next one huh alright so the next one that we have is magic trick now this is one that I try and teach everybody because I want you to go home and say hey I did laughter yoga and as they're dialing the authorities to have you hauled away you can say no no no I swear it's a real thing so this one I'm gonna teach you all a magic trick are you ready for this you have to pay very close attention it's highly technical if you miss it I'll try and do it for the audience in the back of you can't see you guys don't need to hold your fingers up like this I need you to hold your hands out like this okay I'm gonna hold mine up like this so everybody can see we're gonna make a transition sound as we bring our fingers together it goes like this we go all right so we're gonna do that twice and then the third time is when the magic happens all right so everybody pay attention we go all right I see some blank looks if you missed it we go all right now we can we can double our pleasure on here we go ready one more time [Laughter] all right let's do another deep breathe we're gonna go back to our Mountain deep breathe so we're gonna make the namaste sign remember as we breathe in we're trying to get as much air into our lungs as we can so we start with this little breath out try and blow all the air out you've got breathe in hold it hold it [Laughter] very nicely done all right this next one that we're gonna do is the daily affirmation and this is one of my very favorites it's spread all around Fairbanks already and I'll tell you about full saturation here in a little bit go ahead and sit down for this one although when we actually do it you may want to stand back up I'll leave that up to you but I'm gonna teach you the daily affirmation and it's very easy it goes you are amazing and I love that about you very simple say that with me you are amazing and I love that about you very simple easy to remember the motions and what you do though is what makes it memorable so I'm gonna teach you in a couple of different phases I'm just gonna show you first and then I'm gonna have you pick a point off in the distance to do the daily affirmation so here's the way it works you find something what I do is I pretend I do this every morning when I wake up I look in the mirror and I tell myself this daily affirmation so find the mirror and tell yourself you are amazing okay you guys got that I'll do it one more time so you can see over here goes you amazing and I love that about you okay I see a lot of people got that already so what I want you to do is I want you to pick a point off in the distance do not look anybody in the eye yet you cannot handle that yet trust me so just pick a point off in the distance if you need I can handle it you can direct it all to me because I already know I'm pretty amazing people tell me that all the time I'm such a humble person I tell you so but here's how it goes so everybody do it with me goes you I tell you start your day off with that it doesn't have to be allowed you don't have to let your spouse or significant other or your dog know just look at yourself in the mirror and go you are amazing and I love that it's gonna change your life now here's Phase two I need you to find a partner preferably somebody you don't know because it's so much more fun that way and you're gonna tell each other that daily affirmation because truly everybody is amazing and we love that about everybody so if you want go ahead and stand up find a partner don't go rogue don't do it before anybody is ready but I want you to look and lock deep into somebody's eyes do it does everybody have a partner all right is everybody ready for this you [Applause] all right now find another partner tell another person tell tree tell three people at once on your own [Applause] [Laughter] alright now phase three you're challenged Fred Meyer checkout the bank the fair is going on there are a lot of people that need to know how amazing they are walk up to a perfect stranger and just tell them with everything that you have you you'll meet friends you'll get on list it'll be amazing now I make the joke do it at the TSA line I don't joke about that anymore I don't want to be on that list but alright so take that take that with you you are amazing and I love that about you it's one of my very very favorite affirmations it really does make you feel better it can change your life if you want to feel better more often you need to engage in laughter more often people that come once it's great they feel good then they forget how good they feel until they come the next week and they tell themselves oh that's right that felt great I should come and then life happens and then like ah it takes three or four weeks to get back boy I can't believe how grouchy I got in between these weeks that I didn't come and I tell them I know see you just got to come more and more often but really I can all I'm only one person and I can't run seven day a week laughter yoga so that's why I want you to take the laughter back with you so here's the thing about stress we talked about stress a little bit in my studies of organizational psychology I learned a couple of things about stress management that are pretty easy to understand there's really two parts to stress management we're trying to prevent stress from happening and then we're trying to deal with stress once it happens well we can't remove all the stress from our lives or would we want to a stress-free life would be a pretty boring life right I can I mean you can somewhat agree with that stress is what gives us a competitive edge stress is what helps us make deadlines stress is what allows the mother to lift the car up op well that's adrenalin and superpowers sorry I think there was a spider bite bite involved in that also but no you understand stress can be a good thing and actually in science it's called eustress you stresses good stress distress is bad stress any you stress over time and with a lot of repetition and certain pressures turns into distress so even people that say oh I thrive on stress they can for a brief amount of time but that you stress will almost always turn into distress unless you have a way to deal with it so remember we had stopping stress before it happens and then dealing with it once it does so in my research there's one thing that everybody agrees is the kind of the universal tool for and believe it or not it's not just laughter yoga I know that would have been perfect but is perfect for dealing with both sides and that is meditation and and basically yoga the flow arts remember going back to that flow arts finding something that engages mindfulness mindfulness is a Buddhist pursuit that involves a deep contemplative meditation Tai Chi martial arts but really anything that makes you mindful of focusing on one thing now I found that laughter when you combine that idea of laughter with the yoga for the laughter yoga stuff that's been powerful for me but that may not be for everybody but going back to those two purposes of dealing with stress peak or deal trying to prevent stress if you think about who here takes regular yoga or any of those flow arts that I mentioned any eight I'd cheese or meditations or anything so you can probably appreciate what I'm talking about you are in a better frame of mind generally from taking that taking part in that activity now that could also be reading or crafting or cooking or any of these things that give you a measure of relief all right so think about this is a universal fool you want to find something that helps you prevent that stress from happening but then you can't just whip out your salad shooter and create something at work when you're under stress and be like excuse me I'm a foodie I need to cook I'm under stress and make up some brownies that just doesn't work you can say excuse me I need to go wash my hands and go to the bathroom and go wow I feel way better okay what can I help you with now it told me again how I'm wrong so you understand you can use laughter for both things by engaging and laughter on a regular basis and specifically for me I'm plugging laughter yoga but by engaging in laughter yoga on a regular basis you're better able to handle the stresses that come on and on as an everyday life but then you're also given tools that you can use to deal with stress as you feel it coming on as part of your workday so another little tool that I want to teach you everybody used to play the zipper game when you're on car rides right your zippers closed you can't talk alright so one of our last laughter yoga exercises I want everybody to pretend that they have a zipper on their mouth and when it's open [Laughter] very good very good all right so we're running a little over so I guess I have to stop I know so there's three basic reasons we engage in laughter yoga and these are developed these were as they were developed by dr. Kataria we've talked about the great and good health benefits of laughter yoga your heart rates gone up you've gotten an exercise just from coming to a lecture how cool is that give yourselves a round of applause you didn't even know second is happiness and joy just like we have conditional and unconditional laughter we have conditional and unconditional happiness all right conditional happiness is just that it's happiness it's happy you have to choose to be happy or unhappy things have to happen to you to make you happy or unhappy what we're going for and laughter Yoga is unconditional happiness which is what we call joy so you hopefully leave this class way happier than when you came in with a smile on your face talking about what a great thing it was but when you come and do it more and more often on a regular basis that happiness turns into joy that's somebody who is wanting to quit their job now doesn't want to quit their job because they've learned how to laugh all right and finally the last thing is called its world peace through laughter and dr. Qatari has a really awesome quote and he says when you laugh you change when you change the whole world changes and through that we can create world peace if I have passed on just a little bit of an ability to help you guys laugh and you can go and take that and teach other people just a little bit of how to laugh and spread that around the world remember 7,000 clubs all around the world we can create world peace through laughter that's why dr. Qatari was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his laughter movement now a lot of people are nominated he didn't get the award apparently but Wow nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize I mean that's pretty cool for something as simple as figuring out a way to beat stress be happier be healthier and live a more fulfilled life through something as simple as exercise laughter so I hope you all have enjoyed the the series we have some time we don't have to get out of here right away right we have some time for Q&A or if you have any clear efficient questions or the laughter meditation you know we did we didn't really get to do that phase all after meditation is is natural laughter and I've done it several times throughout here let's engage we're gonna do just about 15 seconds it just looks like this now must everybody that is laughter meditation that is really what it is we do engage we engage in natural laughter laughter for the sake of laughing I'm not telling you to do or act a certain way I'm not giving you a game to do just just laughing questions I did I see other hands go up I'm gonna put my glasses back on I can kind of see out there but you know yes it's a two day certification I actually flew down to Chicago there are certified master trainers that have been trained by dr. Kataria and so it's a it's just a simple full two day training where you learn how to run a laughter yoga session I had a little up I've run summer camps and and group activities for a long time so it was pretty natural transition for me to stand up in front of a group and say do this and laugh and and all that but the two day training really provides that foundation here in December I'm actually going to be flying down to Laguna Beach California and I'll be getting my laughter yoga teacher certification I will not be a master trainer where I'll be able to train teachers but I will be a teacher will I will be able to train people in the two days certification part of my mission of spreading mirth on earth I'm starting here in the last frontier of Alaska so that is that is the essence of why I'm doing what I'm doing and why I'm standing here I really truly believe that if more people laughed we'd have a lot less problems in the world and take that for whatever it is you you fill in the blank but if we engaged in laughter more conscious laughter again not laughing at people but laughing about things and laughing just for the sake of laughing and just engaging in that hearty that kind of laughter we could truly change the world so do you want to engage them one more laughter exercise all right this one's easy pretend you're holding two glasses in your hand this is a game cut well it's after eight it's called cocktail sometimes it's called milkshake but it's called cocktail so we have to aerate our cocktail so we're gonna make that transition sound and we're gonna pour from one glass to the other we're gonna go and then we're gonna pour it back and we're gonna go ahead and then we're gonna kick it back thank you all very much yes other questions my class on Thursdays is from 1210 to 1250 so it's designed to be a lunchtime program so people can get off lunch run over to Raven Landing do 40 minutes of intense laughter and get back to work in time for the one o'clock but then if you have an open schedule I have a one o'clock to 130 class that's also a raven landing the only difference is the noon class is standing up the one o'clock class is half the time and it's sitting down both of them are a riot we have a lot of people that will come for the first and just stay for the for the second and that's great that I have in my senior program a 97 year old and a 19 month old in the same class and Sylvia she was terrified when she first started coming there was the younger one the 97 year old may have been terrified too but her name wasn't Sylvia but she used to be terrified especially when we do lion laughter that she would scream now she stands in the middle of the circle and she's gone yet so Thursdays 12:10 21250 over Raven Landing building number four yes sir unless you're in a house all by yourself and then it's really really creepy [Laughter] laughter is a really amazing thing actually they've shown that the great apes actually laugh and they've shown that even going down into the lower primates like chimpanzees and some of the lesser great apes they all laugh and they've shown this study was just done in 2014 where the the it's laughter stimulus they're actually laughing at each other which we know is not right but try and tell that to a monkey but but one poor like a monkey will do something funny and another one will start laughing and then it's contagious and it'll spread throughout the troop and they've shown it it's amazing to watch laughter is a universal Connection we all laugh in the same language Yakov Smirnoff said that said that actually think about it how do you laugh in Chinese how do you laugh in Arabic are you laughing Italian how do you laugh in Swedish yeah laughter is a universal language and it's a universal connector so engage in that laughter spread the laughter spread mirth on earth if you would if you if you talked to somebody and you talk about laughter yoga direct him to my website laughter ship net I've got cards up here and and pamphlets here if anybody who wants to grab something to contact me after I love coming out to groups and telling them the laughter yoga messaging and engaging with groups and teaching them stress management techniques through laughter laughter ship is actually laughter and leadership combined I truly believe in the power of leadership combined with laughter science has proven that you're a happier more productive less sick more on time and less turnover workforce when you're engaging in laughter and you're happy I want it so truly laughter is good business right I mean it's a good business sense but unfortunately who here has ever worked in the dun dunnnnn office where you walk in and you just expect funeral music to be playing and lurched open the door and you know we've all worked in those environments right you walk into my office not at all we have laughing staff not because we're joking around we're still doing our jobs but I've taught my folks and how to not take themselves so seriously because really when you stop taking yourself seriously a lot of other things take care of themselves so I'm gonna leave you with that again thank you I'll stick around if anybody wants to chat with me or grab information but thank you again namaste have a great evening Thanks

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