Health And Family

Oh, la la, Laughter Yoga goes to school

LAUGHINGLY YOURS - Elvie Estavillo -

It was a joyful, laughter- and fun-filled afternoon! When we arrived at St. James Academy in Malabon, it was already packed with students, administration employees, teachers, and school officials numbering about 370, which coincidentally was the same number of participants we had in Cagayan de Oro. The academy, which was founded by the Maryknoll Sisters, celebrated its glorious-and-highly successful 85th Foundation Year last October.

Since the Laughter Yoga session was scheduled at 2:30 p.m., I was not able to take my usual afternoon nap, and I felt “low-bat” and sleepy. To perk me up, I did Laughter Yoga clapping in the car and upon arrival at the school, voila! Like magic, I was energized! The sight of the excited 370 participants instantly inspired me, not to mention the pressure to give all that I could to live up to their expectations, as they had been scheduling the session since a few months ago. I uttered a short prayer and began. I knew there were a few bishops and sisters in attendance.

To ensure that all participants would see me demonstrate the different kinds of laughter, I went up the stage with some participants joining me. Right at the very start, one could feel the participants’ high energy, raring for action. Young and old alike leaped, swayed, clapped, and danced as they did the positive chanting as well as the different kinds of laughter demonstrated to them. They were so stimulated that they initiated the positive chanting in between the kinds of laughter. Ha ha ha! I just followed their rhythm and momentum.

It was indeed thrilling to see members of the religious orders do the laughter exercises and positive chanting just like the young ones. Seeing many participants wearing spectacles, I shared with them some eyesight exercises, which I do religiously to this day. We did the palming for a few minutes, combined with proper breathing, and, to their pleasant surprise, after taking their hands off saying, “wow,” they saw things clearer.  

They roared and clapped approvingly when I mentioned it has been eight years that I have been freed from wearing two pairs of eyeglasses.    

Some participants, especially the students, who could not contain their excitement, would every now and then hilariously jump for joy. Even the technicians manning the sound system on the ground floor were seen participating delightfully, and asked those on the mezzanine if they were following. Laughter is indeed contagious!

The participants were amazed to discover the many healthful benefits of Laughter Yoga, which I am enumerating in response to those who had been emailing me about them: Laughter Yoga lifts depression, boosts the immune system, clears the air passages, helps lower cholesterol level, helps reduce stress level, cultivates positivism, and enhances optimism.

They also enjoyed the numerous trivia shared with them: One minute of mirthful laughter is like doing 10 minutes of cardio workout on a rowing machine; 10 minutes of hearty laughter is equivalent to 30 minutes of cardio workout on a rowing machine. They broke into hilarious laughter when I mentioned that one Laughter Yoga session can burn as much as 300 calories!

Some very inspiring and motivating comments from the participants:

• Sr. Jo Dumapias, OPAng saya! Super saya! I felt great and relaxed. Congratulations to the speaker! More power and God bless you, Ms. Elvie.

Rosalinda M. Cupuyan: This is the only seminar where we did not feel sleepy. Everybody was alive, alert, and enthusiastic. There was joy and laughter in everyone. We really enjoyed every minute of our Laughter Yoga seminar with Ms. Elvie. We will really do what we learned from her, and for sure, we will benefit a lot.

Sr. Aida T. Frencillo, OP: Great! It was worth my time and a must for both young and old!

Cris Garcia: The workshop was amazing and thrilling! Kudos to Ms. Estavillo!

Jovy San Pablo: Indeed, laughter is a medicine where everyone can get relaxed, and find solutions to problems, be it physical, mental, and emotional. Try to make it a part of your life.

• Renante Cealleres: Laughter Yoga is good for the health, it’s like physical exercise, and generates good feelings! I am grateful to have experienced it. Thank you for the Laughter Yoga experience.

Lead a LYoga club in your area, company, or organization. Register now for the 2nd LYoga leadership training seminar on April 14-15, 2012 in Tagaytay City. Limited slots are available for this life-changing experience. For more info on past LYoga sessions and for this seminar, visit www.laughteryogaphils.com. E-mail me at laughteryogaclub.phils@gmail.com Want to laugh and relax? Visit youtube: lycphohohahaha.

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