Laughter Yoga Stories
Happy Story! Here you will find personal, cheerful, special and unique stories about and around laughter yoga. Have fun browsing and reading!
This page is intended as a constantly evolving document. You are all cordially invited to participate and to contribute your texts. The text length of the individual texts is not specified and different styles are also welcome. The stories should be touching, unique, or special, or funny, humorous. Feel free to send us your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking forward to it!
Curtain up for laughter stories
Table of contents
- Robert Meisner | Children's little noses at the window
- Heidelore Geitner | not translated yet
- Gundula Krause | How I discovered laughter yoga ... and the (late) consequences
- Sylke Hartmann | Project lessons in happiness - very sustainable
- Gabriela Leppelt-Remmel | Laughter Yoga with refugees
Children's little noses at the window
In the evening, when I was preparing for my laughter club in Burghausen, a child came to the window and pressed his nose on it.
The room I rented was in the local youth hostel and there were quite a few children staying there that day. The approximately 10-year-old boy asked me immediately - after I had opened the window for him - what I was doing there. I told him that there will be a few people who want to laugh together shortly. His look revealed: "I would like to take part", yes, and whether we would also dance. I said "yes". And will we sing too? I smiled at him with another "yes". "We will sing, dance, play and laugh a lot." A disappointed "Ooohh" came from him when, at that very moment, his teacher grabbed his hand and he had to leave the interior of the facility in a large group of children.
An hour later, our laughing group was just really going, everyone was laughing and playing, I looked at the windows and was happy about the secret onlookers: Everywhere you could see little children, who pressed themselves against the glass to our merry goings-on to watch.
Some of our participants decided to do a few laughing exercises with their children or grandchildren before they went to bed as soon as they arrived at home, in the sense that children's hearts also have to let off steam before they can fall asleep.
Author: Robert Meisner
Bären - Lachen, the laughter yoga school in Rupertiwinkel, in Bavaria and everywhere!
How I discovered Laughter Yoga ... and the (late) consequences
My first contact with laughter yoga came at a very turbulent and stressful time in my life. I was responsible for our four small children, was a cook, cleaning lady, Mama-Taxi and a supply machine in the hamster wheel of everyday life. My patients in my psychotherapy practice complained to me about their suffering and I listened to them with empathy. The seriousness of life had me under its spell...
Then it happened that I had booked a singing workshop with my friend and bandmate Anne. We had shoveled everything out, organized babysitting and accommodation, when suddenly this workshop was canceled the day before. Coincidentally, a laughter yoga seminar was taking place on the same weekend, which we decided to attend instead. A little self-conscious at first, I was glad that nobody asked about my job in the first round and that I didn't meet any colleagues there. As a graduate psychologist, are you allowed to be so childishly playful, so unrestrainedly silly?
But then I noticed more and more how beneficial it felt. Just turn off your head, don't worry about what others might think about it now... and when we had successfully laughed away the inner critic, I thawed and laughed like crazy. Inspired and full of happiness I drove home. Back in everyday life, I quickly realized that I would like to have this happy hormone cocktail much more often. And so Anne and I became laughter yoga teachers and founded the laughter yoga group “Lach-Dich-Wach” in Aachen in 2010.
Since then, I've been laughing my way through life with much more ease, and I sometimes infect my patients with my laughter. Laughter yoga brings a lot of fun and lively hours and it also enriches my music. In the band we started to play special laughter yoga songs and we released a laughter yoga song CD in 2017. In the rehearsals we not only practice our songs, but we also laugh so much that the spark of (Irish) joie de vivre jumps over to the audience in our concerts as well. A real snowball effect of laughter!
Autorin: Gundula Krause-Becker
Lachen in Aachen
Laughter Yoga music from Gundula and Anne
Project lessons in Happiness - very sustainable
I walked down the halls of our special needs school and thought about what else I have to do now. Suddenly, I hear: "Very good, very good, yeah!" I'm torn out of my thoughts and then I see him right away. A student with whom I was able to experience a project on the subject of "happiness" 4 years ago. We gossip together right away. He wants to do it again, I have to go. But I still answer his next question: "Oh Ms. Hartmann, how was that again with the "good again"?". "You mean: well done again." So we clap that together. I walk on exhilarated and think, as far as I'm concerned, there could only ever be "Happiness Lessons".
Autorin: Sylke Hartmann
Laughter Yoga with refugees
It's been a while, but I'm telling you this story because one way or another, it can happen again and again. Maybe even right now.
Prehistory in 2015
Between 200 and 300 refugees reach Hamburg every day. I saw buses they got off. It didn't take much empathy to see that these weren't tourists. The suffering that many have behind them is unimaginable. The media reported on it every day. I finally got to the point a few weeks ago where I couldn't take it anymore. I had to do something! It's called the "help reflex" ha ha ha a horrible word for very healthy behaviour.
So I contacted our church office of the local community, where our laughter club has been allowed to take place for a long time and where I am known. There is a woman there who is involved in an initiative of our district at the "Rahlstedt Round Table". It was totally easy. The head of the "Yellow Village", as the container settlement for refugees is called, was happy about the idea of trying out laughter yoga. The village was built a year ago and is home to around 110 refugees, mostly from Syria, but also from Afghanistan and Ukraine. Many children are among them.
They are safe, medically cared for and the children go to school or kindergarten. It is a completely different situation than with newly arrived refugees. They have already recovered physically and mentally, speak a few words of German and have a kind of everyday life.
I realized laughter yoga is right here! Laughter is universal, everyone knows and can do it and it is not religious!!! nor ideological or political. Laughter yoga is easy. The "Ho Ho hahaha clap" is the perfect ice breaker for everyone, young, old, or whatever culture. The exercises are completely unsuspicious. Milkshake laughter comes without alcohol. We can cook salmon soup without pork. Call your loved ones with your cell phone and laugh with them ... what could be more suitable for a refugee who clings to his cell phone as the only bridge to those who are left behind? "Very good, very good, yeah" in Arabic and many other languages! It is constructive, creates a little identification and we Laughter Yogis also learn a few chunks.
Our open eye contact conveys benevolence, friendliness, creates closeness and this is reflected in everyone's eyes. The laughter exercise "Laughing to Heaven" gives comfort and hope. Our universal laughter ritual is a very strong message that captures the longing for peace. Our beloved laughter yoga spaceship can manage in a subtle way to make these people experience a little joie de vivre and maybe also moments of happiness and to comfort their hurt souls a little. Laughter yoga is much more than just "having fun".
Sometimes I believe there is a divine plan...
It was still too early on Tuesday to call. So I sent Ulli Rüsenberg a message via WhatsApp that I couldn't take it anymore and that I had to do something in our laughter yoga way. "Ulli, can you make a lucky line for refugees with laughter yoga? It would be extremely appropriate to wear Welcome T-shirts on Friday for the first time.” Ulli didn't hesitate for long. By noon he had already finished a nice draft with a globe, laughing people and the heading "Welcome". The image is as apt and correct as only he could get. I am so grateful to him for his generous "I'll do it"!
In the afternoon I commissioned the t-shirt printing and we actually got it on time, also because my dear husband took over a crucial courier service at the last minute.
Teamwork with Kholoud from Jordan
I wondered how to make myself understood? How should I convey laughter yoga? It was already clear that we would not have a translator with us because they would have to be paid. In addition, Ulli had pointed out to me that laughter could possibly cause trauma to resurface. Lisa Blömker's master's thesis would point to this. Then I remembered a Jordanian woman I met in Bangalore last year. I knew from her that she did laughter yoga with Syrian refugees in Amman. Once again, thanks to WhatsApp, Alexander Moser, who was also in Bangalore, quickly sent me her contact details. He had spoken to her on the phone the day before. Ha ha Also Alex Sternick from Israel, who trained them, answered me immediately.
Kholoud explained to me that Laughter Yoga exercises with newly arrived refugees would not be so good because they were still too much under the impression of the run. But breathing exercises and the Humming Breath may help calm and counter panic. That is the priority at the beginning. She sent me a voicemail introducing us both in Arabic and briefly explaining laughter yoga. She found incredibly beautiful, touching words for her Syrian sisters and brothers and wished them all the best. I played this the first time. Everyone listened intently and I couldn't have asked for a better start. I am also very grateful to Kholoud for her prompt, uncomplicated and enthusiastic contribution. Our laughter yoga community is the very best! Being able to experience this togetherness so closely makes me incredibly proud to be a part of it ;-)
Friday the day X
The manager of the refugee accommodation and the woman from the church office received us in front of the community container. The courtyard was full of playing boys, some on wheels. We, four women from my laughter club and me, found out that only women and girls were invited to the laughter yoga class. But where were they? Well, it would be normal for the time conceptions to be different from ours. The common room was full of tables and chairs. Otherwise they sew, learn German, do handicrafts, etc. Since there were several of us, we quickly put everything aside and made a circle of chairs. And what happened: the room filled with a colorful crowd. In the end we were about 40 people. Mothers and their daughters.
We had a fantastic session! The exercises from the beginnings of laughter yoga were just right. The children joined in immediately and infected their mothers. Some of the women had tears in their eyes and by the end of the lesson another small miracle had happened, as you have all experienced. There was wonderful happiness and connectedness in the room. The anxious question of whether we could come back was answered in the affirmative by everyone. We have been there 3 times and it was different each time. It is always the children who participate enthusiastically and do a great deal to help the mothers overcome their inhibitions. I'm excited to see how it develops. After the first session, the head of the facility was surprised to find that the hour would bring people together and that it would certainly be good for the community (-:
Our laughter club benefits a lot from it. Many wanted to come along. The willingness to help and do good is indescribable. It's wonderful to go there with a group of people because, as we know, it's more contagious when there's a practiced laugh. We had met beforehand and discussed what we might have to expect and that we needed to be careful. We wanted to avoid anything that could overwhelm or frighten the refugees. (e.g., very loud laughter; fast, strenuous movements; physical contact; unappropriate clothing).
Public, Facebook and Co.
The laughter yoga movement is for people, not the media. I urge you not to use the misery of people for selfish goals under any circumstances! Laughter yoga can possibly unfold its full potential right here and now. The good spirit of laughter is its goodness of heart. Our global mission is: health, vitality and peace through laughter. It seems to me that now is a special opportunity to fulfill this mission. Let's pass on the light of laughter in the spirit of the World Peace Flame.
Autorin: Gabriela Leppelt-Remmel