Greetings Fellow Laughter Yogis,
I hope this message finds you all safe, healthy and resilient. What a year it has been thus far. It seemed we were off to a jubilant start with the 25th Anniversary of Laughter Yoga on the horizon. Then COVID-19 broadsided the economies of the world, our LY activities included.
We are writing today to bring everyone up to date on what is happening with Laughter Yoga USA.
We were sad to have to cancel our Year 2020 LY USA East Coast event due to the pandemic. These get-togethers are great ways to hone our craft and they’re a lot of fun too. Many thanks again to those of you who joined us in Chicago at the 1st Laughter Yoga USA Conference in 2017 and then in Orlando in 2018. So many great memories!
The attendees at the 2016 Laughter Yoga gathering in Stonypoint, New York agreed that we needed to create a national organization to help coordinate and advance our efforts to spread the benefits of laughter to communities across the nation. We really thank those who became charter members by contributing $40 in first year dues to get the ball rolling. We were off to a slow start but as of today, we volunteer directors – Cynthia Paris, Francine Shore and myself at the helm, are excited about the future of Laughter Yoga USA.
Officially, we have transferred our Laughter Yoga USA.org non-profit organization from the state of Wisconsin to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Our mission is nicely compatible with the state’s slogan, “Pursue your Happiness.” All of the LY USA membership renewal fees have been waived through the end of this year. However, we welcome donations of any size which will help us fund future LY USA programs, research and events.
A lot has happened since Laughter Yoga’s humble beginnings in 1995. It will continue to evolve into how it needs to be to serve the planet. We are all part of this amazing laughter revolution. At times like this when so many people have lost their jobs and are sheltering anxiously in place because of the pandemic, the gift of laughter is even more needed. This is no time to slow down. In the face of adversity, we Laughter Yogis are a creative and resilient bunch.
Since public, in-person laughter sessions are on hold for the time being, we have shifted to online Laughter Yoga opportunities. There is a wide selection of LY YouTube videos, Facebook live events, social media postings, laughter calls etc., and we have been experiencing a major Zoom boom. Laughter clubs are blooming and online trainings, coachings, workshops and retreats are in development.
Who knows how long it will take for us to resume our previous LY activities. So let’s focus on what we can do NOW! This extra time has given us the chance to become more introspective, many of us found ways to reinvent ourselves. Onward bound! We are learning new skills for our well being and for some, innovative technical ones like how to manage zoom calls and other online platforms and also finding clever ways to extend our work, even without the use of computers. More time at home has allowed us new opportunities to connect with people around us. We are s t r e t c h i n g out of our comfort zones and sharing laughter in all kinds of exciting ways.
This newsletter includes two important contributions by Cynthia Paris and Francine Shore. Cynthia will introduce you to the many different types of LY group Zoom sessions that have sprouted up and she will share with you her tips and best practices recommended by Laughter Yoga USA. I am very grateful to Cynthia for seizing the initiative to start up the Laughter Yoga Zoom Group- Laughter Social Clubs .
Cynthia has also invested a lot of time into maintaining an updated schedule of all the submitted Zoom calls happening in the USA, Canada, Mexico and all around the world. This is where hosts can post their meetings details. I find this page extremely helpful and allows the rest of us to have a better oversight of all the Zoom offerings. Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed by this new technology? Join Cynthia on one of her Zoom tutorial group calls. She offers great tips and suggestions on how to get started and helps us understand the proper do’s and don’ts.
The impressionist artist Edgar Degas said: “Art is not what you see but what you make others see.” Art soothes the soul and feeds our senses. We are all laughter artists because as laughter yogis, Dr. Kataria encourages each of us to express ourselves in our individual way. No cookie cutter delivery here! The message may be the same, but the presentation is unique. In practicing our LY work, we become liberated and our imagination flows. We not only discover “Aha!” moments for ourselves but we create them for others. As curator of our Creative Corner, Francine has selected some inspiring and uplifting messages, quotes, and images for us. Seeing this collection just lifts my spirits. Enjoy!
HOLD THE DATE! HELP US GET THE WORD OUT!
We are excited to announce a special Zoom LY USA Event:
Laughter Yoga USA
A Day of Healing Laughter and Renewal
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Dr. Kataria & Madhuri will be our special guests, along with many others from our LY USA laughter world. If you are interested in volunteering to be a speaker, please watch our website for details TBA.
We are delighted to have the multi-talented Kara Sherman join us as a team member. In addition to her talents as a Laughter Leader, artist and musician, she has wonderful IT skills that she has been generously employing to help update and maintain our website. She also assisted with this newsletter. Thank you, Kara!
Please check out our new and improved website to read the latest updates. Would you like to join our team and become a volunteer? If you are able to donate a few hours each week or month to helping us, let us know.
I know our group contains a lot of people with ideas to share. We would love to hear from you. Laughter Yoga USA.org remains committed to serving as a way for us to unite and thrive through meaningful dialogue and laughter. Thank you for your support!
CMT — Media, Pennsylvania