Archive for Newsletter
Be a Laughter Yoga Televsion and Video Star
Lights! Cameras! Laugh!
Tuesday, October 19th at 9:30 a.m.
Please join us at Merrill Gardens Retirement Community for the video shoot of our Arm Chair and Wheelchair Laughter Yoga Club which will be featured on the cable television show More Joy: The Laughter Television Show and for my upcoming training DVDs. I want to include your story about LY! This video needs you!
The yoga mat may be a “magic carpet ride” for some of us, but it might feel more like “having the rug pulled out from under you” for others. As a Yoga Therapist, I very much want everyone to have access to the healing benefits of yoga and so I have developed and taught several Chair and Wheelchair Yoga Classes over the years. Some of the classes are done completely seated for people who cannot stand on their own at all, some have been for folks who can use the chair for supported balance poses and “Downward Dog” pose with hands on the seat of the chair. Beautiful “Sun Salutations” can be adapted for a chair yoga practice and a vigorous workout is quite accessible. Core-strengthening is a key goal for many people and we can do that seated too.
Chair Yoga is not only effective for people with so-called disabilities. I like teaching “Desk Stretch Yoga” for people in the workplace who do a lot of computer work. I hesitate to call the classes “Yoga for the Working Wounded”, but sometimes when I looked at the stiff shoulders, tightened jaws and pained look on their faces, the title did cross my mind. So much good yoga can be done while seated at work! Our wrists, lower backs, hips, shoulder, necks and jaws respond quite gratefully to yoga in the workplace chair.
I believe that Seated Yoga can be wonderfully effective way for beginners to focus on the really important part of yoga, pranayama, yogic breathing. Learning to extend the exhale and move with one’s breath while getting the feel for “inhaling up and exhaling down” is a vital part of the Yoga practice which can be learned while seated. Practicing beginning meditation as part of my Chair Yoga classes is also another key part of the yoga practice that lends itself well to being seated. So, there really are some advantages to the chair practice.
My Arm Chair and Wheelchair Laughter Yoga Club in Rohnert Park was the first LY Club in this country dedicated to practicing laughter yoga seated for adults of all ages with diverse mental and physical challenges. And we get quite a good workout and lots of laughs without doing the standing group laughter exercises that are the usual fare at LY Clubs. Nor do we lie down on the floor for a closing laughter meditation, but we still finish each session with a juicy solo laughter meditation. I teach several Chair Laughter Yoga groups to elders every week, many of whom use walkers and wheelchairs, and they always remark how they feel so “alive with such a good workout” doing the practice.
When I offer Laughter Yoga at professional conferences in auditoriums the audience is always seated and that has given me an opportunity to really get them moving and laughing while seated. Of course, I do aim to bring them up to standing, waving their arms and laughing and shaking hands with each other, but I have learned to adapt the practice, even for the very able-bodied, to get the benefits while sitting on their bums.
So, if you have been considering “trying yoga”, or if you “used to practice yoga on the mat years ago” and worry that your current body might not like being on the floor, consider the many benefits of a Chair Yoga practice.
Petaluma Film Series Presents
Documentary Film ”Laughology”
Sunday. October 10th. 7:o0 p.m.
Aqus Cafe 189 2nd Street at H Street. Petaluma, CA 94952
Join us for a showing of the new documentary film “Laughology” (2009, 65 minutes) and a Community Laughter Yoga session facilitated by Monnet Zubieta, M.A., Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, Sebastopol and Carmela Carlyle, M.A., RYT and organizer Paula Swanson, Laughter Yoga Leader, Petaluma.
Laughology tells the true story of how Albert Nerenberg, a Canadian journalist became a Laughologist following a family tragedy when he and his wife lost their parents and in their grief “lost their laugh.” This fun documentary reveals new information about the nature, power, origin and development of laughter in a multicultural context. There are also several scientists who discuss the latest proven medical evidence for laughter’s powerful healing effects. Nerenberg travels from Canada to the USA, India, London, Alaska and Tanzania in search of his laugh. Some of the elements of the film were chronicled in Nerenberg’s popular series in the Montreal Gazette on “Positivity.” Laughology makes the case that the laughter fitness trend has scientific basis and includes an interview with Dr.Madan Kataria, M.D., the creator of the contemporary Laughter Yoga movement. Doug Collins, revered as having the “most contagious laugh” in the whole wild world is also interviewed so you can surely count on a few good laughs! Join us for a fun evening of laughing with community.
Folllowing the film you will have the opportunity to try a little Laughter Yoga with yours truly, Monnet and Paula. Invite your friends! $4 Donations will be graciously accepted for The Petaluma Film Series Program.
TGIF Laughter Yoga!
Thank the Goddesses It’s Friday! Laughter Yoga Club at Bodyworks
Fridays. October 15. 7:00 p.m. and the Third Friday of Every Month. Also Mark Your Calendar for next class dedicated to gratitude and thanksgiving: November 19. Warm-ups on the yoga mat and joyful laughter exercises moving around the studio. Solo Laughter Meditation and a crystal bowl closing. You will feel relaxed and energized and ready for a groovy weekend. $10. Bodyworks Yoga Studio. 490 Second Street at G St. Petaluma. 94952. Lots of free parking. 707.769.9933.
FREE: Arm Chair and Wheelchair Laughter Yoga Club
Now EVERY TUESDAY at 10 a.m. No charge. Open to adults of ALL AGES. Get a good workout for your mind, body and spirit. Hosted by Merrill Gardens Retirement Community, Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. Adults of all ages welcome. 585-7878.
No previous yoga experience necessary. Training will include how to adapt laughter yoga to practice seated in chairs, for your own self and with clients and colleagues. All fitness levels accommodated. Chairs, yoga mats, blankets, bolsters, snacks , manual , certification are all included.
More info on my LY Leader Training Website Page.
Saturday and Sunday, October 23 and 24
12 – 6 p.m Saturday and Sunday
Bodyworks Yoga and Stress Management Studio, Petaluma
12 CEs for RNs, MFTs and LCSWs AND RYTs for a processing fee. Note: addtional contact hours will be offered by you attending and leading laughter exercises at Carmela’s classes, LY Club or in your community!
Don’t get stuck in the muck my darling Laughing Lotus Blossoms! One recent study from the University of Texas at Austin found that “those who chuckled while watching a comedy increased the dilatation of blood vessels by one-fifth and this effect lasted up to 24 hours! When they watched a serious documentary or troubling news, the arteries actually constricted by 18%.“ May, 2010, Prevention Magazine. And as you might already know, constricted blood vessels lead to high blood pressure. So, you might wish to be kind to your heart and lay off watching disturbing news and troubling documentaries.
But if you simply must watch the news to be informed, I suggest that you adopt a practice of laughing while viewing! Your brain will automatically send you lots of feel-good hormones and reduce your cortisol (stress hormone) level to help you cope with the distressing news. Extend a big out loud laugh for at least 30 seconds per bad news bite. Maybe this will keep your blood pressure from going haywire, infuse you with some oxygenated brain cells and energize you to take some action to improve upon the situation.
When you do tune into a comedy or light-hearted fare, really take advantage of the opportunity to laugh and extend your laughter for thirty seconds at a time and you might even improve your blood flow by 21% as other studies have shown. A chuckle here and there is good for you, but a rollicking extended belly laugh, even if simulated, works wonders at many levels!
Experience the amazing benefits of laughter by practicing Laughter Yoga Solo! No jokes needed. No one else need be involved for you to laugh alone and feel your blood pressure go down as your endorphin level soars. Remember, with Laughter Yoga, you laugh for no reason and you feel better automatically. So why care what your neighbors think? Or those folks stuck in traffic with you? Practice extended laughter, for at least a minute, and reduce your stress while enhancing your joy. Need a little help getting into it? Visit this site every month for a tip on how to integrate Laughter Yoga into your daily life.
Walking Meditation is an ancient practice. Lightly grasping your wrists behind you and resting them on your lower back can add a lovely expansive,open feeling to your heart and ribs and enable your shoulders to drop. Gently dropping your chin “into the present” without “protruding it into the future” is another adjustment to add to the meditative sense of taking each step consciously.
May I also suggest that you also enhance your walk by adding laughter? Pretend you are wearing a Blue Tooth or attach an earphone of some sort if you are concerned what the neighbors think. A group of students and I have been practicing Laughing Walking Meditation and are delighted with the benefits. It is impossible to laugh and worry at the same time, so make your walk a deliciously joyful and worry- free experience by adding a dose of laughter along the way.