Laughter and play are powerful well-being activities for the body and mind.
Over the last few years my practice of laughter has evolved and grown along with me. Although trained by Laughter Yoga International I do not deliver to the traditional Laughter Yoga teachings.
I, instead, work much more intuitively. Working so deeply with people, especially in my work as an End of Life Doula and in Compassionate Touch, has enriched me with new insights – a perspective of richness, aliveness and yet one of being authentic to our current reality which is at the core of all my work (and life for that matter!) And goodness, there is so much we can learn from the dying.
There is no doubt that laughter can have a powerful effect on our wellbeing. The key is in engaging with it mindfully, consciously and in a way that honours who we are. It is in this intimacy with our laughter, exploring our inner and outer joy and leaning into that space between that we learn so much about ourselves.
Importantly, when we laugh, we are neither in the past or future. We are here now – in this present moment. Because “this moment matters”.
So what does that look like in action?
I take an approach in my delivery that eases you into laughter naturally and easily without it being forced – tuning in to our breath, listening to what is there in our body, heart and mind, in the stillness and in the laughter. Consider it an exploration and discover ways to play with it.
All of my workshops are tailormade and adapted specifically to the participants whatever their abilities.
When you laugh deeply with someone you create a connection with them – a connection beyond words.
You laugh heart to heart, soul to soul.
You become one, you become family.
Organisations I have run workshops for include the NHS, Lifeline, Kirkwood, Overgate, Wheatfields and The Forget Me Not hospices plus Children’s hospices Across Scotland, Alzheimers Association, University of the 3rd Age, Turning Point Manchester, Age UK, The Women’s Centre, Leeds, Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group, Anthony Seddon Fund, Meadowhall in Sheffield, The Macular Society, BJSS Leeds, Duke of Edinburgh Awards, The Tuberous Sclerosis Association, Kirklees and Oldham Councils, Thales UK and various WI groups.
Most recently I spent 9 weeks delivering laughter and meditation sessions as part of a group of reset days for front-line health workers – many of whom are experiencing ongoing burnout and exhaustion.
I have facilitated many laughter groups for hospices over the years including at The Kirkwood in Huddersfield, Overgate in Halifax and Wheatfields in Leeds. Using this experience and that of my work as an End of Life Doula I have developed a CPD training for Certified Laughter Professionals to take their skills into their own local hospices. Although in-person hospice groups and training remain on pause I continue to offer sessions over zoom and I look forward to moving to in-person sessions again when it is felt safe and appropriate to do so.
The Laughter Workshops are not a substitute for professional medical advice but are a powerful, natural, complementary form of self-care. They are not suitable for everyone and if you have a pre existing medical condition please consult your gp before coming along to a session.