I am not a fan of paper qualifications.
5 of the smartest people I’ve ever met were educational dunces. Also, I look at some of the leading figures in the world and observe that paper qualifications were not the prime cause of their success.
Additionally, a paper qualification is neither a measure nor guarantee of competence – I mean, do you see the way some people drive?!
The relevance of this to how I practise and teach laughter yoga is that I teach principles. I show people that when we understand laughter yoga principles, we can apply them anywhere and everywhere, all the time, individually and in groups, in any setting, anywhere in the world.
These principles make laughter yoga exercises fluid, spontaneous and natural.
They have the potential to make exercises invisible because when they are applied spotaneously, ‘in the moment’, laughter yoga exercises stop being formulaic and become flowing and natural. It can appear as if there are no exercises, and nothing is happening except the laughter.
Using the principles this way also encourages expansiveness and creativity. They expand formal exercises. For example, the last time I did ‘milkshake laugh’ with a group, it lasted about 10 minutes as everyone got creative, the exercise got funnier, people laughed more & more naturally, they became even more creative and the exercise got funnier. The exercise just ‘worked’ better and better.
A key principle here is empowering the group.
Another aspect is that a course cannot teach understanding. A course can teach techniques but understanding comes from inside us.
Understanding does not require experience. It becomes easier with experience, but some people are natural ‘understanders’, ie they can observe one situation and easily transfer the principles to another. One facilitator I know learnt his group dynamic skills by observing performers at the first Isle of Wight pop festival!
We can all learn to be better ‘understanders’. The keys to this include open-minded observation, and the question children fortunately ask lots – ‘why?’
For me, the most important benefit of this approach is it allows people to use laughter yoga in any way imaginable. When you understand the principles, you can infuse them into whatever you do. This applies not just to obvious laughter yoga exercises, but to any wellbeing activity, and to any activity at all. One person is a life model who sits naked while being drawn, and who sits more comfortably and confidently because she imbues her sitting with inner laughter yoga.
So, principles, everyone?
I’d love to know your views, feelings & thoughts.
‘Invisible’ exercises footage (TY Dave Berman)