Thursday, May 24, 2007


Laughing Through Life in Lansing

What's causing an uproar of laughter in Lansing? Absolutely nothing. Once a week people meet at the Lansing Community Center to laugh about nothing.

"We initiate it as an exercise and so we get laughing and it's actually pretend laughter, but it becomes real almost immediately because we're doing it as a group and we connect. We develop a child-like playfulness and the laughter flows," said Pastor Laura Gentry.

Pastor Laura Gentry went to California to become a certified Laughter Yoga instructor. In January she started Iowa's first laughter club.

Laughter Yoga is based on two main concepts: you can laugh for no reason and the body can't tell the difference between real laughter and fake laughter.

Lansing Laughter Club members like Robert Grover and Chris Bolson are hooked.

"I come here and I just let go. Most people do," said Robert Grover.

"You kind of have a down day and you leave here so refreshed," said Chris Bolson.

If you can laugh, you can join laughter club. You don't even need a sense of humor.

"If you're laughing regularly the stress just floats away and life becomes totally tolerable. So I've found myself being more joyful, more relaxed, my immune system is better and I'm just having a lot more fun. People say I'm more fun to be around," said Pastor Gentry.

More fun... and Pastor Laura said you'll be healthier too.

"They just discovered Laughter Yoga can reduce your risk of heart disease by 50 percent. Because it's such a good cardio workout it raises your heart rate almost immediately. So at one minute you can get your heart rate at a level it would take ten minutes to get on a bike."

So, laughter really is the best medicine. The laughter doesn't have to stop when 30 minutes are up. Pastor Laura said she's made a life decision to laugh more often.. and you can too.

Copyright © 2007, KWWL Channel 7
This website article accompanied the TV news story below,
which aired on May 24, 2007

Saturday, May 5, 2007


Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of Laughter Yoga, talks briefly in this video about the work I'm doing to bring more laughter and joy to the Lutheran Church.