Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Dr. Kataria, the founder of laughter yoga, has just released his new book The Inner Spirit of Laughter: Five Secrets from the Laughing Guru. In it, he shares the wisdom of his 16 year journey with laughter yoga. It’s changed his life and—as a result—it’s changed so many of ours as well. 

In this book, Dr. Kataria writes about the heart of the matter: cultivating the inner spirit of laughter. He shares his philosophy and spirituality with great candor. And a really cool thing is that best selling author and alternative medicine specialist, Dr. Andrew Weil, wrote the foreword. In it, he gives laughter yoga a glowing endorsement. For anyone who practices laughter yoga, this is a must read.

I’m proud to say that I’m a contributing writer for this book. Dr. Kataria has included my testimony of how laughter yoga helped me grieve the loss of my mother. A number of other people also share their touching stories in this book.

It is currently available as a PDF download for just $8.95. After March 15th, a print version will be available as well. Read more about it here.

Monday, February 27, 2012


I have incredible news: 3 of the most amazing professors will be joining me in Southwest Wisconsin March 30 through April 3 as together, we facilitate a laughter yoga retreat. These faculty-he-he will be Jill and Dan Johnson from Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Jody Ross from Minneapolis.

Dan and Jill (left) are Certified Laughter Yoga Teachers and owners of Joyful Living, a business that brings more joy to your personal and business life through laughter. Dynamic presenters who specialize in uplifting and experiential presentations, they have a synergy and enthusiasm that truly crackles. Dan and Jill were recently keynote speakers at the All America Laughter Yoga Conference in San Diego, California where they knocked everybody’s socks off. They were so good, in fact, that I still haven’t been able to get my socks back on!

Jill has over 15 years experience in corporate America. She is also a yoga teacher, a “Yoga of the Heart”® certified cardiac and cancer yoga therapist, and a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She received her cardiac and cancer therapy training through Nischala Joy Devi, creator and director of the stress management/yoga portion for Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease. Jill’s soothing voice is featured on their CD “Deep Relaxation,” and believe me—it takes you to a whole new level of bliss.

Dan is a Certified Laughter Coach with The Levity Institute’s Certified Laughter Coach Training Program. Laughter Coaching employs laughter as a powerful modality in the field of personal and professional development by empowering clients to connect with their desires more deeply and let go of their blocks. Through his life coach training, Dan discovered that teaching is one of his greatest gifts, and through his ability to listen and reflect, and also through his love of laughter, he makes a genuine connection with those he comes in contact with. He’s also a certified massage therapist and during the retreat, his massage services will be available. Contact Dan now to schedule an appointment.

The Johnsons have also produced the CD “Laugh for the Health of It!” It’s one of the most delightful and professionally produced laughter yoga resources on the market. I sell it in my Laughter Shoppe and can hardly keep it in stock because it’s such a hot item. Their fantastic laughter can also be heard on my CD “Holy Hysterics,” as they came all the way across the state of Iowa to support me in this project. That's how we first met in person—the laughter brought us together.

As a result of their dedication to increasing world laughter, Dr. Kataria and Laughter Club International have recently awarded them the esteemed honorary title of “Laughter Ambassador.” Congrats, Jill and Dan!

The other fabulous faculty-he-he member is Jody Ross, founder of the Come to Life Project. I have to brag that I was the one who first introduced Jody to laughter yoga. She happened in on a lecture I was giving with Anne Marie Gullickson at Mayo Clinic and immediately, she was hooked. She trained with me to become a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader in Ferryville, Wisconsin. See her graduation picture here (she's front and center in the pink wig). So her participation in this upcoming retreat will be an exciting homecoming, as it is happening at the very same place on the exact 3 year anniversary of her first training!

Ever since then, Jody has been on fire. Laughter yoga dramatically improved her health. She’s truly a poster child for the miraculous benefits of laughter (read about more about that here). She started Minneapolis’ first, and now longest-running, laughter club and frequently hosts “Laughter and Chocolate” events, which are immensely popular.

Jody found that one of her passions was laughing with seniors, particularly those with memory loss.  She has developed groundbreaking laughter yoga techniques for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Photographs of her work can be seen at the National Institutes of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and are featured in the 2010 World Alzheimer’s Report. You can see her prominently on the cover of the book Love, Loss and Laughter: Seeing Alzheimer’s Differently by Dr. Cathy Greenblat. 

As a result of her accomplishments, Laughter Yoga International offered Jody a scholarship to become a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher. They knew she had to take her laughter work to the next level. Since gaining this auspicious credential, she has trained loads Laughter Yoga Leaders from around the country and become a well-loved motivational speaker.

Jody also serves as the only Certified Laughter Life Coach in Minnesota, working one-on-one with clients to achieve their wildest imaginings, one step at a time, by combining sound principles of life coaching and the proven benefits of laughter. Like Dan, She was trained by Katie West, founder of The Levity Institute.

Jody holds a bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communications from Drexel University. She writes a blog for the International Laughter Yoga web site about her work with laughter yoga and seniors, and another blog about her adventures as a mindful mom seeking unconditional serenity at www.jodysatva.blogspot.com. I must also add that can hear her unique and contagious laughter on my Christmas CD, “Yule Laugh.” Jody lives near the laughing waters of the Minnehaha Creek in Minneapolis, MN with her husband, daughter, and their hilarious dog, Rosie.

Getting all three of these laughing professors to join me as adjunct faculty-he-he for this upcoming retreat is a dream come true! To say it is like planets aligning is an understatement. So if you are thinking about coming to gain certification as a Laughter Yoga Leader or Teacher, or if you’re already certified but just want to increase your enthusiasm, don’t delay! This is an opportunity like no other. Get registered immediately at this link. It will be here in just a few weeks and it is going to be such an exciting gathering of prolific laughers. I can’t wait and I know you can’t either. See you soon! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Five members of the Lansing Laughter Club appear in a brand new video called Bubbles of Joy. It was released by The Levity Project, a social movement which works to create a more buoyant society through laughter, play and celebration. I participated in a Levity Project event in New York City on World Laughter Day in 2010 (read about that here). In addition to such events, they regularly create micro-movements by ask people around the world to film themselves doing a particular joyful activity. The Levity Project, then, brings together these video clips and makes a short film to put on YouTube.

Katie West and Ina Lukas, co-founders of The Levity Project, have dedicated the Bubbles of Joy video to their mothers, who both made their transition out of the physical world within a few months of each other this past year. In their honor, we are invited celebrate each precious moment that we have here on Earth. The playfulness of blowing bubbles really invites that kind of mindfulness.

Our group decided to blow bubbles in the sanctuary of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, where the Lansing Laughter Club meets. We wanted to make a statement about the joy of our faith. 

I was so inspired by the fun footage I got of Lansing Laughers, that I put together an addition film of these follies, backed by some songs from the Holy Hysterics CD. Enjoy!

Remember that enrollment is still open for both the Laughter Yoga Leader Retreat and the Laughter Yoga Teacher Retreat, which begin on March 30 (information at www.LaughterYogaIowa.com). If you are already a certified Laughter Yoga Leader, either through the Iowa School of Laughter Yoga or another program, you are eligible to receive a huge discount. Consider coming just for fun! You’ll make new friends and renew your zeal of the life-changing power of laughter. What could be a better way to spend April Fool’s weekend? E-mail me for details: laughterlaura@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


So you’re a Laughter Yoga Leader and you’d like to take your laughing career to the next level? Then, it’s time to become a certified Laughter Yoga Teacher. Learn more about laughter yoga and how to effectively teach certified Laughter Yoga Leader courses of your own. I am going to be teaching the teacher course in an awesome wilderness retreat setting in Southwest Wisconsin March 30 through April 3rd.

Students have been wildly enthusiastic about learning laughter yoga at a retreat center. So, by popular demand, I am offering a spring retreat at Sugar Creek Bible Camp in Ferryville, Wisconsin. The facility is accredited by the American Camp Association. Here, you can get away from your everyday stresses and relax in a beautiful environment, explore trails, laugh through a spiritual labyrinth, gather around a campfire, and luxuriate in a wood burning sauna. It is just a half hour from the LaCrosse, Wisconsin airport. Rides can be arranged for you if you are flying in or taking Amtrak.

As a Laughter Yoga Teacher student, you will will have the opportunity to observe and assist me as I teach a Laughter Yoga Leader course. You will have additional meeting times during the weekend to get a behind-the-scenes look at the way in which a class is led.

Then, after the leader students graduate and leave the camp, you will stay for another two and a half days to go deeper and learn all the practical information necessary to teach certified Laughter Yoga Leader courses. 

As a bonus, you will have the opportunity to lead a laughter yoga session with a large group of senior citizens who will be coming to the camp on Monday. This is an excellent occasion for practice.

Tuition for this course is $795, the standard set by Laughter Yoga International. Not only does it include the 5 days of intensive instruction, it also includes a Be Laughter CD,  a signed copy of The Little Book of Big Laughs, a Live a Laughing Life poster and a Laughter Inspiration poster. You will receive a copy of my original laughter yoga manual and an official laughter yoga teacher manual, published by Laughter Yoga International. Upon graduation, you will receive the official Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher diploma, signed by Dr. and Mrs. Madan Kataria. You'll also receive the resource pack of CDs and DVDs from Laughter Yoga International and you'll get a free year of "Prozone" at www.LaughterYoga.org where you'll be able to advertise your upcoming Laughter Yoga Leader seminars.

Accommodation at the camp is in the modern Log Cabin Village pictured above. These upscale retreat lodgings are shared with up to seven persons per cabin.  Each cabin has a covered porch, a small sitting area with a fireplace and bathroom and shower facilities. 

The camp chef will pamper us with healthy, home-cooked meals. Vegetarian options will be provided. And in between those meals, there will be ample snacks and beverages for you. The hospitality can't be beat!

Cost for the four nights and all food is just $160, bringing the total investment to $975. This is an incredible value, as you will have great potential earning power once you are a certified Laughter Yoga Teacher.

• Therapists and Healers
• Pastors and Spiritual Leaders
• Recreation Activity Facilitators
• Yoga/Tai Chi/physical fitness trainers
• Occupational Therapists
• Psychologists and Psychotherapists
• Nurses and Healthcare Workers
• Counselors
• Social Workers
• Professional Speakers
• HR Trainers 
• Comedians and other enthusiastic laughers

• Official Laughter Yoga International Teaching Manual
• Laughing Laura’s original Laughter Manual
• The Laughter Yoga Resource Pack DVD and CD set, which includes video clips showing international news coverage, laughter yoga in the business world, laughter yoga in schools, scientific research on laughter yoga and articles and photos for press and media
• An official Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher diploma
• One year free Prozone subscription at www.LaughterYoga.org, a $60 value!
• A daily solo practice CD called “Be Laughter” (www.BeLaughter.com)
• Two full color 11” x 17” laughter inspiration posters
• A signed copy of Laughing Laura’s book of laughter and yogic breathing exercises, The Little Book of Big Laughs

• An in-depth understanding Dr. Madan Kataria’s laughter yoga method and the history and philosophy behind it
• A knowledge of  how to adapt laughter yoga practices for a variety of groups including the elderly, physically and mentally challenged, children, prisoners, and business professionals
• Ways to inhabit the inner spirit of laughter and deepen your spirituality through daily laughter and yogic breathing practice
• Tips for growing a laughter yoga business, including gaining media attention and putting on a killer businesses presentation
• The practical skills necessary to plan, promote and lead a life-changing Laughter Yoga Leader course
Space is limited at this highly-sought retreat so enroll as soon as possible. To do so, go to www.LaughterYogaIowa.com.

“Laughing Laura is amazing! I made no mistake in selecting her to be one of the first Laughter Yoga Master Trainers in the USA and awarding her the title of Laughter Ambassador.  She speaks from her heart and inspires people with her true, joyful spirit. Her knowledge of Laughter Yoga and her teaching skills are incredible. Laughing Laura is surely one of my best Laughter Professors."
—Dr. Madan Kataria, Laughter Yoga Founder