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 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! 

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