The following is an interview I just gave to the Scrivens Post of Denmark.
Ever heard of Laughter Yoga?! Did you even know there was such a thing?! Well I didn’t!
So I found an expert in Laughter Yoga to interview. Laura Gentry was so much fun (and laughter)!
Laughing Laura is an internationally known figure in the Laughter Yoga movement. She has led motivational laughter programs on 5 continents and was named a “Laughter Ambasador” by Laughter Club International. You can read more about Laura and the Laughter Yoga movement at www.LaughingLaura.com
Here’s the interview:
TSP: Why do you do what you do?
LG: I am on a mission to increase world laughter because it's where my greatest strength meets the world's greatest need.
TSP: What is the best part of your job?
LG: My job is to laugh with people. Every part of that is the best part!
TSP: Do you have a particular experience you’d like to share with us?
LG: I’ve laughed with many people around the globe and it’s always miraculous how the laughter brings us together—even when language, culture or some other factor divides us. Recently, however, I was totally blown away when I went into a men’s prison in Mexico City to practice laughter yoga with violent offenders. It was scarey because, just moments before I entered the facility, I found out that the inmates were armed. I must have been crazy to put myself in harm’s way like that, but I was driven by my desire to share laughter. What I found was that the men were incredibly respectful and appreciative, epecially when they found out I am a priest. They actually acted shy around me at first, but when we started doing the laughter exercises together, we formed an indelible bond. All the things that separate me from them suddenly melted away and we were just like a bunch old friends having a good laugh together. I expected that I would bless them by bringing laughter into that dark place, but what I discovered is that they already had laughter in their hearts and I was the one who ended up getting blessed by their generosity.
TSP: If you could go back in time to when you were 20 years old and give yourself some advice – what would it be?
LG: You are much more amazing than you realize! Just be your amazing self and laugh at anyone who tries to tame you.
TSP: What do you feel is the greatest lack in the world?
LG: Joy. With depression on the rise, I think it is imperative to restore joy through laughter.
TSP: What is your definition of a spiritual person?
LG: To be spiritual is to connect with your own spirit. One of my favorite tools for spiritual growth is laughter meditation. You simply lie down and laugh—allowing the laughter to flow from your spirit, rather than a joke or funny situation. This puts you in the present moment and gives you a sense of unity with all that is.
TSP: Do you have a life philosophy that you follow?
LG: Live life laughingly. HA HA HA!
TSP: What in your opinion, is the most important thing that parents can give their children to prepare them for life?
LG: Approval. So many adults feel they never really got it from their parents and so they spend ridiculous amounts of energy seeking it. It is a source of much unhappiness in the world. Parents, I know you don’t always approve of your kids’ actions but if you can give them a sense that you love them unconditionally—that you approve of who they are— you will be giving them an enormous gift. It will arm them with confidence that will serve them throughout their lives.