Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Last year, the Reverend Charles Johnson enrolled in the Iowa School of Laughter Yoga Certified Laughter Yoga Leader e-course. He was an enthusiastic student who conducted all of his practice sessions at work. He was able to do so because he is chaplain of the Hastings Village in Hastings Nebraska. His aim in taking the course was to add laughter yoga to the ministries he offers at the village.
A year later, the laughter is still going strong! The Good Samaritan Society, of which Hastings Village is a part, just ran this article at their main web site. It highlights the joyful work that Pastor Johnson is doing and how laughter yoga is enriching lives. I'm so proud of him.

Laughter Yoga is healthy fun
Mar 01, 2012

(Hastings, Neb.) – First you hear the clapping, then the words, “Very good, very good, very good, yay!” Then you hear laughter.

Another session of Laughter Yoga has just begun.

Pastor Charles Johnson laughing with a resident

Started at the Hastings Village campus more than a year ago by the Village’s spiritual ministries director, Pastor Charles Johnson, Laughter Yoga has become a popular afternoon activity among the residents in Goldbeck Towers apartments, Perkins Pavilion rehab/skilled care center and, most recently, The Villa Assisted Living.

“I became a certified Laughter Yoga leader after taking an online course,” says Pastor Chuck. “It was led by internationally known Laughter Yoga instructor Laura Gentry, who is also an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America minister from Lansing, Iowa. It was a three-month course, and after the first week, I was hooked.”

Each Laughter Yoga session lasts 25 to 30 minutes, which is long enough when you consider that 30 seconds of laughing is the equivalent of three to five minutes on a rowing machine, according to Pastor Chuck. The class also includes breathing exercises, stretching and simple exercises that participants are encouraged to do to the best of their abilities. “One main theme that I constantly tell people is, ‘Fake it ’til you make it,’??” says Pastor Chuck. That goes for the exercises as well as the laughter.

However, according to Crystal Johnson, director of The Villa, the laughter is contagious. “My office is across from the exercise room, and it makes me giggle to hear all of them laughing.”

By Karen Doerr
Community Relations Coordinator, Good Samaritan Society – Hastings Village

Pssst! You can still enroll in the April Fools Day weekend retreat and become a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader too! Go to Laughter Yoga Iowa to learn more.

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