Friday, April 13, 2012


As part of the 3-day Laughter Yoga Leader Retreat held March 30-April 1, we took the students on a field trip to the nursing home. This was an opportunity for the leaders-in-training to polish up their laughter leadership skills and gain valuable experience. Best of all, it allowed them to give residents the gift of laughter. 

This component of Certified Laughter Yoga Leader training is being implemented by a number of Laughter Yoga Teachers around the country. It was originally developed by Jody Ross, Director of the Come to Life Project.  Ross is passionate about bringing laughter yoga to nursing care facilities and 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. Ross is prominently on the cover of the book Love, Loss and Laughter: Seeing Alzheimer’s Differently by Dr. Cathy Greenblat.  

Jody Ross giving a laughter hug to a resident of Thornton Manor in Lansing, Iowa

Ross, who is also a faculty member of the Iowa School of Laughter Yoga, organized the nursing home laughter yoga session and was the master of ceremonies. Each of the students led a part of the program and everyone shared in the joy. When 26 laughing people came into the small nursing home in Lansing, Iowa, they brought incredible enthusiasm, joy and love. It lifted us all. Below are the video clips and pictures of the amazing event. 

Laughter Yoga Teacher Carolyn Christopher laughing with a resident
Faculty member Michelle Erschen laughing with a resident
Laughter Yoga Leader Josie Milan with residents 
Laughter Yoga Leader Lynette McCormack with her new laughter friend
The group doing a breathing exercise
Laughter Yoga Leader Josie Milan explaining the next laughter exercise
Laughter Yoga Leader Dianne Jones and a laughing resident
More group laughter
Carolyn laughing with a resident as Laughter Yoga Leader Lisa Weis (right) explains the exercise
Faculty member Jody Ross laughing with a resident 
Laughter Yoga Leaders Angie Jensen, Sue Rhodes and Jenna Miner at the session 
Laughter Yoga Leader Kim Doffing connects with a resident
Laughter Yoga Teacher Teddy Bruns and her new laughter friends
Carolyn gives out another hug
Laughter Yoga Leader Betsy Kennedy gives a laughter hug
Carolyn and yet another laughter friend
Betsy sharing a laugh with Glen, a resident who passed away less than two weeks after this session
Dianne and her laughter friends
Lisa and her new friend
Carolyn laughing with her buddy 
Dianne and her friend 
Faculty member Jill Johnson and her laughter friend 
Teddy getting more laughter stirred up 
What joy!

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