Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Hello Laughter Friends,
Has 2013 has been a good year for you? Through the ups and downs, I hope you've been able to laugh your way through it, or at least flash a dazzling smile once in a while. This life we're living is so very precious.

I just wanted to send out a Laughing New Year greeting to each and every one of you. May 2014 bring you more joy, more connection and more meaning! Laugh your way into it. You can do it! Here are some important dates:

• LAUGHTER YOGA TRAINING will be held March 21-23 for the LEADER training and March 21-25 for the TEACHER training in Ferryville, Wisconsin. Visit the Laughter School page to learn more and get registered: http://www.laughinglaura.com/laughter-school-1.html

• LAUGHFEST of the MIDWEST will be held May 16-18, also in Ferryville, Wisconsin. Click here to learn more: http://www.laughinglaura.com/laughfest.html

It's kind of ironic that I run the Iowa School of Laughter Yoga and yet most of my events are now held in Wisconsin. ha ha ha! It's just where the area retreat center is and we all love to meet there.

This year, I became a facilitator of a therapeutic process known as Family Constellations. It is incredibly healing and it's blown my laughter socks off to see how much it can transform people. Of course, I've already figured out a way to utilize laughter in the cathartic process (and presented about this at the national constellations conference in Seattle this fall). Learn more about it at: laughingconstellations.com. If you are interesting in scheduling a session with me but live far away, no problem. I do Skype sessions now, which work just as well as in-person ones.

On a personal note, William and I are getting set for a big move to our new off-grid home in the woods. The building is still going on (and believe me, we are laughing about it or we might not survive the process) but we hope to be moving by spring...or summer...or fall...ha ha ha...but 2014 is the YEAR! It's in our area so we'll continue to pastor our churches but we will have a whole new simplicity of life and connection to the earth—using solar power and burning wood for heat. I could not be more excited! Plus, we have built a studio for small group retreats. Stay tuned for future events to be held at The Gentry Joint.

Cliffs on our new property

In the meantime, I've been doing fewer laughter yoga classes and speaking engagements because I'm busy downsizing. I have begun a blog about the process, which I hope you'll check out. Here's the address: thestuffofmystory.blogspot.com.

Please drop me an email and let me know how you're doing. I think you're AMAZING!

Love and laughter to you and yours,
Laughing Laura

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Looking for that perfect gift? How about LAUGHTER?

Why not give that special someone a WHOLE WEEKEND of LAUGHTER? On May 16-18, we’ll be holding the second annual LaughFest of the Midwest. It was a smash success in 2013 so we’re planning uplifting experience for 2014. Now, registration is open just in time for your gift giving needs. And if you act fast, you’ll get a $30 discount.

 There is something magical about gathering with new friends and old to laugh your cares away.

And it’s a hoot to dress up in hilarious costumes!

There will be speakers sharing insights about wellness, joy and laughter. Recharge your laughter yoga practice with this wealth of inspiration! No experience in laughter yoga is necessary, though. This event is for all people of all ages. It is designed for anyone willing to have more health and happiness.

There will also be workshops, laughing hikes, deep fun games, singing, dancing, a costume party and more! For those of you who live in the Midwest, it doesn’t get any handier than this. You can experience a conference on par with the annual All America Laughter Yoga Conference...but right here in your own neighborhood! If you live futher away, you can fly into the LaCrosse airport.

Laughter brings people together! Imagine what fun it will be.

I believe the setting is extremely important. That’s why this event is going to be held at a retreat center in Southwest Wisconsin. It is a secluded valley with 635 acres of prisine wilderness with a creek running through it. It’s of the beaten path and well worth the trip for the opportunity to connect with nature in springtime, just as the earth is coming to life again.

The hospitality at the camp can’t be beat. This year, we’ll be staying in the log cabin village, the main retreat center and the Koinonia Lodge (pictured below). These upsale shared accomodations have bathrooms with showers in each cabin/lodge. It's like a big slumber party! And the food is delicious. Everything is made with love by the camp cook. Vegetarian and meat entrees are served at each meal. Please let us know if you have other dietary needs. The center also boasts a wood-fired sauna, which will be heated up to perfection each evening. 

The all-inclusive price for the LaughFest of the Midwest in Ferryville, Wisconsin is $225, which includes 2 nights lodging, all meals, healthy snacks, a Laughter Blasters CD, a brand new laughter e-book by Laughing Laura, and a myriad of delightful programming for the entire weekend. But if you act NOW, you can get the EARLY BIRD rate of just $195 for all that!

Who do you know who could use a “laughter intervention” of a stress-free weekend at the LaughFest? Bring a friend or family member and share the experience! 

Personally, I’m giving my sister this gift (Shhhh! Don’t tell her). Here we are pictured below. I can’t wait to spend the weekend bonding with her, building a whole new set of happy memories. Who are you going to bring?

To get the great LAUGH FRIDAY rate, register now! Visit my new laughter site to register: http://www.laughinglaura.com/laughfest.html

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I am pleased to inform you that my new CD, Laughter Blasters, has been released! At last, you’ll be able to hear the exciting montage of laughter blasted out along with a jazz trumpet. 

“Against the assault of laughter 
nothing can stand.”
So wrote the iconic American humorist Mark Twain. This aptly describes Laughter Blasters. 

Cadres of enthusiastic laughers from around the globe have joined forces to bring you this unique collection of zealously blasted laughter.  It features my laughter along with that of The Laugh Man Doug Collins who’s been hailed as the man with the most contagious laugh in the world. His runaway YouTube hit “Dad at Comedy Barn” was played on Good Morning America and to date has over twenty-four million views. If you haven’t seen it, or just haven’t seen it recently, you can watch it at this link. It’s guaranteed to make you laugh!

This project began a ridiculously long time ago when Doug and I formed a laughter friendship via Facebook. We determined to do a recording together. After some deliberation, we decided it would simply be a collection of contagious laughter, since that’s his special gift.

So, I packed my bags and headed down to meet Doug and his wife, Linda,  in Memphis, Tennessee. I asked him if he knew of a good recording studio and said: “How about Sun Studio?” and then proceeded to belt out one of his great laughs.

“Why not?” I replied and laughed right back. 

The next thing we knew Doug and I, along with a group of his family and friends, were recording in the legendary studio that’s known as the birthplace of Rock and Roll. Many famous records were made there by artists like B.B. King, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bonnie Raitt, Def Leppard and U2 (my favorite band in the world). And here we were in that same studio rolling around on the floor laughing our sides out! The whole thing was absurdly funny. But beyond the humor, it was pure delight—you know, one of those perfect “can this really be happening?” moments.

Doug in Sun Studio (in Elvis' shadow)

When I returned home I decided to add trumpet music to the mix.  I think laughter and trumpets share a frontier. They both have the capacity to blast with abandon. That, and I love the interplay of music and laughter. I’ve been experimenting with that for a while. I knew that the trumpet music could help bring the various laughter sounds together and make it more fascinating for the listener. So I hired Zak Kaszynski, a young jazz trumpeter. We had him improvise on jazz standards while the sound engineer, Brett Huus, and I laughed. Incredibly, he was able to keep on playing through our shinanigans but every so often, he’d burst into laughter along with us. It was a riot.

I could have stopped there, but I was setting out to make the most contagious laughter album possible so I sought out more Laughter Blasters willing to join the party. 

Doug had involved his wife and son, so I decided to get my own family into the project. I put together a recording session with my friend Richard Bruxvoort Colligan in Strawberry Point, Iowa, which included my husband, my dad, his college friend, the friend’s wife, and a friend of ours.

That was great but I was determined to have even more, so I set up another recording session in Madison, Wisconsin at Audio for the Arts Studio.  The objective was to get as many people from the Madison Laughter Club as I could. This organization, you see, has some of the universe’s most enthusiastic laughers. A large gaggle of gigglers showed up for the recording including the four founders of the club, other club members, some of my laughter students from the Madison area, a college buddy of mine, my best friend from the 5th grade, as well as my sister and her kids who made a road trip on a school night to be there. To say it was outrageous would be an understatement! We were able to record everyone’s individual laugh as well as various groups of laughers. Throughout the session, people were falling down and slapping the floor. You can hear this on the CD and see it in the promotional video below. It was unprecedented hilarity. No one could contain themselves at all. On the way home my nephew summed up the evening by telling his mom: “That was really fun. Aunt Laura should do that more often!”

Still, that wasn’t quite enough laughter for me. I set up a few more recording sessions in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. One of them was entirely peopled by child laughers. My niece and nephew were visiting us at the time so they got to laugh on tape again. We also had a five year-old who has been raised on laughter because his grandmother trained with me to become Laughter Yoga Leader just before he was born. His giggles are too precious for words. You can hear them all on the kid-only song “Just Plain Goofing Around.” 

We even flew Doug to Wisconsin so we could get more of his amazing laugh recorded. This enabled him to be the keynote speaker at our Spring Laughter Retreat. Needless to say, the whole group fell in love with him and we were all grateful for his joyful presence.

On top of all that, some friends from around the country and Australia, Israel and Chile sent in recordings of their laughter, which we mixed in. I also included a laugh by Carl Kassel of public radio. I had won his voice for my voice mail because I was a contestent on “Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!” (click here to see the video of the greeting he recorded for me). All told, sixty-one laughers were involved—the biggest group I’ve ever put onto one CD! I am profoundly grateful to each and every person (whose names are listed below) for they have given an enormous gift by sharing their unique laugh.

And yes, I painted the cover. I filled it with laughing, happy, random things to make you smile—like an eggplant, peace doves, hearts, stars, flowers, a cupcake, a moose and Mount Fuji!  It took me all winter.  I packaged the CD in an eco-friendly wallet made with certified green components. Woo hoo!

The cover painting in process

If laughter is medicine, this recording is prescription strength! It’s such a relentless stream of positive energy that no grumpiness can withstand it. In fact, it’s so concentrated, you probably can’t listen to the whole album at once and do it responsibly because you’ll be laughing too hard!

Every one of my productions is precious to me (Laughter Friends, Today is a Laughing Day, Laugh Your Way There, Holy Hysterics, Yoga de la Risa, Be Laughter, Yule Laugh, The Little Book of Big Laughs, Laughter Blasters). They are made with love and I send them out into the world to do their work of spreading world laughter. Yet I can honestly say Laughter Blasters is my new favorite. It was a much longer and more involved process than I expected, but it is worth it because now I have an amazing collection of laughter to share. I think it’s particularly helpful for laughter yoga professionals who don’t necessarily need laughter exercises to laugh on their own, but a bit of recorded laughter helps!

The Laughter Blasters disc

Here is the behind the scenes video, where you can also hear samples from the CD. I'm so excited to share this with you. Get ready to laugh! :)

Like the other discs, Laughter Blasters retails for $14.95. It’s available at CD Baby and Amazon (where the price fluxuates and you can sometimes get a better deal). You can also find them as digital downloads at those sites so you can get it instantly. Right now, I’m running an introductory offer: FREE shipping if you order one CD or you can get a Laughter Blasters Party Pack of 3 CDs for just $30 plus FREE shipping. You can order them below with the handy Paypal buttons or at The Laughter Shoppe where there are some other new offers, too. And with the mail-in coupon below that, you can get the album as a digital download from me for just $5 per card! Once I receive your order, I’ll send you a download card with the code for you to download it from CD Baby. Hurry, this is a limited-time offer (and makes a super Christmas gift that can be tucked into a card)!

$14.95 for 1 CD • FREE SHIPPING
introductory offer!

$30.00 for 3 CDs • FREE SHIPPING
introductory offer for a limited time only!

Double click this form and print

5.0 out of 5 stars She's a genius! September 7, 2013
As a certified Hasya Yoga leader, I work primarily with assisted-living and memory-care clients. Laura Gentry's "Laughter Blasters" is a perfect aid for helping them laugh and enjoy the moment. I would not hesitate to recommend the CD to anyone serving this universe. It would also make a perfect gift.

5.0 out of 5 stars Most fun ever! October 21, 2013
I love Laura's latest creation! Laughter Blasters is just plain fun and enlivens the whole house. I like to use it as soft background music while I work to keep things light and happy. I can imagine this would be great as background music for parties and in stores. Be warned though. Sometimes this CD can get very very funny. This is great for everyone! Thank you for your amazing products Laura! We can't wait for the next one!

5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Contagious Laughter! October 7, 2013
By Jenna
I LOVE this CD! I am a trained Laughter Yoga leader and will definitely be using this CD as a resource for myself. Once again, Laughing Laura has produced a wonderfully contagious and usable laughter resource! This is perfect for laughing along in the car, at home, or even at work, if you so choose! The music in the background of all the tracks is a great addition to the laughter; it adds another cheerful dimension for you to laugh along with. Laughing Laura has brought some incredibly talented laughers, including herself, Doug Collins "The Laugh Man" with his contagious laughter and many others with great laughs to produce a hilariously fun CD for your laughter enjoyment!

The back cover

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Yes! We have done it. We’ve pulled off a spring retreat of laughter yoga in the beautiful hills of Ferryville, Wisconsin. It was amazing. Forty one people were involved in the event—some for the whole weekend, others for a day. They came from all over the Midwest and Doug, the Laugh Man, came from Mississippi!

We’ve decided that we ABSOLUTELY DO want it to become an annual event—basically a  laughter yoga conference of the Midwest. Next year, we’re hoping to gather for an even bigger, more delightful party and we hope you’ll join us. We even have a committee forming to plan it. Possible dates are: May 16-18 or March 14-16. Please e-mail me at laughinglauragentry@yahoo.com to report your preference. Thanks! 

Meanwhile, let me tell you about this year’s retreat. It so wiped me out that I haven’t had a chance to post this blog until now. 

We gathered on Friday, April 19th and laughed pretty much nonstop until the afternoon of Sunday, April 21st. Here are some highlights:

• We had two full-blown laughter yoga sessions. One was led by LY Teachers Jill and Dan Johnson of Sioux Falls, SD on Friday night, and the other was led by Madison Laughter Club Teachers Mike Kueny, Nancy Greenwald, Michelle Erschen, and Beth Murphy on Sunday morning.
• We learned about how to laugh our way into mindfulness with easy and fun practices as taught by LY Teacher Deb Olson, R.N. 
• We picked up tips for leading laughter clubs and getting hired with a presentation by LY Teachers Kathy Wilkinson and Carolyn Christopher. 
• We laughed the Labyrinth and got gibberish blessings.
• We enjoyed laughing in the wood fired sauna.
• We laughed at Doug's laugh.
• We hiked in the hills (and some of us...we’re not naming names...got lost).
• We laughed with our ancestors using a method called family constellations and asked them to support us in our endeavor to live joyfully.
• We watched a portion of the film Laughology and heard from the star, Doug Collins, about how his laugh has changed his life and the world for the better (and believe me, it touched us all deeply).
• We sang, danced, laughed and played games at our Saturday evening costume party (which is where most of the following pictures were taken).
• We made new friends and played together happily in our playgroups.
• We had campfires (where the bunny hop was also performed...along with all the silly songs we could remember).
• Some laughers invaded my church, Our Savior's Lutheran, on Sunday morning, thus bringing their joyful energy into the worship service.
• Four new Laughter Yoga Leaders graduated and were sent off to change the world with laughter.
• And at the end, all were awarded "The Most Valuable Laugher in the Universe" certificates because the universe is big enough for ALL of us to be the most 
valuable. And incidentally, we declared Ferryville the laughing center of the Universe. Who knew?

I’m note quite sure how we packed all of that into one weekend. But we did! And we all felt the benefit of joining together with so many positive, happy, laughing, singing, dancing people! So much love—oh, it made our hearts sing! I am so grateful for everyone's participation and I can't wait 'til next year.

the laughing name tags all ready to go

the laughing bird pens who greeted each laugher

Doug and me at the recording studio (we had to finish our CD before the retreat).

Doug at the Votive Candle Chapel at the Shine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in LaCrosse, Wisconsin (we took him there on our way down to the camp in Ferryville)

Doug inside the Votive Candle Chapel where he lit a candle and prayed for our retreat

during the laughing with our ancestors session I led

performing the laughing seven generations ritual

Carolyn saying hello to the pink elephant by blowing in my trunk

The group of young people who joined us from Milwaukee

here I am with Laughter Yoga Leader, Barb Flouro

the ever amazing LY Teacher, Carolyn Christopher

Can you find Waldo? How about the pink elephant?

Doug with the Johnsons

the ladies from Ladysmith, Wisconsin: Pat, Shirley and Barb, along with Doug and me

Doug getting ready to party!

LY Leader Lisa Weis and her foreign exchange student, Silvia laugh with the elephant

the loveable LY Teacher Kathy Wilkinson

here I am with LY Leader Carrie Hein Paredes (Carrie and I have been friends since childhood and the laughter yoga helped us find one another and reconnect in a magical way) 
Doug and Kathy

the Waldos are whispering sweet nothings into my big ears 
with LY Teacher Deb Olson, the fairy princess

The laughers who invaded my church on Sunday morning

A hilarious laughter meditation

More fun with costumes! (sorry about the cow suit, Kathy, I know I promised not to bring it this year!)

Kathy and Carolyn's presentation

Doug with Pastor Jenna, Laughter Yoga Leader, and her husband, Mike

Cheering in the center of the labrinth

Our whole group
an example of the Most Valuable Laugher awards...Doug wasn't the only one who got one! We all did!