Recap of the Laughter Yoga World Conference 2021

Here’s a little recap of the Laughter Yoga World Laughter Yoga Conference 2021 that happened online November 19-21, 2021. The event kicked off with Dr. Kataria’s pre-conference online Spiritual Retreat which was November 16-18, 2021. I was fortunate to attend the Spiritual Retreat and really enjoyed getting to talk spirituality with the Laughter Guru and founder of Laughter Yoga, Dr. Madan Kataria. I will write more blog posts about the Spiritual Retreat because there were so many nuggets of wisdom that Dr. Kataria shared. He spoke about the different types of meditation and how to foster Emotional Intelligence. I felt inspired to start a 40-day Laughter and Meditation practice. Would you attend a daily intentional laughter and meditation with me on Zoom?

Day 1 of the Laughter Yoga World Conference 2021 kicked off with a birthday party with Madhuri Kataria, the co-founder of Laughter Yoga. She received a basket of tomatoes from her funny husband and then lit some candles on a special birthday cake. We all sang Happy Birthday to her. Alexa Fong Drubay gave a fun presentation on “The F Factor in Laughter Yoga.” We also heard from Merv Neal from Australia who spoke about surviving and thriving in COVID by taking your Laughter Yoga business online. Lara Lucaccioni from Italy spoke about programming your mind through laughter. My teacher, the amazing Jeffrey Briar spoke about secrets of the Western world’s unstoppable Laughter Club. That was special for me as Jeffrey trained me to be a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher. To this day, his Laguna Beach Laughter Club in Laguna Beach California is the only Laughter Club outside of India to meet daily. I’ve even laughed on the beach with the Laguna Beach Laughter Club and Jeffrey’s sweet mom, Ruthe Gluckson.

Day 2 of the conference was another incredible day, full of great content! The day began with a show of global support from our Laughter Yoga community around the world with 300 participants and many donations. Then Dr. Kataria shared important scientific Laughter Yoga research studies, including the study I worked on called “Evaluation of a Laughter-based Exercise Program on Health and Self-Efficacy.” We learned about laughter with school children and enjoyed wonderful presentations by Fabrice Loizeau Formation Yogadurire of France, Ashok Sawhney of India and Suman Suneya from Dubai,  John Hohohaha Chen from Taiwan and Lee-Lee Jean Fung from Malaysia. It was so inspiring to see how Laughter Yoga is thriving in our communities around the world.

Day 3 of the World Laughter Yoga Conference 2021 was an amazing encore to a terrific weekend of laughter and learning. Dr. Kataria kicked off Day 3 by speaking about leadership qualities and divine leadership, passion, commitment/integrity and flexibility. We were reminded of the importance of the “4 Elements of Joy” which are singing, dancing, laughter and play. We heard from Lotte Mikkelsen from the UK, who shared her personal journey with Laughter Yoga and MS and spoke about how beneficial Laughter Yoga can be for MS, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Stroke, ME, CFS and Parkinson’s Groups. Sandro Lobo from Brazil told us about how he went from a serious life in the courtroom to being a traveling yogi and then how Laughter Yoga transformed his life. I was so impressed by how he has spread the laughter throughout his country. Dmitiy Efimov shared how Laughter Yoga has helped lift him out of his depression and how he has been able to share laughter with groups throughout Russia. He recently conducted a study on Laughter Yoga in the workplace that I look forward to reading when it is published. German Master Trainers Gabriela Leppelt-Remmel, Gisela Dombrowsky, Angela Mecking, Sandra Mandl and Egbert Griebeling shared a wonderful video from the 2017 Frankfurt World LY Conference. We heard how they are working together to grow the Laughter Yoga community in Germany. We heard about their Laughter Telephone Line and how this concept is being carried out in other countries. You can call this phone and someone will laugh with you for three minutes! We also heard from Marnix Bosscher who helped to create the International Laughter Club Calendar. This calendar is amazing and shows all the different Laughter Yoga clubs in your time zone. I highly recommend getting this calendar and taking part in as many Laughter Clubs as you can.

I am so glad I had the good fortune of attending the Laughter Yoga World Conference and celebrating 25 years of Laughter Yoga with my global Laughter Yoga family. Thanks to Dr. Madan Kataria and Madhuri Kataria for sharing Laughter Yoga so generously with the world. Thanks to the Laughter Yoga International Team (Vinayak Shastri, Sukumar Satpathy, and others). Special Thanks to Tove’ Kane, the event MC, who did an outstanding job adding summaries and commentary throughout the event. It was a pleasure to be online with our growing and supportive Laughter Yoga community. I hope you enjoyed this recap of the fun we had. I’m already looking forward to next year!

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