Thursday, November 10, 2011
I have had the privilege of introducing Laughter Yoga in the State Bank of
and laughing with thousands of my colleagues during the last year. India
I have recently completed thirty-two years of my service in the State Bank of
. It has given me bread, butter and a respectable place in the society. Now, it is time that I give back something to this great institution. I am sure my humble contribution will bring cheer to some of the souls here. I would like to be remembered as a messenger of love and laughter when I retire from the Bank. India
We started the journey of laughter on the 13th of September, 2010 when we inaugurated the Laughter Club of State Bank Learning Centre,
with a bunch of newly promoted officers. Whoever came to the learning centre after that has had a brush with laughter yoga. We laughed every morning with a small group of willing laughers from all the groups who poured in week after week. A shining feather in our cap was training thirteen young trainee officers as laughter yoga leaders who eventually earned internationally recognized certification while they were at the campus. How can one ever forget the fun evening filled with gibberish nonsense, laughter exercises, singing-dancing-play-laughter and games arranged by newly recruited assistants! Indore
I got opportunity twice to make presentations at the grand auditorium of the
, Gurgaon before officers from all over the country. I am really grateful to the General Manager and Principal who participated in the laughter sessions with total childlike playfulness on both the occasions which has engraved a deep respect for him deep in my heart. State Bank Academy
It seems that the Almighty has been showering copious blessings from the top. I also showcased laughter yoga at the
State Bank Staff College and State Bank Institute of Information and Communication Management located in . I conducted a laughter yoga session for bank guards, assistants, probationary officers and faculty at the State Bank Learning Centre, Hyderabad Goa. It was a unique experience as all of them laughed from their being level making it absolutely difficult to distinguish differences in their grades as they laughed like kids.
Last week, we have started Chetana Laughter Club at our new State Bank Foundation Institute (Chetana),
set up to groom fresh officers of the Bank. Henceforth every new officer of the Bank will have a tryst with laughter yoga at the beginning of her career and ‘Very Good Very Good Yay’ as her mantra. Indore
The laughter virus has meanwhile spread to other centres –
Kanpur, Lucknow, Goa, Nagda, Nagapattinam etc. – through some well meaning trainers and officers. It is indeed good to hear that those who laughed with us for a while, have gone back and started propagating laughter it in their own way. What more can one desire!
I have put up the concept of laughter yoga briefly before the Chief General Manager and Head of the Strategic Training Unit and he seemed to like it. The former CGM and Head was all for it and mentioned it to the Deputy Managing Director and Corporate Development Officer when she visited
to inaugurate State Bank Foundation Institute. She already knew a lot about the benefits of laughter yoga and appreciated the endeavour of using it in human resources trainings. Indore
I am also grateful to the Director of my Institute for permitting me to use laughter yoga as ice-breaker, energizer and wellness routine during the training programmes.
My mission is to touch the lives of all the two hundred and twenty-two thousand employees of the State Bank of
with Laughter Yoga for their health, happiness and well-being. India
(Before I close, I would like to share that my wife Radhika has been with me all along in this mission.)
- Jagat Singh Bisht
Monday, May 9, 2011
The compliment that I cherish most came from Anurag, my 24-year old son. He loves adventure sports and takes care of fire and safety hazards at Nestle. I was visiting Gurgaon, the town where he works, and was suddenly asked to do a presentation on Laughter Yoga. When I told him about it, he remarked, “Papa, this is a unique life skill you have acquired. You can do it anytime, anywhere, for anyone. Now, you have the heavenly gift of giving joy to other beings. That is really wonderful.”
This insight coming from a youngster is amazing. I had gone to attend a workshop on leadership skills at the State Bank Academy. It was an awfully cold morning – the earlier day was the coldest in the last 46 years. There were 44 participants, all senior officials of the Bank, in the workshop. When the Principal of the Academy came to address the participants, he observed, “The energy level appears to be low. I have never witnessed something like this at the beginning of any programme. What’s the reason?”
One of us responded,” It is terribly cold and foggy, sir. We are not used to such a climate. Our flights landed very late in the night. It was chilling cold and windy. We have not had enough sleep. Moreover, we carry a lot of stress in our roles as such.”
As the class didn’t appear to take-off convincingly, I requested for a 5-minute slot and assured that the class would cheer up in a while. The Principal was magnanimous enough. I asked everyone to clap and chant ‘hoho-hahaha’ and ‘very good very good yay’ and followed it up with a few laughter exercises. The atmosphere brightened instantly and there was warmth all around.
Thereafter, we did some laughter exercises every morning before the start of sessions and everyone relished it. I also did a presentation on Laughter Yoga in the auditorium where several officers of the Bank, senior and junior, from all over India were present. The presentation was well received. After a few months, I went there again with my wife, Radhika, to give one more presentation before a much bigger audience.
We have done sessions for school children, housewives and elders. Everyone loves it. We are regularly invited to a reputed yoga and naturopathy centre in our town for laughter therapy. The feedback from patients is very positive.
One of the members of our laughter club told us that her parents stayed at a remote place far away and felt lonely. She learned the steps of laughter yoga from us and jotted down some exercises which would be more suitable for them. Now, she has gone to them and would be spreading some good cheer in the neighbourhood.
Laughter Yoga can be done for those in the orphanages, hospitals and prisons. The educational institutions are very conducive to Laughter Yoga. It takes stress out of workplaces and makes life vibrant for those who feel lonely.
We were curiously watching sunrise with many tourists in a hill station recently. As the sun came up, everyone was thrilled and clicked their cameras vigorously. Then, after introducing ourselves as Laughter Yoga trainers to the crowd, we requested them to join us for a brief session of laughter exercises before moving back. All agreed readily. A short but sweet session followed and the joy of watching the sun rise was enhanced manifold.
Laughter Yoga is truly an invaluable life skill which we can use to bring joy to all around us anytime, anywhere. It is Divine!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
My journey of Laughter Yoga (LY) has been a very fulfilling and satisfying one. I feel blessed to practice LY almost daily with a large number of people and bring joy to their lives. I express my sincere gratitude to Dr Madan Kataria and Madhuri Kataria who have imparted this divine life skill by which I can touch human lives instantly, anywhere and at any time.
I have been closely studying Positive Psychology and Authentic Happiness for a long time and believe that doing something worthwhile and meaningful for your fellow beings and intimate social interactions with those around you alone brings true happiness. LY is the best tool to achieve this. We can have warm relationships with people and also bring unlimited joy in their lives.
I always wanted to give back something to the great institution where I have been working for more than thirty-one years. I also wished I could inculcate positive values in school children and bring smiles on the faces of the sick and old people. The society has given me so much and I wanted to give a return gift of everlasting cheer to its people. LY has equipped and enabled me to do that on a continuous basis, each and every day of my life.
I was a shy kid and a studious student. I always wanted to sing, dance, play and laugh freely in groups. Now, I can do that and also make others experience joy by doing that.
We have formed a social group Laughter Yoga @ Indore comprising of LY lovers and professionals in
. Our mission is to propagate LY in and around our town for health, wellness, joy and peace. We wish to take it to the schools, colleges, workplaces, communities, hospitals, clubs, gyms, slums, old age homes, orphanages and even prisons. Indore, India
We run two regular laughter clubs here. Suniket Laughter Club meets every Sunday morning for LY exercises at the
Shrinagar Extension Public Park, . In addition, my wife, Radhika, who is also a Certified LY Teacher, holds Ladies' Laughter Kitty every Saturday evening at the Community Hall of Suniket Apartments, Shrinagar Extension, Indore Khajarana Road, Indore.
Laughter Club of State Bank Learning Centre, Indore was formally launched on the 13th September 2010 at the State Bank Learning Centre,
Manik Bagh Road, Indore. It is a unique laughter club. Every week, new trainees come to the centre for learning. They join the club, leave by the week-end and spread laughter back at their homes. Next week, another set of new participants join, and so on..
I first saw Dr K and Madhuri conducting a laughter session at the
Lokhandwala Park, Mumbai, India more than a decade ago and feel overwhelmed to conduct laughter sessions with my wife Radhika at . It has transformed our lives totally. Our joy knew no bounds when Dr K remarked recently, “You are doing a wonderful job. I am proud of Radhika and you!” Indore
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Carolyn Laughalot and Desmond Nicholson, Laughter Yoga Leaders from Eltham Laughter Club,
Melbourne, Australia visited Suniket Laughter Club and Laughter Club of State Bank Learning Centre, under the exchange programme of Laughter Yoga International Clubs. They also giggled with the school girls of Indore, India Sarada Ramakrishna School, and laughed with their teachers. Indore
It was an enriching experience for the members of these clubs in
Carolyn and Desmond were guests of Dr Madan Kataria, the founder of Laughter Yoga, at
While we appreciated their fusion of energy healing and dance with Laughter Yoga, they loved Follow-the-Leader and Singing+Dancing+Playing+Laughing=Joy incorporated in our laughter sessions. While switching between laughter, they used Hoho Hahaha and deep breathing; whereas in our clubs we use Very Good Very Good Yay more often. They loved Cricket Laughter exercise created in our club and Desmond added a piece to it.
I prepared Indian Chai (Tea) for them every morning while my wife Radhika, who is also a Laughter Teacher, cooked Poha (Rice flakes) for them in the Indorean style which they relished. My mother, who is almost 80 years old, usually doesn’t prefer to move out of house, accompanied us for an excursion to nearby Maheshwar and Mandu, which are places of great historical value, as she felt that it would be too long a day without her new found daughter Carolyn. I had long, leisurely strolls with Desmond, who has a great sense of humour, in the evenings and talked about everything from Cricket to
We would like to express our gratitude to Dr Madan Kataria who arranged this exchange and would like to share that it has been a really great motivating experience for the laughter lovers in this part of the country.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Jagat and Radhika Bisht
During the last hundred days, we (Radhika, my wife, and me) have laughed with more than a thousand people. It has really been a life changing experience! We are now proud to have a life skill with us with which we can connect to any group of people anywhere, anytime and make them laugh unconditionally. We feel cheerful throughout the day. The life is full of joy. We have converted our bodies into factories that utilize oxygen from the atmosphere, rejuvenate each and every cell of our system and manufacture feel good endorphins. We are as healthy and energetic as one can be, touch wood, and have not taken any medication since we turned Laughter Yogis. We feel deeply fulfilled as we are instruments of happiness and health for others and are able to touch their lives with a new joyous way of life. Our lives now have a meaning and a mission – to make others happy and healthy!
I had my tryst with Laughter Yoga one fine morning in Mumbai, more than a decade ago. Dr Madan Kataria and Madhuri Kataria, the founders of laughter yoga, were leading a laughter session in Lokhandwala park. The experience was simply out of the world! I had to wait for more than a decade after that. In the month of October this year, Radhika and myself, along with more than 20 laughter professors from all over the globe, were baptised by Dr Kataria himself at Bengaluru.We have never looked back after that..
We run two laughter clubs – the Suniket Laughter Club and Laughter Club of State Bank Learning Centre,
- regularly. Here are some experiences shared by the members.. Indore
Let us begin with ourselves. The pain in my knee joints is a thing of the past. I get up early in the morning every day and work till late in the night without any feeling of fatigue. Radhika doesn’t need her blood pressure pills any more and her frequents bouts of sinusitis have simply disappeared.
Many among a group of newly promoted bank officers felt nervous to face the audience in their public speaking sessions. They were asked to join laughter yoga sessions, after which they shed all their inhibitions, and gathered the courage to speak freely.
Another group was required to appear for a tough test for promotion to the next cadre. They felt tired at the day end and had no energy left to study. Those who attended laughter exercises in the morning not only improved their attention span in classes but could also study for a couple of hours more in the evenings.
An elderly businessman felt severe pain in his neck which travelled across his shoulders and back. The pain was acute and disabling. After he joined our laughter club, the pain is gone. He has developed a regular habit of getting up and going for morning walk. His wife tells us that he seldom laughed earlier and never mixed socially with people. She is pleasantly surprised at the transformation.
An income tax officer, who has retired recently, has shared that his lungs are fully cleared after the laughter session and the feeling of freshness lingers throughout the day. We get feedback of feelings of well being, energy and health on a continual basis from our member friends.
We were also invited to conduct a laughter therapy session for about 80 persons in a camp organized recently by the National Institute of Naturopathy, Pune at the Naturopathy and Yoga Research Centre,
. The response was overwhelming. They found such great value in this alternate therapy that they decided to honour us on the spot after going through our session. The standing ovation, with chants of Very Good Very Good Yay, lasted for more than ten minutes.. Indore
We look forward to touch many lives with joy and bliss.
Wish you a very happy and joyous new year!
Jagat Singh Bisht
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Laughter lowers blood pressure, relaxes muscles, improves blood circulation, increases oxygen level in the body, elevates mood, brings hope, enhances communication and boosts immune system. Dr Madan Kataria has contributed to the happiness of mankind by successfully blending free laughter with yogic breathing and evolving the unique concept of Laughter Yoga.
Laughter Yoga is a revolutionary idea – simple and profound. It is a breakthrough laughter delivery system that enables a person to laugh continuously for fifteen to twenty minutes. It is a powerful exercise routine and a complete wellbeing workout which is fast sweeping the world.
Dr Madan Kataria, an Indian physician, along with his wife Madhuri, started the first laughter club in a park in Mumbai on 13th March 1995 with just five members. Today it is a worldwide phenomenon with more than six thousand social laughter clubs in sixty countries.
It combines unconditional laughter with pranayama – yogic breathing. Laughter is simulated in a group exercise with childlike playfulness and eye contact, which soon turns into real and contagious laughter, without relying upon jokes or comedy. The concept is based on a scientific fact that the human body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter – one gets the same physiological and psychological benefits from both types of laughter.
Natural laughter comes just for a few seconds here and there but to get scientifically proven health benefits of laughter, we need to laugh continuously for ten to fifteen minutes at least - loud and deep from our diaphragm - which is possible only in social laughter clubs. They are non-political, non-religious and non-profit social clubs run by volunteers trained as laughter teachers and have no membership fee, no forms and no fuss.
A typical laughter yoga session includes clapping and warming up, deep breathing exercises, childlike playfulness and laughter exercises which may be yoga based, playful or value based exercises. Laughter yoga exercises are sometimes followed by laughter meditation where laughter may flow spontaneously like a fountain. The session ends with guided relaxation and grounding exercises.
Clinical research on laughter yoga methods has shown that laughter lowers the level of stress hormones in the blood. It fosters a positive and hopeful attitude and one is less likely to succumb to depression and helplessness. The regular club members say it makes them happy, healthy and energized. In effect, it has changed their lives.
Laughter yoga is an effective cardio workout and helps in staying fit. It increases blood circulation and relaxes muscles. Laughter yoga changes your mood within minutes by releasing endorphins in your brain. One feels energized and fresh throughout the day and can work more without getting tired. Laughter clubs provide a rich social network of people who care about one another. One learns to handle difficult situations effectively without losing composure by imbibing the essence of laughter yoga.
India, laughter yoga has been introduced in many schools in Baroda, Surat and . It has recently been included as a subject in the curriculum in one of the universities in the Bangalore . Scientific research shows that laughter can help to resolve many workplace issues and is gaining popularity in companies and corporations across the globe. Laughter yoga is being practiced among seniors in many aged care facilities in United States Canada, USA, Israel and Europe. There are hundreds of people in laughter clubs all over the world who are suffering from cancer but laughter has brought a new hope into their lives.
The ultimate objective is to bring good health, joy and world peace through laughter. This innovative concept has been widely accepted and reported in Time magazine, National Geographic, BBC, CNN and many others.