Alma Gall/Laughter Yoga Teacher
TF: What is laughter yoga about?
Laughter yoga is a unique concept for everyone without the need for humor and jokes. It combines breathing exercises of pranayama yoga with laughter exercises. We initiate laughter as a body exercise in a group and with eye contact and childlike playfulness. It soon turns into real and contagious laughter. It is scientifically proven that the body can´t distinguish between real and fake laughter. That means that we’ll receive physiological and psychological benefits in either case. Examples of the benefits are: stress reduction, a boost to the immune system, general better health. It also improves the oxygen feed of the body and the brain hereby making one feel more energetic and relaxed. Laughter yoga was developed by a medical doctor from India Dr. Madan Kataria and his wife Madhuri Kataria and it has spread across 72 countries. It´s practiced in different settings such as companies and corporations, fitness centers, yoga studios, centers for seniors, schools, colleges, universities and even prisons.
TF: How does our work life will look like in the upcoming future?
I think that laughter yoga will spread even more within the future and I hope I can contribute to that. In general I think the working live in our society is going to change drastically. There are changes already, especially the younger generation (including me) is not interested in the traditional 9 to 5 jobs. Instead they want to be flexible, creative, sustainable and above all it´s important that they can follow their passion. Such a development means that we have a redefinition of what success is and it challenges our general value system. I would personally hope that there would be a change from the current pressure and capitalistic view of things towards a holistic system where the needs of people and the planet are equally served and have first priority. And I think it´s our job to demand such a system.
TF: What are the opportunities of our time?
We can find opportunities everywhere and should dare to discover, create and make use of them. The first step is to know ourselves and to know what brings us inner fulfillment. Very often it seems we do things because they look good from the outside or they promise superficial satisfaction. We should overcome this cycle, connect with like-minded people and create meaningful actions together, which also due to the internet has become easier. Through it the access to knowledge has improved and that certainly is a great opportunity of our time.
TF: What are the challenges?
The root cause of many problems is greed. we exploit people, animals and destroy our planet. Eventually we need to understand that we are all in the same boat and need to work together in order to fix it.
TF: What borders need to be dissolved?
We need to free ourselves from the borders we have manifested in our mind because the limit us and they limit the potential we have. Borders are artificially established, they are highly regulated, they are part of a dominant believe system creating a truth where we are separated from each other. Personally I often remind myself that everything is connected. Laughter yoga is a great way of dissolving borders between people, because it helps us to connect with one another and helps us to build strong relationships.
TF: What is your vision?
It is one of the aims of laughter yoga to create world peace. I hope that by following my passion to work as laughter yoga teacher or to work in the field of education in general can bring long lasting benefits and eventually it can contribute to a more sustainable world.
Alma Gall performs as laughter yoga teacher at TEDxPannonia 2014
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