This is a reprint of Edie Weinstein's article published in the Huffpost Sept. 19, 2017. Edie will host a 30 minute Laughter Yoga Class at 12:30 pm, this Saturday, 9/22 at Our Vibrant Living Festival! Stop by and see what it is all about!
What if you discovered that there was a simple and profound way to enhance your life, that involves something you already know how to do? Would you be open to making this part of your daily practice? Laughter Yoga is a doorway into a world of wonder, a plethora of play, a bounty of breathing and a font of fitness. Have you heard of it? It’s not what you might think. It is not about getting all stretchy on a mat. There are no traditional yoga poses. You need not even have a sense of humor to engage in it. No jokes or comedy is involved.
I initially heard of this modality a few years back when I connected with Jeffrey Briar who is a Laughter Yoga Master Trainer in Laguna Beach, California. I was only mildly interested in learning more, which, in retrospect, surprises me, since family legend has it that I was born soon after my mother had a good laugh while she was pacing the halls of the maternity ward in labor. And to top that off, I have been a clown for a number of years, entertaining children and adults. In the interim, I had attended a few Laughter Yoga events facilitated in the Philadelphia area by Peggy Tileston, Elizabeth Venart and Alexa Fong Drubay. Each of them have their own delightfully unique style. A few months ago, I discovered that Alexa would be offering an opportunity to be trained to do this work/play. She was assisted by another long time Laughter Yoga Leader named Ernie Oktay.
This time I was ready and I enthusiastically took the leap into laughter and signed up to become certified. Over the 16 hour weekend experience, I opened my mind, heart and mouth as I dove in to learning both the art and science. Together with six other participants, I was willing to let my inner child out to play with abandon, without fear of being thought frivolous. Even as playfully disarmed as I can be at times, there are still moments when I wonder if the propriety police are in da’ hood scrutinizing my every move and implying that my behavior is not befitting a person of my age and professional status. One of the most reinforcing aspects of this training is that the NASW (National Association of Social Workers) offered 16 CEUs (Continuing Education Units/Credits) which legitimizes it in the eyes of my professional colleagues.
Laughter Yoga is a practice in which creatively designed laughter exercises are combined with yogic breathing that comes from the diaphragm. It is considered light aerobic exercise that most people can do. Although it can be performed solo, when joining together with others, it establishes a sense of connection. Since eye contact is an essential aspect, it builds trust between participants. Childlike playfulness and a willingness to be lighthearted, are part of the process.
Laughter Yoga was designed by cardiologist Dr. Madan Kataria and his wife Madhuri Kataria, a yoga teacher. Together with three friends, they got together in a park in Mumbai, India in 1995 and since that time, 106 countries have established over 6,000 Laughter Yoga clubs.
Getting All Geeky
*Science shows that the mind and body don’t know the difference between genuine laughter and fake laughter.
*You reap the same benefits either way, as long as you engage the diaphragm.
*To put it to optimal use, it is important to extend your laughter times, ideally laughing for 15-20 minutes a day.
*It has also been found beneficial in helping with addiction recovery.
*Start out by inserting some laughter into your already existing routine.
No Timid Tee Hees Here
Full out belly laughs are an important part of the process as you engage your solar plexus and do diaphragmatic breathing. The physiological and psychological shifts are observable. They include increased blood flow and oxygen, release of pain relieving and pleasure inducing hormones, decrease in cortisol (a stress hormone), as well as reduction in depression and anxiety.
Creating Community in A Safe Space
When people come together in a comfortable environment to do what they are not inclined to do in other public places, the benefits are even greater. Laughter Yoga Clubs that are free, are held throughout the world and are also judgment-free zones.
Why Leave Laughter to Chance?
Most people think they need a reason to be happy and an incentive to laugh when it is the other way around. When we laugh, we increase our joy quotient. What one person finds funny, may be distasteful to someone else. If you commit to a daily Laughter practice, watch your quality of life take leaps and bounds changes.
Ha Ha Healing Breakthroughs
By the time the weekend was over, I had several healing breakthroughs myself. I was diagnosed with asthma at age four which I didn’t allow to limit me, but still felt a need to keep up, to push myself, to go beyond expectations. I have experienced being winded and lacking in stamina when I crossed an invsible line and didn’t listen to my body’s need for rest. In addition, more recently, I had been troubled by plantar fasciitis in my left heel which caused intense pain that had me limping at times. Throughout the training, this ‘light aerobic exercise,’ as it is referred to, had me up on my feet, dancing, walking, and of course, laughing. I was able to keep up and bonus... there was limited awareness of pain in my foot. Some kind of magic occurred.
The aha moments arose when I realized that when sprinkled generously throughout our lives, laughter is a universal language that crosses all societally created and reinforced boundaries. It is a portable life skill that knows no time constraint or ‘use by’ date. It is like the super glue that bonds people together.
In a TED Talk, Dr. Kataria shares his insights about the value of Laughter Yoga.
Take the Quiz to Get Your Frequency by Diane Wing, M.A. from the book The True Nature of Energy: Transforming Anxiety into Tranquility
Your vibrational level determines how much energy you have, the quality of that energy, what you attract, and how people respond to you. Awareness of your vibrational frequency is important in order to achieve your goals.
Perception affects vibrational level. For example, if you look around your home and notice it needs cleaning, you might perceive the task as a chore, something that is an inconvenience, resent having to do it, and complaining about it the entire time. Complaining weakens your energy field, thereby lowering your vibrational level and your overall energy along with it. Your motivation to complete the task diminishes. Notice that when you complain, your energy level dips. Notice how your energy feels agitated when you are around someone who constantly complains. Or you can perceive the situation differently and tackle the responsibility with gratitude for having a home and the desire to live in a clean environment, thereby creating a higher-level vibration. There is no right or wrong, simply objective energetic associations and frequencies, and you have the power to choose every step of the way.
Vibrational frequency manifests in your thoughts, beliefs, perspectives, and behaviors. Expanding your energetic consciousness is a powerful way to become self-aware. To make it easy to understand the outward manifestations of these vibrational levels, I have created a scale and associated quiz to increase your awareness of where you are vibrating at any given moment. The Wing Vibrational Scale describes energetic frequencies from Level 1 (lower, denser energies) to Level 10 (higher, lighter energies) and represents levels that are possible to attain in a lifetime. While there are energetic states beyond Level 10, these are what are possible to attain while in our physical body and in a state of consciousness on the physical plane.
Find your vibrational level: Before we proceed, let us start by getting a baseline at where you are vibrating right now. Take the quiz and see where you fall on the Wing Vibrational Scale. Then look up your Vibrational Level in the score interpretation section. The interpretations are focused on how these vibrations manifest themselves and how they are experienced within the context of everyday life. In this way, you will be able to see where you fall and how you can progress from where you are to elevate your personal vibration.
As you go through the items, answer them as you feel in the moment and avoid overanalyzing the questions. Go with your first instinct. Remember, these are energetic levels, not personality indicators. Energies change over time, and this will uncover where you are vibrating right now. There is an expected fluctuation in vibrational levels based on current emotion, circumstances, and perception. The key is to become aware of where you are functioning energetically at any given moment.
Before coming to my session at the Vibrant Living Festival, take the self-scoring version of the quiz online at https://www.dianewing.com/wing-vibrational-scale-quiz/ Bring your results with you to class at the Vibrant Living Festival!
Free session: Understanding the Wing Vibrational Scale—FREE
Energy is the foundational component of energetic consciousness. We have the ability to raise or lower our vibrational level and to recognize where we are vibrating. Vibrational frequency manifests in our thoughts, beliefs, perspectives, and behaviors. To make it easy to understand the outward manifestations of these vibrational levels, Diane Wing, M.A. created a scale and associated quiz to increase your aware-ness of where you are vibrating at any given moment. Take the quiz and get the baseline score of where you are vibrating right now. Learn the components of the Wing Vibrational Scale, and then take the other courses in the Energetic Consciousness track to discover ways to elevate your vibrational level.
Diane Wing’s Upcoming Classes at The Room – Register Today!
A Day of Raising Your Vibrational IQ
October 20, 2018 starting at 11 am
The Room at Meadowbrook, 4089 Durham Rd, Ottsville, PA
We’ll start with understanding your personal vibrational level and how it is expressed in your life. Then we’ll focus on elevating your energetic frequency and using it to enhance your ability to make a greater impact in the world and your life and connect to the Divine.
Developing Energetic Awareness to Transform Anxiety into Tranquility – 11 am
Energy is vast and pervasive. It is all around us, and we are forced into a relationship with it. All interactions contain an energetic component. The unifying forces of the Universe are omnipresent in both living entities and inanimate objects. People, animals, situations, objects, and environments contain and give off energy. To discover how to observe and direct this abundant energy is to harness the power at our finger-tips. By understanding and being consciously aware of the energetic impacts that can be created, it is possible to manifest our will. This course will discuss the source of energy, increase your awareness of the energy around you, reveal external indicators of internal energies, and help you understand how you impact the energies around you. Based on Diane Wing’s book The True Nature of Energy: Transforming Anxiety into Tranquility.
Energetic Imprints: Controlling Your Energetic Footprint – 1 pm
You have the ability to control your energy and raise its frequency. The energetic footprint consists of the energetic densities of physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental aspects. The denser your energy, the more intrusive your imprint will be. The goal is to create the lightest possible frequency so that you are vibrating as close as possible to the Universal Energy. Controlling your energetic footprint is crucial, for it impacts everything you encounter. Throughout the day, you are actively imprinting your energy on others through your moods, thoughts, and intentions, on the Universal Energy – a source which others are tapping into and picking up on your “stuff.” It is projected onto your work, and it comes out in documents you handle, things you write, things you create. Learn what kind of energetic imprint you are leaving, what imprints are left on objects and places, and how to increase your awareness of the energies within and around you.
Tuition: 1 class=$32.50 2 classes=$52.00 (save $13!)
Space is limited – Looking forward to seeing you in class
For information about other classes and events featuring Diane Wing, go to www.dianewing.com
Years ago, some youthful 20 year olds approached me to use my farm for what they called the Vibrant Living Festival. I was so enthused, one into health and well being. I was an organic grower, Green Collaboration Cohost and this seemed a perfect fit. It was a spiritually based event as it came forward and I was delighted to learn so much from this collaboration.
From the festival it turned into hosting Traveling Masters at my farm in the form of retreats and I was educated rightly on health and well being beyond our standard western education. Very practical brilliance from these Himalayan Masters that I was inspired to write a book and expand into supporting health and beauty in this most magical way I was taught. They were all about energy which was good for me for I have much. It is really all about energy anyway, something we all want more of and something we learn so little of in our current culture.
So now, years later, I resurrected this festival at a new farm I am at, engaged in a holistic living education room. This original festival and all that occurred afterwards has truly changed my life, my energy, my health, my path forward, it was a turning point! I truly learned of what it means to live vibrantly!
So what does it mean? My experience of living vibrantly is all about my life force and the energy I have. How I share it, how I cultivate it, how I protect it, what I take in and give out, how I can shift it, what feeds it and what drains it, all these learnings teach me to exude the best energy I am. It has supported me to health on all levels, greater beauty inside and out, more energy to do things and a very discerning eye as to what will fuel this wonder I am.
This festival was so helpful in turning me onto the holistic view, the greater understanding of the healing and expressive arts and why they are too be an intricate part of living in health with my whole being in mind. I have written my book and my main direction is to teach the arts I know and promote all these magical arts for others to find the ones that will create a happier life for themselves. I know it is the path for I have been on it and my experience is the knowing. We see all these alternative ways cropping up everywhere and will continue too for it is the expansion of our health and well being. There is no other way forward.
I invite you to join in our festival, Sept. 22 at Meadowbrook Animal Healing, 4089 Durham Rd in Ottsville. We will have a plethora of healing modalities to check out mini sessions. Many healing readings, healthful elixirs, mini workshops on ways to understand yourself, your body being and energy to live more fully in joy. It's from noon until 6. The vendors break down at 4:30 so we all may participate in a Sound Bath Healing outside, having healing tones and rhythms to reset and nourish our beings. A delicious experience.
We are whole beings involving our physical nature, our emotions, our mental thinking and our spirit that really runs us. We can't approach life from the physical plane only as we have been taught. Our emotions are important for they move us to action. Our thinking is important for it creates the focus of ourselves. Our spirit awaits us in the wings, fueling us for life, seeking connect with these other parts or bodies so we can sync up and live wholly. Holy, Holistic, whole, these all mean the same alignment of self. These arts, these ways are the way to begin to understand how to do this, processes that nourish and support this line up and ways to create more joy and relaxation.
This is the tale of my mission to live vibrantly and share this with the world. Understanding yourself as a bundle of energy and working life to keep that energy vital, empowered, rested when needed and recharged. Noticing how things effect your energy, when to shift and when to walk on. Using all types of nourishment from movement, healing, relaxation and alternative arts. It is my passion! It has created such a powerful way of living for me in joy, health and expansion. I invite to you participate in such magical knowledge and awaken yourself too! It is time for us to evolve to understanding our greater experience here and these arts, are the ticket to learning and understanding this next level!
Join us and engage in living vibrantly! Festival details!
I am not an expert on the Feldenkrais modality. I am a curious experiencer of the healing and expressive arts. I do love to share my understanding of modalities so others will explore and use them to support their vitality. With this perspective, I want to share my experience of Feldenkrais so maybe you too can find the incredible benefits of it.
I first ran into this modality when I was in Mexico 5 years ago. While at a yoga retreat, the woman who owned the magical property we were on, was from Germany and offered a Feldenkrais class so we took it. I was amazed by the simplicity of movement we did to retrain our body patterns. It was easy rolling around as I call it in simple movements. I was amazed how in sync my body felt afterwards. Simple and gentle yet so effective in resetting the body to relaxation and alignment. I thought, I must find this back in the states.
Until a few months ago, I had never found anyone doing this method. I found a brochure on it at Nellie Raes Vegan Cafe and got in touch with Dayana Pereira, a local practitioner to investigate. I so enjoyed her as a beautiful girl and person when we sat at lunch together to see how we could collaborate. She spoke to me of private sessions which I was unaware of when I learned in Mexico. Of course I had to see the benefits of this for my personal body issues for I was so intrigued with this modality 5 years ago. It was an amazing, peaceful experience of having her move my body gently and back into the proper movement patterns so natural for the body. The energy of it was similiar to Jin Shin in my experience. Peaceful, rested, flowing and opening to my body being.
We get patterns of moving in our body that are not to our benefit from overuse, injury, life. My understanding is that she supports this pattern for a moment until your body allows her to move you gently and smoothly while resting. Once your body relaxes and allows her to do the movements, she slowly begins to move that area in the way it was designed to move, repatterning it back to its normal function. As I stated in the class, we did simple movements like a baby, the basics of mobility and in doing that the body reset very gracefully. I understand this concept of gentle easy moves to realign as a Tai Chi Health teacher.
Each person and treatment is different but on that day I had a kink in my left neck. She supported my whole spine into a new alignment and fluidity with these gentle movements and my neck pain disappeared after the session. It was quite magical for I just relaxed and allowed her to work kindly with my body in such simple ways of little movements. Soothing, no pain, quieting and relaxing it was.
I understand that it takes years to become a practitioner of this modality. It is a gentle process of working the body and retraining it back into the simple,basic ways of movement that are natural and so healing to us. It isn't painful physically but I could see how old emotions or feelings could be released in a healing cry or other emotions as the memories or things locked in get a way out of us. To me this is even more amazing for our cells, our patterns hold emotions in and anyway you can have them released will only support your body movement and health tremendously.
This isn't a scientific view of this modality but an experiential one. I invite you to investigate this healing process. It is gentle for those with mobility issues. it is peaceful for those wanting to experience more relaxation on a deep level filled with oxytocin hormones. It is healing in ways I never experienced by any other modality and I try them all. It is kind to the body deva as I call it for our bodies need loving support, not so much hard movement to be healthy.
Dayana Pereira's contact and website are listed below. I am enthused she he will do a free class on Sept. 22 at our Vibrant Living Festival at 1 pm if you want to experience this incredible art. It will be a chair class for we all could use a practice to realign ourselves while sitting throughout our day. Dayana is part of a new collaborative of healers that will be opening in Doylestown this fall. I highly recommend her and the Feldenkrais Method for great body healing and connection. We have an innate health system that often just needs some support to reset. She was gentle, soothing and a powerful healer from my experience. Truly worthy a modality that has only 7,000 practitioners around the world! Blessed we are to have one in our area!
The Happy Body Mentor®
Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner