Phillipa Challis, known as the Laughter Lady, founded Laughter Clubs of Victoria Inc (LCV) five years ago and in that time has seen 38 community laughter clubs and organisational laughter clubs launched around the State.
A laughter yoga session is a physically oriented technique that uses a perfect blend of playful, empowering and otherwise ‘tension-releasing' laughter exercises.
Volunteer laughter yoga leaders who have undertaken the authorised LCV laughter yoga leaders workshop that includes co-leading a number of sessions before starting a club run all the clubs, which are free to the public. People from all walks of life and all ages participate. Most of the clubs are run on a weekly basis, usually held outdoors and run for half an hour, and are often followed by the members sharing coffee and a chat.
The laughter movement was started 12 years ago by Dr Madan Kataria, a General Practitioner in Mumbai India, and now has over 5,000 clubs worldwide. Laughter yoga has many benefits beside the joy of laughter. It strengthens the immune system, combats negative effects of stress, and enhances creativity. It increases tolerance to pain, improves people's sense of humour, self-confidence and communication skills, to name just a few.
Laughter Yoga Leaders undertake training at their own expense and each community laughter club must carry public liability insurance. At this stage money for insurance is often paid by the leader, some clubs hold fundraisers, and others seek donations from their regular attendees.
We are working towards being able to
- continue to offer free laughter sessions to the community
- take laughter yoga into schools (it is a great tool for children to use to boost their self esteem)
- present laughter sessions to groups and associations that are unable to afford it
- re-imburse laughter yoga leaders for their travel, when they volunteer to present for groups
- pay the public liability insurance for leaders of community clubs
- contribute towards expenses for laughter yoga leader workshops training
- pay our quarterly hosting fee for our web site, sponsored by Get Started
- increase our web site to include pages such as a photo gallery and a laughter yoga leaders only
- present a Laughter Conference in Melbourne the weekend of 18/19 August 2007
- double the number of clubs in Melbourne
- expand into every regional area in the State
We are aware that sponsorship will enable us to have more exposure in the community and then we will be able to put more laughter into the community. Laughter therapy is acknowledged as one of the fastest growing mind-body exercise, and scientific study shows that it helps people on a physical, mental, and emotional level.
Ritchies Community Benefit Program is one way of helping LCV to raise funds. Their CB number is 98724.
Live Life Laughing!
Founder and Co-Ordinator - Laughter Clubs Victoria Inc
Australian Laughter Ambassador - Laughter Club International