Gilda’s Club was founded in memory of the talented Saturday Night Live comedian, Gilda Radner, It provides a place where men, women and children living with cancer – and their family and friends – can join together to build social and emotional support as a supplement to medical care. Gilda’s Club offers support and networking groups, workshops, lectures, and social events in a beautiful, homelike setting all free of charge.
Last night I had the honor of leading a laughter yoga session for stress relief at Gilda’s. As someone who for years avoided feelings, I was slightly apprehensive at the potential riptide of emotion, As it turned out, the opportunity to share with this group was incredible. Laughter yoga allows people to connect intimately. The eye contact and playfulness opens us up to ourselves and each other and allows a remarkable vulnerability. Being together with each other after laughing and in all our humanity was a gift from each of us to each of us.
There are Wednesday night laughter club sessions every week. There were started by Vishwa Prakash many years ago and continued by Jonathan Applefield when Vishwa got sick. Now as Jonathan prepares to move to Massachusetts, I am happy to ensure that the weekly club continues with gusto! Laughter Yoga leaders are invited to step in and take on sessions when they feel like it.
The club meets every Wednesday from 6 -7 pm at the Better Health Chiropractic Clinic at 825 Seventh Avenue (53rd Street), Lower level.
On Sunday, March 26, I am conducting a laughter yoga session at Gould Farm in Monterey, Massachusetts.
Gould Farm is the first residential therapeutic community in the nation dedicated to helping adults with mental health and related challenges move toward recovery, health and greater independence through community living, meaningful work, and clinical care.
In a supportive community environment made up of residents, staff and their families, they help adults with depression, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia and other challenges begin to rebuild and regain their lives. Gould Farm offers a full continuum of care, with programs in both Boston and the Berkshires for those ready for new challenges and structured transition.
Laughter yoga emphasizes play. One hallmark of play is an absence of a self-critical mind. The play in laughter yoga provides social engagement, eye contact and a soothing sense of touch. It provides a glimpse at feeling open, vulnerable and safe simultaneously. This is a revolutionary feeling to own!
Laughter yoga helps soften the amygdala’s hold on an individual and anxiety is reduced. Maybe Gould Farm would like to do some ongoing work to see if there are discernible identifiable outcomes.
I am happy to add more dates at the bright and airy space at The Art Annex, 2666 Route 23 in Hillsdale, NY.
The sessions are free, but I do ask for pre-registration. Give a call to 518-325-4000 or write to me at Lisa@laughteryoganyc.org to hold your spot.
More info at IMBY: Laughter Yoga is taking off in hillsdale