by Bob Banner
Dr. Madan Kataria
I remember Bob [Banner] asking many questions during the training for laughter yoga teachers in Chicago, back in 2009. It appears that many of the chapters in this book emerged from that time. It was a transformational time for him. In fact I recall being quite impressed by the blogs that he was writing at the international laughter yoga site (http://www.laughteryoga.org/). And because Bob has been involved in publishing positive solutionary stories and articles for his publication HopeDance since 1996, it’s not surprising that he would put together this fine slim book for readers who want to get an excellent snapshot of what laughter yoga is all about, with photos of course.
Since I co-founded Laughter Yoga with my wife, Madhuri, back in 1995 there are now thousands of laughter yoga clubs and many Leader and Teacher trainings throughout the world. It has truly taken off. Especially with so many recent documentaries that have featured laughter yoga namely the Laughing Clubs of India, How to Live Forever, and Laughology, it is no surprise that more and more research both medical and psychological have come to the forefront. This is all wonderful news and I’m delighted to be able to write a brief introduction to Bob’s volume. And because it’s still a relatively new movement, Bob Banner has given us a very thoughtful reflection of his experience with laughing both as a leader, a teacher as well as a participant in this ever-growing transformational work. I’m often quoted as saying, “When you laugh, you change. And when you change, the world changes.”
This very simple practice of using laughter as a way to jolt the rational mind out of its self obsessed seriousness has had profound effects on thousands if not millions of people. And I can see how it has affected the author of this book who can play that edge between laughing and clarifying, between the right brain and the left brain, between the ecstatic laughter and the realization that profound changes can occur with the utmost simple modalities. As Robert Provine, author of the book Laughter, as well as being featured in the film Laughology says, “laughter is hidden in plain sight,” which is an excellent way to explain the simple and obvious practice that has created such profound health benefits. We simply need to turn our attention to such simple modalities. Also, as I mentioned in the film Laughology, “it is time to take laughter seriously,” and Bob’s book is one such gem to keep the movement moving along in the hopes of finding other researchers in the transformational fields so they too can jump into the sea of laughter, especially in these times of precarious changes and brewing chaos.
May we enter into the world of increased and rapid paced evolution and never forget the power of laughter, to know that we have a choice when responding to various life situations… and that the more people move toward laughter, joy and celebration we will gain that heightened sense of aliveness that we once lost and use it now to move us into a most adventurous, peaceful and joyful life and world.
Thank you Bob.
Dr. Madan Katari
FROM LAUGHTER TO JOY: A Journey in the Laughter Yoga Community (78pps) by Bob Banner ($6)
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