Leading The Way: Laughter Yoga Leader Training Kicks Off In China!
by Lee Sok Lian｜李淑莲
These days, gibberish is the language of choice amongst a very tiny fraction of the population on Sun Island Shanghai. Sun Island General Manager Carrie Tan cheerfully breaks out into gibberish that only she and a handful of others understand. The positive emotions generated by the simple communication through gibberish facilitates social cohesion amongst team members; the 15 laughter yoga practitioners now share a common language and therefore a much stronger bond. In reality, whether they or others truly understand the language manufactured matters not one jolt.
The difference between using gibberish and the Chinese language is that gibberish is definitely more creative, hilarious and fun, accompanied by loud cackles and hearty laughter from everyone. Hearts open and connect. Positive vibes are felt even by those observing nearby, infecting them as well.
The first Certified Laughter Yoga Leader Course in the People’s Republic of China, held from 16-17 April 2014 on the idyllic island resort of Sun Island in Shanghai, drew enthusiastic response from all 14 participants from Sun Island Resort and the Shanghai Singapore International School.
At least three participants, all parents of young children, reported positive changes in their personality right after the two-day training. Usually tired, cantankerous and harassed after a hard day’s labor, these parents would, upon reaching home, frequently fly into a rage when homework and academic expectations are not met.
After the laughter yoga training, the three participants purportedly did not vent their anger on family members, all feelings of tiredness and frustration having miraculously dissipated. Since they had eliminated all the anger and negativity from their systems, they had nothing left to vent. Tired from the two-day training, they were just glad to flop onto their beds when they got home, with instructions to the children to complete their homework before turning in. In the three households, the children obediently completed their homework or revised their lessons, all the while wondering what had come over Mum/Dad. They seemed more human. More understanding. Kinder, gentler, more patient, and forgiving. Mum and Dad “acted strange” and remained in high spirits for days.
In their testimonials, all three parents admitted that they liked the change that had come over them. Not that they cared less about the children but rather they had learnt to manage their feelings and expectations. In short, love and laugh. Live and let live. Let it go.
In the fun-packed 2-day training, laughter yoga teacher Lee Sok Lian --- till today, still the only bilingual (Chinese and English) certified laughter yoga teacher on the mainland --- took the 14 participants through more than 60 laughter yoga exercises, some of which are Sun Island creations with a distinctly Chinese flavor. Public Area Manager Jenny Zhang and her assistant Supervisor Yao Ruizhen helped incorporate the popular Chinese guang chang wu dance and the rapturous Maiden of Alisan (A Li Shan De Gu Niang) music and dance routine into the Sun Island laughter yoga repertoire. We even made believe we were at an old folks’ home, inhaling roses, taking imaginary rollercoaster rides and giving each other back massages while guffawing and laughing all afternoon.
Other much-loved original Sun Island laughter classics include the boisterous and rousing People’s Liberation Army march on horseback, therapeutic horseback riding, A Game of Golf, Therapeutic Back Massage, and routine service actions which draw inspiration from the work we do ----- from frying omelettes at the breakfast buffet to washing dishes, cleaning windows and mopping the floor, to the accompaniment of uproarious laughter.
Very good, very good, yay!
Sun Island Shanghai 2-Day Certified Laughter Yoga Leaders’ (English OR Chinese) course inquiries: