Guidance Office Brings Laughter Yoga to UE

Laughter filled the air as the UE Guidance and Counseling Office, as part of its Guidance Week Celebration, held a “laughter yoga” session at the Briefing Room in UE Manila on December 2, 2010. In attendance were a number of UE officers, employees and students.

The session was facilitated by Mr. Paolo Trinidad, the founder of Pinoy Laughter Yoga. Mr. Trinidad, the country’s only certified Laughter Yoga teacher, said laughter yoga originated in India and was created by the physician Dr. Madan Kataria. The principle behind laughter yoga is that anyone can laugh for no reason. In the exercise, laughter is induced and simulated as a body exercise in a group and, with eye contact and childlike playfulness, turns into real and contagious laughter. The benefits of laughter yoga are stress relief as well as better circulation, as laughter clears the body of stale air.

Mr. Trinidad’s “Filipinized” laughter yoga has been taking the country by storm. It has made rounds in various institutions such as the Metro Manila District Jail and the Philippine Association of Religious Teachers. It has also been featured in various media organizations here and abroad, among them the GMA show Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho and on CNN.

Some of the participants in the UE session at first had reservations about the exercise, particularly with laughing in the wild-abandon parts, yet everyone actively participated in the exercise. The event began with an exercise that taught everyone proper breathing combined with laughter. The laughter was interspersed with proclamations of nationalism and national pride. Mr. Trinidad then asked the participants to stand up and engage in childlike playing, dancing and laughter. Everyone by then had shed off their inhibitions and gamely participated in the exercise. Employees, faculty members and officers alike were jumping and laughing, like children in a playground.

In closing, Mr. Trinidad then asked the participants to form a circle and proclaim national pride once more. He then proceeded to thank the participants as well as asked for their help in promoting laughter yoga.

Upon leaving the session, some of the participants felt as if a heavy burden was lifted and that they were rejuvenated by the two-hour session. It also eased any physical pain in some of the participants, providing proof to the old adage that laughter is the best medicine.DSCF3158

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