Laugh Time With Flora

Laugh Time With Flora is a series regular somatic Laughter Yoga classes run by dancer and Laughter Yoga Leader Flora Wellesley Wesley.

Each session consists of simple exercises designed to get participants breathing and laughing deeply, connecting with themselves and others, relaxing, and having fun in a playful, low stakes setting.

According to Dr Madan Kataria, medical doctor and founder of the international Laughter Yoga club movement: “Every time you open your mouth and laugh you are opening the door to happiness.”

It is through practice that we learn to let go of our self-conscious selves and are able to discover the beauty and depths of our own laughter. Through various vocal, somatic and imaginative exercises, LAUGH TIME provides a trail guide that enables people to release their inhibitions and unbridle their laughter. We explore and cultivate playful methods for self-inducing and cherishing our laughter together.

Open to anyone, classes can be done standing or seated. No prior experience required – just a willingness to give it a go and follow Flora’s lead. No need to feel happy on arrival.

LAUGH TIME SUMMER CAMP will run online on Tuesdays & Thursdays for 3 weeks from 13 – 29 July.

In just  three sessions you will learn a whole array of ways to self-induce laughter and become more intimately acquainted with the sound, sensation and image of yourself laughing. Summer Camp will leave you equipped with tools to cotuine a personal practice in August and beyond!

Summer Camp schedule (UK times)

Tickle Me Tuesday | 09:30 – 10:00 | Zoom

Thursday Laugh It Out | 18:00 – 18:30 | Zoom 

Pricing

First taster class: Free

Single class:  £7 / £5 concessions

Summer Camp half board (3 sessions):  £18 / £12 concession

Summer Camp full board (6 sessions): £36 / £24 concession

Bursary places also available.

Booking

To book classes, please complete this registration form.

Payments for class can be made through PayPal, Revolut or bank transfer (details in registration email follow up).

For bespoke community and corporate workshop enquires, email floramww @ gmail dot com

This Autumn I will also be co-facilitating a second online workshop in collaboration with STUDIO SOMA’S Kate Sagovsky – EMBODYING HAPPINESS: Connecting  Feldenkrais, Laughter Yoga, & The Neuroscience of Happiness. This 2.5 hour online workshop will take place on Saturday 23 October, 15:00 – 17:30 (UK). Book your place here.

Listen to Laugh Time

Flora_LaughTime_012

You can listen to excerpts of a Laugh Time class interwoven with pieces by Nora, the dance project that Flora co-directs, in this Changing Lives podcast (16 mins) on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Castbox.

What are the benefits of Laughter Yoga?

Laughing is fantastic for our emotional and physical health.

Extended laughter (what we practice in Laugh Time) is a form of aerobic exercise, kind of like internal jogging. It engages muscles all over the body – especially the diaphragm, abdominals, and intercostal and face muscles – and, just like a cardiovascular workout, it releases ‘feel good’ endorphins that help us relax.

It also increases the net oxygen intake in our body and brain, expels stale air from our lungs and improves our circulation, boosting our alertness, energy and motivation levels. Using our diaphragm muscles also activates the vagus nerve (part of the parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ branch of the central nervous system), reducing stress levels and thus strengthening our immune systems.

The activity of smiling, laughing and connecting with ourselves and others, even online, is also a great social bonding exercise that can lift our mood for the rest of the day.

In these sessions we will practice deep, hearty, extended laughter and are looking to develop our capacity to laugh unconditionally, or ‘for no reason’.  This may sound hard but actually, like most things, it gets easier with practice and in Laugh Time it’s a team effort – you are not alone!

“When you laugh, you change, and when you change, the world changes.” Dr Madan Kataria, medical doctor and Founder of Laughter Yoga clubs worldwide

Who can participate?

People of all ages can participate but please note that these laughter sessions may not be suitable for everyone. Laughter exercises are contra-indicated for people who have uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart disease, epilepsy, any kind of hernia, severe backache, major psychiatric disorders, are in their first trimester or recently underwent major surgery. This list is for guidance only and is not exhaustive. If you have doubts about participating due to a health condition, consult a medical professional for guidance first.

In the sessions themselves, use your common sense: no strain, no new pain. Stop if anything feels uncomfortable. If you need a rest, rest. The class can be done sitting down or standing.

Young people 10-15 years old welcome with the accompaniment of an adult.

Sharing laughter

If you enjoy Laugh Time, please share it with friends and family members. Participating in a laughter class together can be a fun alternative way of spending time together and add to the sense of the occasion in your weekly routine! The more the merrier.

Bespoke Laugh Time sessions

Get in touch if you would like to discuss the possibility of me running a bespoke Laugh Time session.

I facilitate sessions for youth and adult learning groups, Sten dos and birthday parties as well as workshops for community clubs that provide a bonding experience by taking groups on a playful journey outside their comfort zone.

I also facilitate sessions for work teams, providing an inspiration, playful space where people cannot fail – boosting creativity, trust and confidence.

For all enquiries, email: floramww @ gmail dot com

Online Laugh Time resources

For laughter inspiration, feel free to peruse my archive of Laughter Reels on Instagram @florawellesleywesley and more recent live classes @laughtimewithflora on FB & IG.

Mental Health Awareness Week, May 2021

MHAW prompted me to reflect on what I am able to contribute to the conversation and movement to destigmatize mental health conditions. Here are a couple of resources I’ve come across over the last 5 years that I’ve found especially comforting, enlightening and helpful:

– Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice From My Bipolar Life by Ellen Forney – an excellent, funny graphic self-help book that helped me accept and integrate a more nuanced understanding of my disorder into my life. Ellen’s drawings are very endearing and spending with them brought out more self-compassion in me.
Bipolar UK – a charity dedicated to empowering people affected by bipolar to live well and fulfil their potential. They provide useful information about the different types and expressions of bipolar, coordinate support groups/e-communities and advocate for people affected by bipolar.
– I also want to share my Bipolar Bear blog. It’s a series of posts I wrote in Spring 2017 in the early days of processing my diagnosis (Summer 2016, age 28). My burgeoning understanding and awareness of my symptoms was already positively affecting my sense of agency to manage them, even though I was working through confusion and going through ups and downs. Information is power! The blog has been dormant since May that year but as a record of a significant phase, I figure it might be a helpful read to someone.

Published by

Flora Wellesley Wesley

Performing, choreographing, writing, teaching.

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