Jean Marcley has combined the physical benefits of Laughter Yoga with the emotional benefits of affirmations – thus, Laugh-firmation.
Laughter Yoga is a unique concept where anyone can laugh for exercise or social connection, without the use of humor, jokes, or comedy. In Laughter Yoga we initiate laughter as exercise along with child-like playfulness. We call it Yoga because we combine it with Yogic breathing (Pranayama) which helps to oxygenate the blood.
Affirmations are used to focus on positive thoughts and beliefs. Recent studies have confirmed that affirmations have improved the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds. The simple act of focusing on the sources of meaning and purpose in our lives is incredibly effective at lowering defenses and changing behavior. According to a study published in the journal “Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience,” functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to find that self-affirmation activates well-known reward centers in the brain.
In a Laugh-firmation session, which can last from fifteen minutes to an hour and more, Ms. Marcley leads the group in exercises that combine clapping with “ha, ha, ho, ho, ho, which will turn into spontaneous laughter. Participants will meet and greet each other with laughter, and join in with other playful exercises. When Jean determines, she will interrupt the laughter with some deep breathing and some affirmations such as, “I choose to love life,” and “I choose to handle all my experiences with love and with joy and with ease.”
The session ends with a guided meditation led by Jean.