LYN FORD, STORYTELLER
Laughter, Breath, Joy!
Laughter, Breath, Joy!
I'm tickled pink (thus the color of the heading) to add the titles of Laughter Yoga Leader, Laughter Yoga Teacher, and "Breath Mechanic"
to my offerings of "Home-Fried Tales".
HERE'S A TIMELINE OF THIS JOY-FILLED ADVENTURE:
On May 22, 2011, I completed training to offer Hasya Yoga (Yogic Laughter*) sessions
Much gratitude to my Laughter Yoga Teacher, Meg Scott. I have had the privilege and fun of including Laughter Yoga exercises in my storytelling workshop on Oahu and my storytelling-in-education sessions here in Central Ohio; I even got to share a couple exercises at Illinois' Fox Valley Music and Storytelling Festival's storytelling tent! And, I used Yoga Laughter as a warm-up exercise while I participated in education sessions for teaching artists at the Kennedy Center--very good, very good, very good, YAY!
On September 29, 2012, I completed training to become a Level 1 Breathologist, under the tutelage of Breathologist and Breath Master Ayo Handy-Kendi.**
Sister Ayo created the term and format for studies in "breathology". It incorporates knowledge of the natural and most healthy way to breathe, and breathing exercises from several health disciplines. I am grateful for the knowledge I gained, including an understanding of the physiology of breathing. However, in order to make folks aware that I am not, not, NOT a doctor or student of medicine, I prefer to use the term "breath mechanic", also coined by Sister Ayo. How will I use this knowledge? Primarily, to improve my own breathing habits. But I can also help YOU to rediscover the healthy way to do what comes naturally, BREATHE!
Because of the fantastic responses to simply and safely sharing joy, I will continue to incorporate Laughter Yoga techniques into new and updated keynote and workshop presentations, ice-breakers, and community-builders for educators, storytellers, and students.
on August 2, 2013, I facilitated laughter exercises for about 300 people at the NATIONAL STORYTELLING NETWORK CONFERENCE! Very good, very good, very good, YAY!
On May 16 - 18, 2014, I got to laugh and play with like minds and hearts at the SOUTHERN-FRIED LAUGHTER CONFERENCE! I learned so much and laughed so much, even played in the playground and danced every day. Ho ho, ha ha HA! YAY!
In September, 2014, I facilitated my "Laughter and Orature" playshop at the Transformative Language Arts Network's Power of Words Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. It was a joy and an honor to play with so many people whose words and work strive to make a joyful difference in the world..
In May, 2015, I did a Laughter Yoga refresher with 11 other smiling faces and our fearless, funny leader and teacher, Meg Scott. It felt like a mini-vacation weekend. Very good, very good, YAY!
In July, 2016, I shared more laughter at the National Storytelling Network Conference in Kansas City. This was the fourth year of facilitating some ha-ha energy for NSN! Always a pleasure!
AS OF FEBRUARY 22, 2016, I AM OFFICIALLY A CERTIFIED LAUGHTER YOGA TEACHER! Thank you to Master Trainer Lynda Tourloukis for her wisdom and guidance...YAY!!! One-day workshops, two-day CLYL Leadership Training, Interactive Keynotes, playtimes for big sand little people...Yeah, I'm ready to share even more love and laughter with y'all! Contact me at [email protected]
- Laughter and Oral Literacy (LOL!): It's Still a Good Medicine! Community and communication-builders, ice-breakers, and fun time-stretching experiences that can be incorporated into daily activities for after-school programs, classrooms, retreats, and camps. This creative play may include:
- movements and breathing exercises,
- ways to nurture skills in speaking and listening, and
- ways to nurture pre-writing and literary-narrative skills.
This session ALWAYS includes LAUGHTER!
- Laughter and Storytelling! Interactive Stories and Play
- Laughter and Orature*** - This is the big-people version of the activities listed under Laughter and Storytelling! Grown folks had so much fun playing with the concepts, and I adapted it for conference presentations and elder-care centers (30 quick minutes!), available in 60-, 90-, and 120-minute sessions of stories, activities and information.
- Conference ice-breakers, interactive keynotes, and plenary activities - Need 15 minutes of fun and facilitated, community-building joy to open or transition in your conference programming? Want a keynote that keeps folks engaged and participating?Need a 30-minute to 60-minute event that sends everyone happily to their sessions for the day, or joyfully, comfortably, and memorably home? Tell me what you need!
- Joy Journals - an exercise in pre-writing for creative writing and personal narrative, without the pressure of "writing" (but if you feel the spark fly from a story prompt or activity, fan that fire, honey!). You have to experience this to know what we do. And, when it's over, you'll have a small journal in which to note your own moments of joy. Session requires 60 to 90 minutes, and is limited (sorry!) to 20 to 30 participants.
- Laughter, Breath, Joy workshop sessions: one-hour, ninety-minute, two-hour or one-day energy, relaxation and joy exercises - These are informative, playful, and fun! Learn how to share your heart and joy, energize and enhance your own, personal health practices, and become a more resilient human bean (smile, you sweet pea, you!).
- Two-day Certified Laughter Yoga Leader training sessions. These sessions give you even more! I give you all that is shared in the one-day workshop session, and I am now able to share with you and certify you to do all that is needed to create and facilitate your own Laughter Clubs, plus more!
*The concept of laughter for health and healing has been around for quite a while. Dr. Annette Goodheart (perfect name for these exercises!), was a psychologist who specialized in laughter therapy in the 1960s. Dr. Goodheart was the first to develop a theoretical framework utilizing voluntary simulated laughter. The specific practice known as Laughter Yoga was developed by Dr. Madan Kataria, with the support and assistance of his wife and fellow Yoga practitioner, Madhuri Kataria. Dr. Kataria began the first Laughter Yoga club in Mumbai, India in 1995. It is now a worldwide experience enjoyed in thousands of Laughter clubs. For more information, go to www.laughteryoga.org
**For more information on Ayo-Handy Kendi's work, go to www.breathepositive.com
***Orature = spoken-word presentation, predating and providing a foundation for all that has gone into book formats, and alive and well today in storytelling, dramatic narrative, and poetry and story slams, in songs and bedtime stories, at The Moth, TED, Moth and Butterfly, and other creative contemporary styles and venues. More formally, the term refers to the epics and legends of African cultures and history.
The word was created by Pio Zirimu in the '70s, to recognize the centuries-old oral literature and literacy that did not seem to be as respected as the printed work that followed it. This word refers specifically to the epics, heritage and history handed down through generations of carefully trained spoken-word artists, but is often used in more generic terms for spoken-word narrative rooted in the gifts of African and African American artistry. Zirimu did not live to see the word's use grow and thrive, but it is recognized in some dictionaries, folklore and literacy discussions, lectures, classrooms, and narrative presentations around the world.