Judi Winall, founder of Joyful Healing Laughter Yoga
Who knew laughter could be so healthy? Judi Winall, Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, established a free club called Joyful Healing Laughter Yoga that takes place once a month at the Symmes Township Library that focuses entirely on the art of laughter and how beneficial it is to your health.
Winall is the founder of The Center for Soul Empowerment, a nature photographer, and a life mastery mentor and teacher. For 28 years, Winall was involved in the field of integrative life healing and came across laughter yoga on a trip to Chicago. Inspired by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of Laughter Yoga, Winall has helped spread the laughter phenomenon here in Cincinnati that began in 1995 in India with only five people and has grown to 7,000 laughter yoga clubs in 72 countries. “My journey with laughter yoga began in 2007 when I received an e-mail inviting me to leader training in South Africa. Attending that training was not an option for me, so I began doing research and discovered training much closer to home near Chicago,” Winall explains, “The profound experience of this training changed my life in a powerful way. I realized from my own personal experience that laughter yoga really does make you healthier, happier and wiser.”
After she began the nonprofit laughter yoga club, Winall decided to attend Dr. Kataria’s teacher training. Shortly after that, in 2008, she began offering a two-day laughter yoga leader training program. “I loved doing laughter yoga and wanted to integrate further what I already learned as well as be able to train others so they could bring laughter yoga into their own lives and communities,” she says, “I could see clearly how laughter yoga beautifully supported my passion and empowering others.”
Known as a “complete well-being” workout Laughter Yoga is more than just an exercise routine because it has scientifically proven benefits. Laughter Yoga is based on the fact that the body cannot tell a difference between fake and real laughter therefore you can get the same physiological and psychological benefits regardless of the how genuine the laughter is. Laughter lowers the level of stress hormones in the blood causing a 6% reduction in blood pressure and a 28% reduction in stress levels. Laughter Yoga releases endorphins from the brain cells causing happiness, brings more oxygen to the body and brain single-handedly beating stress, strengthens the immune system, improves the quality of your life and helps establish a positive mind set so it’s easier to deal with negative situations. Winall’s Joyful Healing Laughter Yoga Club is completely free and meets on the third Wednesday of each month. The certified Laughter Yoga leader training is next offered on March 29 and 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. The leader training is $275 before March 15 and $295 after that date.
Thus far, she’s receiving nothing but positive feedback from laughing yoga clientele, according to Winall. “They’re saying things like ‘Laughter Yoga helps me sleep better,’ ‘My life feels transformed,’ ‘Stress just rolls off my back,’ and ‘I feel lighter, more energetic and more optimistic,'” she explains.
|Laughter yoga focuses on helping you get healthy by laughing.|
“Laughter Yoga creates a sense of community for people along with a lifetime of health benefits. It gives them a tool to improve their well-being,” she says. “It’s really a great way to tap into the essence of who we are. What makes Laughter yoga so different is it simply focuses on laughter and everyone is familiar with laughter! You can laugh anytime and anywhere.”
According to Winall one minute of hearty laughter is worth ten minutes on a rowing machine or jogging in a cardiovascular sense. “Laughing for 15 to 20 minutes will allow you to see health benefits,” she explains.
Winall hopes to see Laughter Yoga become better known, and to one day walk into one of her classes and see it completely filled.