A mantra is a commonly repeated sound, word or phrase used in meditation to cut through discriminating thoughts so the mind can become clear. In the context of Laughter Yoga, the “ha ha” mantra is an exercise that invites people to voice out loud something that is frustrating or painful in their life, and punctuate each sentence with “ha ha ha.”

In this video you will hear Gita Fendelman, a retired tax attorney who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease almost a decade ago while still in her 40s, put it into practice. Gita has never taken medication. Instead she chose to laugh daily, meditate, do healing Qi Qong and completely review her emotional life and diet.

This exercise may appear insensitive or even disrespectful to some, but it most definitely isn’t. This is about the affirmation of power over, not submission to what ails you. It is a most powerful exercise because you cannot both laugh about something and hang on to feelings of depression and powerlessness about it at the same time. The ability to laugh about your aches and pains is a sign of maturity and brings great emotional freedom.