My mother took her own life when I was 8 years young. This was very traumatic. I don’t remember laughing much as a child and later made decisions in my teenage years that were not always in my best interest.
What I learned in university helped, yet after I graduated there was still a part of me that did not feel well inside. I wondered how I could have integrity teaching wellness to others when I did not feel well myself.
Let’s fast forward to many years later. I saw laughter yoga on the Oprah Winfrey Show one day and it intrigued me greatly. Shortly after that I met a man visiting my church who told me he was a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader. I instantly knew this was something I had to investigate so I flew to Dallas, TX in January 2008 to become a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader.
My first action when I got back was to start the Louisville Laughter Yoga Wellness Club. Our first session was on February 13, 2008. 33 people attended my first class. This date was the 25th anniversary of my mother’s passing.
Many things have happened since then. I hosted a daily Laughter Yoga session on the Phone for an entire year, trained as a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher in India, and more. In that process I saw my inner joy finally unfold and bloom.
I am now more joyful in my life than ever before. Laughter Yoga has helped me tap into my authentic, pure, overflowing laughter. Also, it has allowed me to shift & transform my thoughts of painful experiences to create space for new, joyful & “laughful” experiences.
To me, Laughter Yoga is a way of life and a spiritual experience. It is not a one time experience. It has been the catalyst that helps me continually tap into something greater than myself.
After working for 8 years in the Pharmaceutical Industry, I realize profoundly that Laughter Yoga is a Medicine that I want to prescribe myself daily. Laughter Yoga is a direct access to the healthful, joyful and peaceful essence of me that is good medicine for my mind, body and spirit.
Melanie R. Rudolph
Louisville Laughter Yoga Wellness Club