Contact: Ellen Mercer 405-947-2653 LNMirther@cox.net www.EllenMercer.com
Intentional belly laughter, done as an exercise, is a health practice steadily growing in the Tulsa area, the USA and around the world. People everywhere are discovering this experience of stress-releasing, joy boosting, directed laughter. One such person is a 63 year old Oklahoma City “Laughter Professional”, Ellen Mercer. She was first exposed to Laughter Yoga in 2007, at a holistic health fair in Chickasha, OK, where she laughed so hard that tears were flowing. Realizing that regularly practicing these fun belly laughter sessions might improve her health and her joy level, Ellen decided to embrace Laughter Yoga.
After attending weekly Laughter Clubs a while Mercer enrolled in a weekend Laughter Yoga Leader certification workshop where she learned the techniques for using laughter as a wellness tool. The class was taught by Oklahoma’s first laughter yogi, a young man who journeyed to Paris, France a year earlier to train directly under the movements’ founder (begun in 1995),Dr. Madan Kataria from India. Ellen began sharing her new skills in the fundamentals of breathing and laughing as an exercise protocol. She was invited to bring laughter moves to groups around Oklahoma; nurses, therapists, physicians, counselors, clowns, court reporters, teachers, hospice staff, social workers, support groups, social clubs, senior groups and students of all ages.
Mercer shared that Tulsa does already have a handful of Laughter Yoga enthusiasts including a recreational therapist she trained in the fall of 2011 who uses laughter yoga regularly with clients at Hillcrest. He shares the simple exercises which consist of diaphragm engaging breathing, moving, mime and stretching with laughter and the cultivation of childlike playfulness. The laughter yoga sessions give participants the well-documented benefits of stress reduction, better oxygen uptake and a mild cardiovascular workout. Plus, it is just plain fun, and can transform lives.
With a degree in nutrition, Ellen Mercer, views laughter as a whole food remedy for body, mind and emotions. Oklahoma’s most experienced Certified Laughter Yoga Leader and Teacher/trainer is planning to certify more people this month in the Tulsa area. Mercer was certified as a trainer in 2010 and has since taught 18 workshops to Certify Laughter Yoga Leaders from Oklahoma and surrounding states. Those wishing to learn more about this activity might visit the international website www.LaughterYoga.org or find out about local happenings in our state at www.EllenMercer.com