"In Laughter Yoga, we don’t laugh because we are happy. We are happy because we laugh.”                             - Dr. Madan Kataria

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Welcome to RVA Laugh Club, a weekly laughter club dedicated to creating healthier and happier lives in our Richmond, Virginia community.  Here, you’ll meet others who want to laugh, exercise, have fun, relieve stress and connect with others. We're also the Laughter Yoga resource for the Richmond Tri-cities area and use our social media feeds to announce Laughter Clubs, Laughter Yoga classes, Teacher Trainings, Laughter Flash Mobs and other special events sponsored by area teachers.

  Slash Coleman ,  MAed, Certfied Laughter Yoga Leader

Slash ColemanMAed, Certfied Laughter Yoga Leader

Why a laughter club? It was only a matter of time before I discovered the irresistibly weird and wonderful thing called Laughter Yoga. I’d been writing and performing my off-beat storytelling shows on stages and TV for over a decade and experimenting with how to create the right conditions for laughter in my work as a storyteller. 

 

Then, in 2013 while on my book tour for “The Bohemian Love Dairies” my lung mysteriously collapsed.  My surgeon recommended 3 things to help my lung heal: sneezing, coughing and laughing. After trying a laughter yoga class, the rest as they say, is history. I received my training as a Certified laughter Yoga Leader in 2017 through Laughter Yoga University and decided to make a  commitment to offering weekly classes in my community. When I'm not teaching I  split my time between writing, meditating, surfing, doing "yoga" yoga and working in my family’s business, Tinkers, as both an upholsterer and art conservator.

Since it's inception, RVA Laugh club has provided programs to: ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation, Heartfulness Institute, Parham Doctor's Hospital, Shady Grove YMCA, Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, Maude Trevvett Elementary School, Maybeury Elementary School, RVA Peace Love Festival, Richmond Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association, Firehouse Theatre,  Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center,  R.F. Wilkinson Family YMCA.

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“Laughing in a room filled with friendly faces helped me reconnect with a true and genuine part of myself.” - Shelby K.

“...an introverts heaven.” - Tania B.

“Our weekly laughter club gives me friendship.”- Robert M.

“My counselor suggested laughter yoga for my anxiety and depression and after just a few classes I feel like I found something better than a pill -  a more positive attitude. ” - Anne R.

“It's laugh-out-loud funny!"  Jacob H.

 
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Q: What exactly is a Laugh Club?

A: Based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter, a laugh club involves meeting in a group which is led by a certified laughter leader who will guide you into prolonged voluntary laughter in 15 second to 5 minute intervals. 

Q: I heard it's pretty weird. Is this true?

A:   Since laughter exercises involve eye contact and childlike playfulness it makes some people uncomfortable which is why they label it as "weird." These very things also make us feel younger, healthier and happier and feeling these things aren't for everyone. You know what's weird? Throwing away the box from your microwave meal and then immediately having to fish it out to find out how long to cook it.

Q: Is it a class?

 A: Class, meet up, session, meeting. You can cal it whatever you’d like.

Q: Are children welcome?

 A: Yes! We get about 1-2 kids each month and they really enjoy it. Our youngest has been 4 and our oldest 18. (Though last week we had a baby who stayed for the entire session). The space is set up in a way that young kids have the freedom to participate in all the activities or just the ones they want.. And when they don't want to participate, just being in the room with people laughing can be a really positive experience. 

Q: I feel like I'm too shy to attend. Should I come anyway?

 A: Absolutely. For some reason, laughter yoga tends to attract introverts and so, for those of us who are on the shy side it's the perfect place to feel right at home with others who probably feel the same way.

Q: Is it led by a teacher?

A: Teachers receive training and certification through Laughter Yoga University and are technically called Certified Laughter Yoga Leaders. Since they aren't teaching you how to laugh it's not necessary to call them a teacher. If you like you can call him/her your friend.

Q:  Is there yoga involved?

A: This is the million dollar question everyone asks. It does not involve yoga poses. The “yoga” aspect of it is the mindfulness and the deep breathing exercises we incorporate.

Q: How long is each class?

A: 60 minutes.

Q: Do I need a mat or special clothing?

A: Nope. Most people come in jeans, t-shirts, shorts or even work clothes. We do recommend a fun pair of socks or bare feet. 

Q: Is it free?

A: I consider this part of my service work and so I volunteer my time. However, I have a donation basket where you can pay what you can (I also accept Venmo). It’s not necessary to donate, but I sure appreciate it. As a healthy, self-sustaining organization, your donations help me pay the rent and other costs associated with our website and promotion materials.

Q: I'm recovering from an injury or surgery or have problems with my back. Should I still come?

A: Absolutely. Classes take place in a safe, supported and nurturing environment and chairs are always available for those who are less mobile or if you're just feeling less energetic.

Q: Who started it?

A: Laughter Yoga was started in Mumbai India in 1995 by Dr. Madan Kataria as a way to promote the use of laughter as a form of physical exercise. For more information visit: www.laughteryoga.org

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 RVA Laugh Club meets at the  Integral Yoga Center of Richmond  every Friday at 6:00pm (except when it's on Sunday). Check our calendar below for exact times.. 

RVA Laugh Club meets at the Integral Yoga Center of Richmond every Friday at 6:00pm (except when it's on Sunday). Check our calendar below for exact times.. 

Can't make it to one of our weekly   Ha Ha Happy Hour classes? 

 

We'll come to you! We'd love to share the gift of laughter with your group, be it a corporation, non-profit organization, senior living center, school, church or private friends and family event. 

Our list of local Laughter Yoga Leaders include: Estelle Brodeur, Heather Umberger, Dan Weiseman, Carolyn Keller Sells and many more.  

Contact Slash Coleman:  (917) 727-8419 or rvalaughclub@gmail.com

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Our 2018 Laughter Yoga Calendar includes weekly and monthly dates for RVA Laugh Club and Laughter Yoga Club of Midlothian.

There are three types of events listed: 1) Open to the Public 2)  Open to the Public: Special Events 3) Private Events.

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Slash Coleman, Certified Laughter Yoga Leader  *  (917) 727-8419    *    PO BOX 14781 Richmond, VA 23221    *    RVAlaughclub@gmail.com