Laughter Yoga in 4 easy steps

Laughter wellness does not mean humor! It means simulated laughter, not pressurized by brain. This fake laughter brings changes in the body that are beneficial for health. The best part is that fake laughter, if done with playfulness, becomes infectious by the end. So let’s try it once ūüôā

My Experience with Laughter Yoga

When I was in the UAE there was a request from my college to run a session to guide my colleagues and students towards laughter wellness. As an educator I am always interested in organising life-skill courses. In the beginning I felt a bit nervous, as I was about to do a silly thing, but I kept following my heart rather than my mind because I personally feel that laughter yoga is good for our health. 

Now, the challenging task for me was to create a session plan that must hit the nail in one go. After reviewing my course lessons, watching various videos,  reading laughter articles, and with a little experience, I planned a session that seemed promising to work for me and others.

This is my session plan

Step 1- Warm up

Similar to other exercises, laughter yoga should also start with warm-up exercises.  They involve clapping and synchronisation of movements. Clapping with flat palms pressurises acupressure points on your hands and increases your energy level. Clapping with a rhythm of 1-2-3, move your hands up and down and swing them from side to side as you clap.

Step 2-  Breathing

Take deep breath from your belly, bend your knees slightly and encourage longer exhalations.You can then try your first chant, in rhythm with your hands. Inhale with a smile, take a pause of few seconds and burst out ‚Äúho ho, ha-ha-ha‚ÄĚ, through longer exhalations. It will bring you the feeling of freshness in your mind.

Step 3- Playfulness

Child like playfulness through games or activities will help you to be attracted by every little thing around. Look at something beautiful and shout like a child,’very good very good yay’

Exercise-Singing a playful song, ‚Äėevery cell in my body‚Ķ.‚Äô or ‘alphabet song’

Exercise– electric shock laughter exercise is also a fun creating activity- pretend that every surface and object you touch gives you a shock of static electricity. Jump back every time you touch something, smiling and laughing as you do this.

So with deep breathing and laughing through physical movements,  we can make a connection between our body and soul. Even though laughter yoga is a form of physical exercise, it detoxes all the stress off our mind and brings happiness within.

Step 4- Laughing exercises with breathing

Exercise– The breathing is easy: breathe in and smile as you lift your arms up, breathe out as you relax.

Exercise– the leader of the group, will walk around the room and clap, laughing with a ‚Äúho ho ha ha ha‚ÄĚ. The rest of the group should then respond ‚Äúvery good, very good, yay!‚ÄĚ and clap with their arms raised.

Exercise– Inhale deeply and then exhale through your nose. As you exhale, release one to two big belly laughs. Continue to do this, deepen your breath equally on your inhales and your exhales with laughter at the end

Exercise– Applause exercise- clap on hearing someone say something about him/her with a bust of laughter.

ExerciseРBalloon-popping laughter: 2 people try to pop each others’ imaginary balloons that you imagine are attached to their ankles

Exercise– “Good Job” Laugh- Give each other “thumbs up” and “high five”, whilst laughing together at the end of a session, as a way for the group to thank and congratulate each other.

Cool down- Floor Laughter Exercises

Exercise-This is the best part of any laughter session because this is when the¬†most people usually choose to ‚Äúlet go‚ÄĚ and truly laugh. Sit down first for one or two more laughters, then lay on your back and laugh some more.

The demo went well and many people turned up. Everyone appreciated the concept and requested for more sessions. All my concerns for the demo had been sorted out and after the demo I felt confident and content.

*An Ideal session takes 30- 40 minutes, but if you are exercising alone or you are a beginner, do it according to your capacity.

*If you feel uncomfortable while performing laughter exercises, stop immediately and take a rest.

‚ÄėLaughter‚Äô is the initial part of a human life because it is a weapon that can remove the negativity prevalent around. If we arm ourselves with laughter, it can cast aside our worries and brings us joy. As the need for a daily dose of laughter¬†is increasing day by day, various organisations and individuals are putting their efforts to make people aware of the simple fact ‘Laughter wellness.’

 

Picture Courtesy: Google Images

Laughter Exercises source: http://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/150-laughter-exercises/

Do you know why laughter is necessary for your children?

When did your kid laugh out loudly? If you have seen him do so it’s a good sign that he has stress releasing qualities in his nature, but if he’s seen worried, anxious or stressed over his tasks in the name of competition then it’s time for you to take a strong step.

Studies have found that children between 6 and 18 need more of psychological consultation than physiological.

Well, not all childhood stress is harmful, but the requirements of today’s so called competitive lifestyle are the possible reasons of stress in children.

Give your kids a daily dose of laughter to destress them

Benefits of laughter

‚ÄúLaughter opens the lungs, and opening the lungs ventilates the spirit.‚ÄĚ ‚ĒÄ Unknown

  • Physical– relieves pain, increases immunity, helps sleep well,
  • Mental– develops creativity, eases the stress, affects brain positively
  • Emotional– keeps kids positive, brings happiness in them, releases inhibitions
  • Harmonious family atmosphere– strengthen relationships, defuses conflicts

How can laughter be brought in your kid’s life?

  • By laughing with your kids at home without any reason
  • By making them laugh through simulated laughter because it gradually becomes infectious
  • By encouraging them to join laughter workshops
  • By creating kid’s laughter clubs/groups in the neighbourhood

Kids can be the wonderful laughter yoga instructors of your family if given a chance!

Picture courtesy: Google Images

#1000Speak For Compassion—Writing and compassion

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Writing has bestowed its priceless gift on me, and that is compassion. Ever since I started penning down my emotions it created new moments around me… where impossible became possible and doubts became clear. In other words it put a miraculous effect on me. My way of thinking changed; my mind reasoned and my heart loved. All the natural vices started following the track of positivism and joined the virtue.
My galloping mind is now under the control of inspirational reading and writing , as I take a daily dose of to it to enlighten my mind. Therefore, when I see the world from that window of clarity I become compassionate, and that compassion brings contentment in me.
It is always good if we are recognized by the world, but it is the best thing ever if we are recognized by our own-selves and that is possible with COMPASSION….
Writing gives a writer an identity, and the independence of being a human being…

This post is written for-1000 Voices Speak For Compassion

10 useful tips for a writing classroom

It was my first day in my new school, and I had to teach writing to the students of 11th grade. It was a challenging task though I was trying my best to be as calm as possible. Whatever I anticipated appeared as a reality. The class was not willing to write out of choice, so to create their willingness to learn writing was my foremost aim. I kept all my preparation aside, and decided to work in an extemporaneous manner. Now it was the time to learn the situations and act (teach) accordingly. Iimages tried all my guts, preceded conscientiously; tread patiently and finally got the way of dealing with such sort of situations. Though every writing teacher is well aware of such strategies, hope this proves to be of help for some…… the work is still in progress……

download (3)1- Impromptu teaching- We must always keep ourselves updated with all the topics related to our field, we may need them anytime in the class because our students are the experts.

images (2)2- Vocabulary workouts- teaching the new language with an interesting intake of vocabulary woven in different exercises help students to imbibe the words with permanent effect.

images (3)3- Guided input- Showing writing patterns on the screen with highlighted details help students recollect their previous knowledge and facilitate them to reinforce their writing skills.
Also, using technology in the classroom enhances students’ ability and shows promising results.
download (4)4- Interesting lesson plans- Without any doubt all of us try our best to plan the effective lesson strategy for best results, but out of nowhere some loose ends appear, and the teacher becomes depressed. To overcome this phase our lesson plans must be aided with warmers, fillers, and coolers, but an important thing to consider is that they should be relevant to our task to give it a smooth disposition.

Writing workshops and free writing sessions are the best ways for the nonresponders.

download5- Evaluation rubrics- marking writing is an overwhelming task for the teachers; students also lose interest after looking countless errors. The best way to overcome this situation is to set a few error corrections at one time according to the task requirement.

download (1)6- Appreciation- We demand a lot of things from students, but in rare cases we appreciate them. Instead of weighing their minus points, we must try to highlight the bright students’ point as an encouraging example. Rewarding the students with reader/writer of the month awards will keep their competitive spirit energized.

images (4)7- Group work- Dividing the class in writing groups according to the levels of students helps in writing, self-correction, and peer correction. It should be an ideal combination of all the levels. The leaders should be assigned with the responsibility to keep an eye on their group members, and encourage the team to work as a whole. For best results, the teams should get a mark on their average performance. This practice will enliven competitive and team spirit.

images (5)8- Journal writing-¬†Students hesitate to write because they hate to listen about their mistakes. To make our learners spontaneous writers, journal writing should be made compulsory for each and everyone. They should write journals twice a week with the freedom of ‚Äėno grammar constraints.‚Äô

To read more about maintaining journals in ESL class refer to the link below-
https://shellymona.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/journal-writing-a-helpful-esl-device/

download (2)9- Entering and leaving the classroom with a smile-¬†Just smiling at someone can make a person’s day. It’s all about paying it forward- ¬†Mariska Hargitay

Nowhere else but it is damn compulsory in a writing classroom to have lessons start and end with everyone’s smiles.

TeacherShare10- Sharing- If you are a naive, talk to your experienced counterparts for valuable advice, and if you are experienced share your experiences with your juniors because contribution helps you to step further.

Our class should be a friendly as well as disciplined at the same time. Off and on we need to spread humor, but we must be an anchor who has the power of holding its ship to the shore firmly. These are not all as I mentioned earlier that if the work is in progress, it can bring out better ways gradually and enhance our teaching strategies.

If you have any teaching tip, do share with us…
Happy Teaching!

Picture source: Google Images

Journal Writing – a helpful ESL device

 

1399843473Of all the English learning skills, writing is the most overwhelming of all. When a teacher steps in for teaching writing the whole class gets upset as they will now have to perform the monotonous tasks. Honestly speaking, in a class of forty there can be only three or four writers, but what about the others? It’s not possible to make Intermediate students write the assignments with interest. If they do, it is simply out of pressure and nothing else, so when a task is done just for the sake of doing, it never brings positive results. Facing such problems in my class I thought of adding a pinch of flavour to the subject of teaching writing. I made compulsory for all my classes to start writing journals and hand them over to me for the reading and commenting.

 
Journal-Writing-Woman-DiaryI announced and distributed the handouts about the details and instructions of journal writing. The striking point was that their class performance marks were to be decided on that.
Now the journal writing began, and it was a remarkable success because the students had no fear of being marked on the language and writing style. It was ‘just writing.‘ It became a connection between the teacher and learner. They liked writing on various subjects because they always got the appropriate comments on it. Their writing improved as it could be seen from the writings that had matured meanwhile.

 
dreamstimefree_1455027While some students included variety of topics, and for some it was like writing a diary. Whatever was the content of journals, overall, it was undoubtedly a great writing practice for the class and above all a bond that brought us together as one.

I strictly recommend this as it has nothing to do with the technicalities of grammar, marking rubrics or writing mechanics; it’s only free writing that leads us to our goal in the most interesting manner.

 

Written for-  Write Tribe Pro Bloggers.

Picture courtesy: Google Images

Citizens of Earth… by TPRF

imagesIn my previous post, I mentioned that ‘peace education’ should be the initial part of a human life because peace is a weapon that can kill the negativity prevalent around. If we arm ourselves with peace, it can cast aside our worries and brings us under joy. As the need for peace is increasing day by day, various organizations and individuals are putting their efforts to make the people aware of this simple fact PEACE.

Today I’m sharing TPRF’s peace message & video “Citizens of Earth” with the hope that peace will reside in our hearts forever.

Peace for People 2014

pfp2014_un_logo‚ÄúThe time has come that every citizen of this planet Earth takes responsibility for the benefit of all mankind.‚ÄĚ Prem Rawat

Enjoy and Share

As a contribution to International Peace Day, TPRF is offering Citizens of the Earth, featuring the words of its founder, Prem Rawat: ‚ÄúThe time has come that every citizen of planet earth needs to take responsibility for the benefit of all mankind.‚ÄĚ This new short video for Peace Day 2014 was launched on this page on September 12, beginning the 10-day countdown to Peace Day.

peace-love_heart

 

Picture courtesy: Google Images

Happy teacher’s day!

We all know that the solid educational foundation is an essential factor of our successful life. As Karl Marx’s  base and superstructure concept  is very important in the formation of  a human society, same thing applies on an individual’s personality. The school and college education builds a strong base of the student’s life, so the quality education, from the very beginning, should be compulsory.

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Teachers are the makers of good citizens-

I always remember the motivating words of my school principal Mother Bernard who, according to me, is the best of all. She was a sophisticated person with grace in her personality and warmth on her face. Whatever she spoke was always impressive The words that she said on the day of commencement, still echo in my heart and mind and inspire me to be just like her.

I’d love to share a small section of that message with my fellow bloggers:

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“Now life will automatically put you into a competition mode‚Ķyes‚Ķyou heard me right COMPETITION!¬†Don’t¬†follow the traditional style of¬†competing with others to be better or best, maybe you are already better than them, so the best person to compete with is definitely YOU. Be your own competitor and your progress is surely guaranteed because you are a unique and a special person…¬†May your life be filled with dignity, peace and prosperity…”

 

Happy Teachers Day…to all my teachers…

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Teacher Talking Time (ESL)

downloadIn ESL teaching, Teacher Talking Time (TTT) is noted as one of the key problems to look out for, because the large amount of TTT automatically limits the Student Talking Time. In a class of 45-50 minutes if a teacher speaks without planning, it creates the false impression of the teacher being professional and talented, but it can harass the studies of students who come to learn and practice new language.The students should be given a chance to speak in the class by involving them in the topic and by guiding them.

boring classIf the teacher is using a lot of TTT, it makes him/her dominating and controlling over the whole class, where the students lose their identity and become dependent upon the teacher, they learn what is taught to them without showing their interest in the language.

Teaching and learning a language is a skill… 

By planning the teaching techniques a teacher can minimize TTT and maximize STT. The main aim of the teacher should be to involve its learners into the task. If the teacher inputs by Teacher Talking Time then the Students Talking Time should be sufficient to check the output.

For example, if a piano teacher teaches piano lessons by playing piano just by himself/herself, can never make the learners good at playing piano, because only listening is not sufficient for learning.

Strategies to avoid TTT in classroomimages

  • Making an interesting plan with clear and easy to understand instructions. Students should be asked to complete a story, act on a particular situation or describe a picture.
  • Involving each and every student in the class activity. Everyone‚Äôs involvement should be compulsory to avoid selection. If the participation is optional, only few extraverts and initiative students‚Äô answer on and on and the rest sit back quietly due to hesitation.
  • Using gestures equally with the language.
  • Creating appropriate atmosphere for speaking classes. Students feel proud to talk in a language class, though they hesitate too much. Now it becomes a teacher‚Äôs job to arrange the class in such an order so that everyone gets a chance to speak in front of the class.
  • Chopping off TTT by creating pair work or group activities, enabling students to interact with each other.
  • Having students correct themselves first.
  • Having students correct each other.
  • Asking students friendly questions that they love to answer with great interest. Elicitation is the best way to increase STT.
  • Encouraging them to raise questions.
  • Asking their views, opinions and ideas on some interesting topics.
  • Checking the attention of the students in the class by asking close yes/no questions or some small explanations on the running topic.
  • Keeping instructions precise.
  • Giving examples, and not wordy explanations which prove dry and dumb.
  • Having discussions, roleplays, debates etc. to minimize TTT
  • Using Concept Checking Questions when checking for understanding.
  • Discouraging much echoing as it hinders the flow of the speech of the students. The students then only listen to the teacher instead of struggling to listen to their fellow student.
  • Using Silent method as an aid because this approach focuses on students doing a lot of speaking; the teacher on the other hand uses mime, gestures or visual aids to give instructions to the class. So, with a very little speech the teacher conducts the class allowing the students to learn by doing.

All in all, a teacher can wisely use her influence on the class and plan a strategy that involves the students in  bringing out their best results.

Happy Teaching!

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Picture courtesy: Google Images

Aspiring Teachers

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A child miseducated is a child lost (John F. Kennedy).

Accolades and¬†applause¬†may be alluring, but for an educator his/her job of building the foundation of our coming generations is award winning in itself. According to me, a studen’t progress as a learner and as human being is the best reward a teacher can ever receive.¬†

I am an educator by profession, but if I ask my heart it wants to be a lifelong learner. In other words my head teaches and my heart learns and this has proved to be a great combination which is leading me continuously towards being a 21st century teacher and keeping alive my aspiration.


Appreciating the educators, who ¬†taught me and guided me during my educational ¬†or professional period, is a way of ¬†paying forward because I’ve learnt a lot from them, and at this point of time, I want to share some of my experiences to keep up the aspiration of those teachers who are towards their goal of educating their learners.

Some helpful tips for a 21st century educator923525_10152292974200435_1371273016_n

  1. Integrate different approaches in your teaching and plan your lessons according to your class requirements.
  2. Your lesson plan should be attention captivating.
  3. Have warm ups, fillers and a backup plan ready at hand.
  4. The atmosphere in your classroom should be friendly and disciplined.
  5. Your teaching should be flexible enough to welcome changes, newness and spontaneity when needed.
  6. Feedback of your teaching helps you to develop further.
  7. Consider your present or previous workplaces as the school of your experiential learning.
  8. Attending Professional Development Workshops enhances a teacher’s capability to do more creative. After all learning is a lifelong process.
  1. Introspection.
  2. Use technology as a device to lessen your hefty tasks.1521733_10152137326235435_1276566177_n
  3. Believe that failure is an event not a person, so take your or your learner’s failure positively.
  4. Sharing means caring (share your work with your colleagues and co workers, that’s going to make you an expert)
  5. Count your strengths, you will overcome your weaknesses by being a learner.
  6. When you feel demotivated while doing something, do not carry on…take a break do something else (totally different), then return back to your previous task…you will feel re-energized… TRY IT OUT.

I am a teacher, and I believe in educating my students instead of simply teaching them. Our students are the promising generation that can fulfill our dreams of an ideal world.

An example of aspiring teacher which was shared by Corinne of ‘Everyday Gyan‘ inspired me a lot…
http://writetribe.com/childrens-future-india/¬† Check it out…

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Happy Teaching!

A pinch of Pollyannaism

Motivation is changing ones life by changing its thinking…

This post is written for- Blogging from A-Z Challenge (April 2014)

Aside

Is your Success all yours?

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On the pages or on the screen, a protagonist wins the acclamation of the readers or audience, but what about the rest (who are not in the fore ground) are they appreciated for their strong support?

In real life too many people who are actually in the background and deserve to be mentioned in the forefront are seldom recognized. According to me a successful person should devote at least half of his success to the large team of his well wishers who are sometimes found almost invisible in the background. My aim through this post is to applaud for those unsung supporting people whose help and co operation is often ignored while they build a smooth and clear way for the ones who enjoy the appreciation of the society.

Let’s observe some situations and look for their answers-

A common homemaker, who does all the daily chores following the wishes of her family members, throughout her life, is said to be doing the trivial job rather than receiving a prize of appreciation for being a backbone for her successful family. What’s your say on this?

A coworker whose support, cooperation, comments, advice and competition helped us to get the promotion is looked down upon as an incompetent candidate. Is this rational?

A nanny who rears our children as a mother never gets the same respect; she is behind our solaced mind that attained success in the world. Will she be remembered as the strong part of our fame?

While we were accelerating towards our success path there were many who gave us room, forfeited their desires, stepped back for us; in short made our road smooth to walk on. Will they be given their share in terms of gratitude?

The list may go unending, but the concern is same…

Let’s be modest and spare a little time from our busy schedules to appreciate our selfless supporters, and show our gratitude by recognizing their support.

¬†This post is written in¬†response¬†to Suzy Que’s post ‘Free Write‘ on Write Tribe.

 

Picture: Google Images