I need to laugh, a lot. I try to laugh at least once a day. These days it seems like I need laughter like a multi-vitamin to enhance my immune system from the infection of dis-ease, dis-appointment, and dis-pair.
Last week I invited you to stand with me, to stand together. I am so grateful for your responses, your heartfelt tears, your honest attempts to be real. I was inspired by stories of where and how and who you have gathered to stand with you and you with them. We have more work to do!
I’ve always been someone who enjoyed laughing, but somewhere along the way, I lost touch with the freedom to laugh “just because”. In fact, I got pretty serious about it. You had to EARN a chuckle. A chortle was even more demanding. An out-right, burst of laughter hardly ever happened, and required some seriously, funny material and perfect comedic timing… until I went to Laughter Yoga school. So, here’s the deal, laughter is the best way I can regulate my focus, energy, and passion. Laughter is the antidote! And I want to share it with you.
It was March 2012 and I needed a reset, so I traveled to Yoga-ville in Virginia for a weekend yoga training and retreat. The only offering that fit my schedule was the Laugha-Yoga Certification (really!).
At first, I resisted… but by the end of the weekend, I was completely hooked. I couldn’t believe how great it felt to laugh freely and even more how wonderful it was to not have to wait for someone else to provide this needed source of joy and spiritual elevation. Upon my return home, my family thought I’d lost my mind, but this wasn’t the first time I’d asked them to do something “weird” or experimental with me. For the first month, we laughed all the way to school, every day. Sometimes it would be just me. I never required them to join me (that’s against the rules), but usually, I would get at least a smirk or a huff. It always improved our morning and shifted the tense energy of morning chaos into a playful optimism for the day ahead. My kids are older now. I still practice laughter as part of my personal pranayama (breathing practice) and find I use it more on days that are hard.
When was the last time you really laughed? I mean laughed so hard your belly ached and your cheeks hurt?! Simply remembering our last laughing experience can bring a smile to our face and joy to our heart. Laughter Yoga combines a few of my favorite things- laughter, community and asana (body placement). The power of laughter when paired with the discipline of yoga, builds community, facilitates connection, strengthens core and low back muscles, boosts the immune system and decreases inflammation, blood pressure, stress (adrenaline and cortisol), anxiety and depression; while increasing natural bliss by enhancing the production of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins (natural painkillers). Join me… as an official Laughing Yoga Leader to explore the benefits of laughter yoga in a safe and nurturing environment. Join us to earn your license to “laugh for no reason” and enjoy the sound of bliss.
May you breathe deeply, move freely, labor lovingly and live vibrantly,