“You’re a WHAT?!”
“A certified laughter yoga leader.”
“Did you say laughter yoga?”
“So… you laugh while you do yoga poses?”
“Nope, no poses. You breathe in between laughing.”
“What do you laugh at?”
“Nothing, nothing at all!”
So what IS this laughter yoga thing anyway?
It’s this: Breathing, Stretching, Clapping, Laughing, Relaxation, Meditation
More importantly why do laughter yoga? For me, laughter yoga is the sweet spot. It’s the high of an improv class mixed with the zen of a yoga class. It makes me feel like I’ve connected to the people in the room while my abs get a workout (think big belly laughs) and my mind gets time to rest and become grounded.
At the same time, it’s really, really silly. Why would you want to be in a room of people doing something such as shooting fake arrows at each other while laughing? Why would you want to stretch your arm while winding up a fake bowling ball and inhaling deeply? Why would you want to lie on the floor imagining a smile in your toe that makes its way to your mouth?
Great questions! Here’s why:
1. Your mood will shift – Laughter yoga boosts your mood quickly because it releases endorphins from your brain. When I would attend my Monday laughter yoga club sessions at lunchtime in Denver, I’d show up in a grouchy Monday mood and be a different person at the end of the hour.
2. Your stress level will decrease – Believe it or not, laughter yoga is an aerobic exercise, which brings more oxygen into the body and brain. I used to think I’d have more stress going to laughter yoga when I should be at my desk; however, I’d always feel lighter afterwards even though I wasn’t getting any work done on that long lunch break.
3. Your immune system will get stronger – Think about it … when stress decreases, the immune system benefits. In the past, I was prone to getting a bad cold every October and April with the change of seasons, but once I started laughter yoga that pattern didn’t appear – no joke.
4. Your quality of life will improve – Ever hear the expression “positive energy attracts more positive energy?” You can’t get any more positive than laughter yoga. Because in laughter yoga sessions you’re connecting with people through smiling, sharing eye contact and laughing, you create an instant bond. When I had foot surgery a few years ago it was the laughter club members who got me back on my feet – literally!
5. Your resilience will increase – It’s easy to laugh when something is funny, but if you train yourself to laugh for no reason you can also train yourself to laugh when life becomes challenging. It’s also a great way to deal with negativity. My mother has an expression when she has a tough day, “If I wasn’t laughing I’d be crying.” Isn’t it better to laugh?
Interested in experiencing laughter yoga with your organization? YAY! Drop a line to Amy at The Adventure Project to schedule your ho, ho, ha, ha, has: [email protected]
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES TO LAUGH:
Sunday, April 9th
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
11 Old Mission Ave in St. Augustine
$5 advance/$ 7 door
The very first group of students is graduating from The Adventure Project’s improv training center after studying five levels of classes! The graduates will present their graduation show, “No Refunds” which highlights short and long form improv … consider it an improv mullet – short in the front and long in the back!
Stick around after the show for the Improv Playground where the new grads will lead improv games for the community!
Throughout this 8-week course, students will explore the basic concepts of improvisation in a warm, safe and supportive environment. The class is designed to build self-confidence and explore creativity using the fundamentals of improvisation.
Please visit The Adventure Project’s calendar for more details.