INTRODUCTION I started doing laughter yoga almost two years ago. It was a lucky accident that has changed my life.
My yoga class at the rec center changed its time and i could not leave work early enough to get there. The internet pointed me to a laughter yoga class. I had no idea what this was, and really didn’t think much about it ahead of time. It was yoga, it started at the right time and was close to my office.
My first experience was uncomfortable for me. I felt awkward laughing for no reason. I noticed after i left though a feeling of lightness. I experienced these opposite pushes- one which tried to protect me from looking silly and one which wanted to move towards feeling better.
Two years later, laughter yoga has changed my life. My mother was bipolar. I was an angry girl who grew into an angry teenager and then became an angry and anxious woman. This was something i just adapted to and it became my core, and something i was not even aware of.
Laughter yoga lightened me and gave me tools to feel and act differently. I am happy to talk about all the why’s and wherefore’s of laughter yoga relative to mindfulness, meditation and neuroplasticity and the social, emotional and physical benefits.
INDIA AND DR. KATARIA
In September, i had the opportunity to travel to India to study with Dr. Kataria; the founder of Laughter Yoga and become a laughter yoga teacher. Over five days, the international participants deepened our practices, studied new laughter exercises, and new breathing practices. We shared our previous experiences leading laughter yoga sessions in very varied settings. At the end of the five days we were certified to train new laughter yoga leaders.