Sunday, December 15, 2013

Laughter Yoga

I must share my latest review with you.

When I stumbled upon Laughter Bank Volume 1 at the library I was deeply intrigued.  I had never heard of laughter yoga before watching this video, and had never tried any laughter exercises.

I should tell you that when I sat down to watch the DVD I was eating soup.  Like most others I tend to multi-task and because I have simultaneously eaten and laughed before I thought I would have no problem eating soup and practicing laughter exercises. 

I was wrong.

As soon as Dr. Kataria demonstrated the first laughter exercise - Namaste Heeheehee, I nearly lost all of my soup via my nose.  Lesson learned – I abandoned my soup.  

Before the DVD begins there is a Precaution that warns people to see a doctor before attempting any of the laughter exercises.  I had a good little chuckle while reading the Precaution.  But as the movie progressed I understood the importance of the Precaution.  One of the exercises, Swinging Laughter, proves to be quite strenuous.  Somewhere between a cuddling party and square dancing, it involves a lot of arm movement that can be quite aerobic.  Even the instructor flirted with peril as he flung himself into some camera equipment while attempting this exercise.  Contrary to its name the One Centimeter exercise also proves to be somewhat taxing as it entails movement that could be better measured in yards.  So please make sure that you read the Precaution before attempting any laughter exercises.

You will also need to be completely alone while you attempt the laughter exercises for the first time.  You will need the can-do attitude of Richard Simmons and comfortable clothes and nothing fragile nearby.  With the Funny Laughter exercise you will need to forget everything that your grandmother taught you about ignoring bodily noises.  If you cannot master the Spring Doll exercise you should pretend that you are on a pogo stick with a full bladder.  And if you feel angry for a moment when you see that Dr. Kataria has stolen your best dance moves in the Ice Cube Down Your Back exercise (A.K.A. the Shriek and Leap dance) remember that this is yoga and anger is only going to clog up all the cleared passages you have worked so hard to laugh clean.

You may think I am making light of a very serious and advantageous type of therapy, and you are absolutely right.  The first time I watched the DVD I giggled and howled my way through every exercise without really taking them seriously.

But then I watched the exercises again, and I can honestly say that there may be something special about laughter yoga.  I could see myself in the faces of the people who opened up and let the laughter out.  Like the folks in laughter yoga, I share the same open yet hesitant enthusiasm for alternative healing.  Alternative medicine has always appealed to me so long as it is noninvasive and rooted in positivity.  I am also a huge supporter of anything that brings people together.  Laughter yoga has the potential to heal and encourage healthy relationships.  So yes, I may poke a little fun at laughter yoga, but it’s a funny way to exercise and it encourages laughter in multiple ways.    

If everyone around you is in a slump and their lips are starting to drift into frowns you can try out one of your laughter exercises.  You can also ask them to join you.  They may surprise you by lifting their arms and laughing manically as they dance towards you, ready for anything, even the bizarrely comforting Double Handshake exercise. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Girl, just read about this the other day. Have to look into it. ~robin