OUT OF THE BOX. WITH LAUGHTER YOGA.
How much do you laugh? Whatever you may think, the answer is most probably NOT ENOUGH! I would certainly say this for myself, especially when I look at my mom who is probably the most positive person I know (and who looks like my sister)!
So after my first Happy Yoga Class which embeds elements of laughter yoga, I went for the full-blown Laughter Yoga Workshop organized by Yogagold in the spacious and minimalistic Yoga Tribe K6-studio in Zurich.
In total, we are nine yoginis who meet on Sunday morning for this unique, two-hour workshop. After a comfortable introduction round sitting in a circle, Susen explains the background and benefits of laughter yoga - with really impressive facts! Finally, she challenged us to «just be open to whatever comes later!» Because we would be stepping out of our comfort zone today - or at least exploring its edges completely.
Sounds pretty scary... but in retrospect I can say: It was SOOO WORTH IT!
Unfortunately, I can't and won't fully explain the exercises we did at this point. Because a) it would make us all look pretty crazy and b) I don't want to spoil this incredible experience for the next workshop participants. But I can confirm, it's at least as childish as you make it out to be. Childish because children laugh a lot more than adults and most of the time they are just happy, cheerful and carefree.
«My whole body is sweating - from pure joy!»
We make funny faces, laugh about good and bad things, jump around and laugh almost continuously - for about one hour! My stomach hurts, my face aches, and my whole body sweats - from pure joy! Whether the laughter is real or fake, it produces physiological reactions that lift your mood, relax your brain, and improve your mental and physical well-being.
One of the funniest and certainly the most photogenic part of the Laughter Yoga Workshop is the laughter pile we form on the floor (see picture) - officially called the 'Laughter Snake'. Our heads and bellies lift and shake in waves of joy - our own as much as the other yogis. So that we all feel part of a big, loud, and totally happy group. Speaking of loud, I'm quite amazed that the neighbors don't call the police after us... Because we are VERY loud... and on a Sunday.... in a residential area of Zurich - oops :-D
With our last Laugh and Giggle, we do a seated 'Laughter Meditation'. At this point, we really don't need any more exercises or props to start laughing. It comes naturally, and we all flow with the flow. After the workshop ends with a guided meditation, I notice how extremely relaxed my body is. I think this was my best Shavasana ever! Any muscle tension is gone, my mind is absolutely clear.... I feel tired, but INFINITELY HAPPY! «Fake it, till you make it» Amy Cuddy famously preached, and I got to experience firsthand that it works - even though her theories have recently been disproven, I trust this kind of conscious autosuggestion.
Laughter yoga gives you a longer lasting 'high' than any other physical activity. Some past workshop participants even reported having several weeks of sustained good humor. I, too, have to say that I started this week in a much better mood than usual! I'm looking forward to maintaining that happy feeling.... And resolving to laugh more every single day!!! ♥
«I think that was my deepest Shavasana ever!»
Thank you so much for the overwhelming feedback, dear Florina. We are so happy that you participated in our Laughter Yoga workshop and that your step out of your comfort zone was so richly rewarded. Keep your beautiful laughter and we look forward to seeing you on the mat again soon. ♥
Our laughter yoga workshops will take place again soon. Join our waiting list right now and secure your place to laugh your way to a six-pack 😀.