Sunday, March 8, 2009

Laughter Yoga Workshop Recap

I just wanted to share a few things that I took away from the laughter yoga workshop. I went with an open mind and was completely unprepared for what was to come. Introverts beware - this will definitely get you out of your comfort zone (in a good way!) We practiced laughing with each other and making eye contact, learned about the mental and physical benefits of laughter and completed the workshop with a laughter meditation that was by far one of my favorite meditations ever!

On a more serious note, we learned about how laughter helps to alleviate stress and anxiety and even depression. The man who led the workshop, Bruce Kaitlin, shared an interesting thought with the group - people are the only animals that experience anticipatory anxiety. Lions don't stress about what to catch for dinner that night and cats don't get anxious wondering if there's a trip to the vet in their future. But yet people can waste endless amounts of time and spend excessive amounts of energy worrying about the future.

Simple, but powerful thought. It's sometimes so hard to realize how much time we spend living in the future and neglecting the here and now, the present moment.

Bruce also emphasized the importance of being child-like, not childish. As adults, we take on so much stress and worry and become so serious so fast. We almost forget what it's like to just cut loose ( a point he made clear when he asked us how we would respond to a person next to us that was just laughing for what seemed like no reason. we all responded with odd looks and became uncomfortable) Yet how often do you pass a child that's laughing or giggling and you automatically break out into a smile too? It's contagious! But we fight against that feeling after grade school, rather than embracing it.

If you ever have a chance to experience a laughter yoga workshop - I highly suggest you check it out. And take a moment today to just laugh. Share a smile. Give a giggle. Have some fun!

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