Laughter yoga – laughter as yoga – what’s the big deal?
Possibly it is the biggest deal.
So much human life is characterised by over-seriousness and over-thinking. We have probably all experienced both, regularly. Possibly we still do?
Does it serve us? What goes better in our life when we are over-serious and/or over-think? If it doesn’t serve us, and we recognise it doesn’t serve us, how can we stop? How can we learn not to be over-serious and not to over-think?
The answer is practice – practicing not being over-serious and not over-thinking. It is only a question of practicing enough so we learn new reflexes.
Psychology, medicine, science all show how our quality of life improves when we reverse this trend.
Our own personal experience affirms this. We know this. Every time I ask people how they feel after smiling and laughing, the answer is always: ‘better’.
(…… and I’ve been using my smiling techniques – so on way to (the railway station on Sun evening to get train, the road was closed just outside the station – no idea how to get round to station. But did I fret? No, I smiled (well to be absolutely honest I did fret first, until I remembered to smile!…..)
I experience this myself. I am aware how the practice of self-initiated smiling and/or laughing (ie without jokes, humour or any external stimulus) calms me down and also has the immediate effect of reversing over-seriousness and over-thinking. It helps me deal better (ie more effectively) with stresses, anxieties, irritations. It helps me communicate better (more effectively, peacefully, with greater compassion and understanding) both in person and through social media.
It helps me connect better with myself and with others.
Self-initiated smiling and laughing are core practices in laughter yoga.
We smile – just because.
We laugh – just because.
(Photo with Dr Madan Kataria, founder of laughter yoga, and Madhuri Kataria)
When we do these as a yoga, ie to energise our life on every level, they reframe our life. When we do these as a conscious choice – ‘In this moment I consciously choose to improve my life experience’ – it is empowering and life-affirming in ways that can surprise us. This act of choosing takes us to the core human experience: ‘the freedom to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances’ (Victor Frankl)
When we use laughter yoga self-initiated smiling and laughing, we get multiple benefits. Our decision/choice to do these is instantly life-affirming in this Victor Frankl way. This in itself makes us feel better. Additionally, there are the many measured biological and biochemical and neurological benefits. These can make us feel better. Additionally, we immeditately start to connect better. We can create a virtuous circle of choosing to feel better, which makes us feel better, which helps us connect better, which then makes us feel better because we are feeling better and starting to get better feedback from others, and so on.
All this can be triggered by simple laughter yoga smiling and laughing exercises which are fun to do, easy to learn, and can be done on your own. They are at the heart of the #laughteryogawithJoe experience.
Just keep practicing.
How can you to learn to? Get the free 2-minute video (email me joe @ joehoare.co.uk)
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