Some of us in the laughter yoga community like to see how much we can do with how little.
How much genuine mirth and enjoyment can we induce?
How few exercises do we need?
How much can we use the group’s / individual’s expertise?
How effortless can we make the experience?
There is a path in laughter yoga which I and others sometimes walk where we like to be delicate, un-forced, genuine and natural.
This is a yoga approach because it focuses on the yogic aim of laughter yoga (union / reconnection / with self & others), and uses laughter yoga principles and exercises as a means of achieving these ends rather than as an end in themselves.
This means the role of the laughter exercises is to help access this state of reconnection / being present / union.
Those of us who like subtle love this approach.
I often observe with this ‘inside out’ approach that people have the experience of laughing lots even if they haven’t laughed their sides off. It feels to them that they have laughted their sides off because their laughter has come from a deep inner place – so they have had the double benefit of lots of laughter as well as yogic connection.
I was reminded of this today because I had a client who came to me because they said, among other things they wanted to laugh more and have more fun again in their life.
I inquired about what was happening in their life and it transpired that they were stressed and anxious, and in particular fed up with being fed up and not enjoying their life. It transpired what they were wanting was empowerment and natural genuine laughter as an expression of enjoyment in their life.
They wanted the joy they associated with laughter.
I duly took them through a process, part of which was to smile.
Three things then happened:
- They immediately laughed out loud – spontaneously, genunely, naturally
- They said they felt a sense of inner peace & contentment
- They said they felt ‘present’.
Any astute laughter yoga practitioner would have observed in the session that we used movement (‘motion creates emotion’), deep breathing (obviously) and smiling, in a flowing un-forced way – all of which induced genuine, natural, spontaneous self-induced laughter, and a sense of joyfulness.
A further benefit came afterwards. Before or during the session, they lost some jewellry that was extremely important to them. They were temporarily distracted by this until we re-focused.
After the session they resumed their slightly frantic hunt – and then they decided to use what we covered in the session, relaxed, smiled, became ‘present’ – and immediatley found it, in front of their nose where it had been all along.
Finding jewellry – yet another result for laughter yoga, naturally?