Like many people, I've always enjoyed laughter. My Mom was silly. My sense of humor came mostly from her and her side of the family. My Dad and his side of the family had a dash of silly too, they certainly weren't entirely straight-laced. I'm thankful that I grew up appreciating a good laugh, and not taking everything so seriously. We were serious when the situation called for it however, so there was a nice balance.
Sense of humor is one of the first things that attracts me to someone, be it a friend or a romantic interest. I've had a couple of boyfriends that just about everything that came out of their mouth made me laugh. My slight curiosity about David turned into deeper interest when I heard him say a few funny things at the first Thai Yoga class of his I went to, and he still makes me laugh over 5 years later.
In 2010, at 36 years of age, it was time for me to wake up.
Long story short, I was left with an intense emotional trauma as I shifted into my new reality. I cried and I laughed. I did both hysterically and maniacly for weeks. Sometimes the laughter would just bubble up and out of me out of the blue. This was my emotional release and it was powerful! It felt so good and I felt so much better after each giggle-fest. One of my first Spiritual teachers taught me to not suppress my laughter. Just like you would not want to suppress your tears or your emotions. Sometimes the laughter would come during times that seemed inappropriate, or while with others who were in meditation, or the scene was otherwise quiet and calm. There are still occasions where I'm not comfortable letting it all out, I don't want to disturb the quiet experience of others around me. I'll do my best to keep the sound of the laughter at a low volume and sometimes may even go into the next room. I suppose some people may judge my laughter as disrespectful, but that's not what it's about at all. However, I understand why some would come to that conclusion, that I was laughing at the teacher/guide/situation. Sometimes I'll give a bit of a warning to those around me that uncontrollable laughter might occur. This would usually be in a healing circle situation. When I receive Reiki or a similar healing energy, there's a good chance laughter will accompany my releases. Those giving will usually take delight in it, laughter is contagious after all!
Side note: Check out this hilarious video, showing how laughter is contageous.
At the beginning of my emotional trauma, somewhere I had at least heard about Laugher Yoga, likely I had seen the John Cleese feature video. One night amidst one of these laugh-a-thons with two new found soul brothers while living in North Carolina, I said "I could teach laughter yoga". Their agreement planted a seed of encouragement in me. Getting in front of people, all eyes on me, listening to me speak was a huge fear of mine and I never thought that would diminish. Even still, when I said those words, it felt real.
What is laughter yoga?
About a year later, living back in Dallas, a google search took me to my teacher Mandie Navarro of Universal Laughter Yoga. A laugher yoga leader training weekend was coming up so I signed up immediately. I was opening up to all kinds of such things at that time, and this weekend was silly fun, empowering and with a dash of nervousness. This was a proud accomplishment, it meant I had the intention of getting over my fear of public speaking, though I had no plans in particular of public speaking. I knew laughter was powerful medicine and I wanted to share it with others. I didn't know that LY was also about connection until I did this training. This is exactly what I needed as well! Intimacy with others was something I feared and avoided most of my life, but with my Spiritual awakening happening in full force, and my awareness of this, I intended to shift this ASAP!
Starting out ridiculously nervous as a leader of Laughter Yoga, I grew more confident with each experience. Not only was the laughter good medicine for me, but also the teaching experiences themselves. Leading Laughter Yoga has empowered me!
As I've settled and become more balanced, healing from the big emotional trauma of 2010, the laughter fits have reduced, though it still often comes out of me while receiving energy healing. I have always known this is my chosen form of emotional release. Laughter feels sooooo good. Someone once tried to tell me that my laughter was because I was uncomfortable. I realize some people laugh when they are uncomfortable but that wasn't and isn't the case with my chuckle bursts.
So cheers to a life filled with laughter, no matter the reason!
If you'd like to bring me to your studio or wellness center for a class, please get in touch! Special events such as birthday parties and anniversaries are also great occasions to laugh with your loved ones. This is a great addition to corporate meetings and seminars too, bringing stress relief and improving employee morale and connection.
I'd also like to mention one of my favorite Laughter Yoga teachers, Robert Rivest. You can follow him on FB and he has many videos on his website and YouTube. He will make you laugh for sure!