“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”
As part of team building at work, we had Laughter Yoga. I had never heard of Laughter Yoga before, but I have heard that laughter can boost the immune system and helps relieve stress. Having done yoga for many years, I was very intrigued to see how laughter can be combined into the yoga practice.
The instructor, Salimah Kassim-Lakha came in, started playing music (and not chanting, Indian music, but 80’s dance classics). She asked those of us with heels to take them off and had us get into a circle. After a brief introduction into how Laughter Yoga came about, she talked about how the benefits of laughter occur even though you fake it. She acknowledged that at times, it’s awkard, but told us to fake it until you make it…she sometimes has to…
Here is a video so you can see how Laughter Yoga classes go:
Salima asked that we don’t speak during the class, we only express ourselves through laughter and that we make eye-contact. Taking us through a series of scenarios, she had us pick a different partner each time as we laughted, or pretended to laugh through the exercises. Salimah was great and she did a wonderful job of making us feel comfortable during the hour and maintaining the flow of the class. I’d love a job where I guide people through laughter, I’m sure I would be a better person for it and would live a lot longer!
However, I have to admit, that I was uncomfortable throughout the whole class, had a hard time concentrating and letting loose. I was also dissapointed that there really wasn’t any component of yoga in the class. We did a couple of visualization exercises but nothing that could be called a yoga practice. I’m glad I tried it, but I wouldn’t go back and do it again. I would much rather spend time with friends and laughing in the backyard.
If you do want to try Laughter Yoga as part of a work session or community group, give Salimah a call, she was wonderful! She’s the owner of Yoga Vision.