Have you ever heard of laughing yoga? I hadn’t until recently. Apparently Yoga Laff holds a laughing lotus class in midtown Manhattan and as soon as I learned about it, I decided to go because these are both two things that always make me feel better, no matter what is going on in my life.
I’ll start by telling you what laughing yoga is NOT. Don’t go looking for an intense physical workout or really any kind of workout at all, gentle or otherwise. You can actually attend the class in your street clothes, and no yoga mat or towel is required, which should tell you something right there in terms of its physicality.
So if it’s not a workout, what is laughing yoga, exactly? It’s a workout of the soul, people. It’s a HUGE mental/emotional release. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in the span of 45 minutes EVER as I did during class. And it’s important to note that I wasn’t laughing because anything was particularly funny (unless you count a room full or adults walking around laughing hysterically as funny…which I kind of do!) However, you were laughing because the instructor instructed you to do so within different exercises. For example, she’d be like:
“Pretend you’re walking down the street and your cell phone rings and you just heard the funniest joke of your life!”
And we would walk around the room on our fake cell phones belly laughing at that imaginary joke. Get it?;-) Yes, you feel a little silly at first. But the uncomfortableness quickly melts away and you realize how good it feels to just laugh. It reminded me of taking an improv class, but not nearly the amount of pressure.
Honestly, I did feel much lighter after class…probably the same feeling some people get after they leave a therapy session. Laughing is such an important stress reliever…and as our teacher told us:
Children laugh upwards of 300 times a day. Adults? 20, if you’re lucky. Cold hard facts, guys. So if you’ve had a particularly stressful week (and with the political climate, it’s safe to say that most of us have), I suggest giving laughing yoga a try.
Details: Class is currently held every Wednesday at 6pm on a walk-in basis at 825 7th Avenue @ 53rd Street, Lower Level, New York, telephone 212.956.5920, and is free of charge.