“And the forests will echo with laughter.
Does anybody remember laughter?”
– Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin
Supposedly we could laugh in any situation, and we pantomimed laughing while paying the bills, cleaning the house, and talking with a telemarketer.
Laughter lowers stress levels and strengthens the immune system, and the idea behind laughter yoga is that fake laughter is as beneficial as real laughter.
I tend to be leery of anything touchy-feely, so once I heard that laughter yoga has been endorsed by Oprah, Andrew Weil, and Dr. Oz, I was all the more skeptical.
I joined a group of about 40 people, mainly women, and we warmed up with “ha, ha, ha” and “hee, hee, hee.” We yukked it up with Santa laughter, silent library laughter, and graduated laughter.
A variety of silly exercises caused some real laughter along with the faking. We all walked around the room and repeatedly paired up for missed high fives. We spoke gibberish to each other, faked angry screaming at each other, and pretended to scare each other.
The biggest real laugh of the class came during the cool down when we were doing deep breathing combined with yawning, and the fake yawns quickly turned to real ones. An elderly gentleman seated in a chair piped up with “I could do this all day.”
We had been asked to rate our happiness level at the beginning of the class from one to 10 (with 10 being the best), and I had given myself a 6. I was at an 8 at the end of the session. The funny thing was that I continued to feel an elevated mood for the rest of the day and into the next. That’s nothing to laugh at.
I went out for barbecue that night. After my workout, I figured I earned it.
#50 (101 things in 1001 days): Take a yoga class again.
P.S. I’ve loved giving twists to some of the items on my list. Pedicure = fish pedicure. Makeover = zombie makeover. Painting garage doors = graffiti time. I was ready to schedule a yoga class, but what could I possibly write about the lack of flexibility of my hamstrings? Laughter yoga to the rescue!