One of my teachers, Murti, used to always share the phrase “Yoga is too important to be taken seriously!” Sometimes, when we are so earnestly seeking, developing our tapas, and staying disciplined in our practice, we forget that yoga is fun (and funny)! That laughing with and at ourselves is an important part of keeping our humility and our beginner’s mind. And, it’s good for us!
Laughter is good for your health (Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.d, May 2013).
- Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
- Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
- Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
- Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
|The Benefits of Laughter|
|Physical Health Benefits:
||Mental Health Benefits:
So this post is dedicated to all things yoga that make us laugh! I’ll get a list started, but please add to the conversation, sharing your own funny yoga moments in the comments!
1). Body sounds. You know you’ve done it. Sometimes secretly slipping out, sometimes loud and proud. Also known as as an advanced pranayama technique: “breathing from both ends”. Due to a request, during our Yoga Teacher Training, Indira, our ever pure and glowing YTT guru, made special time to explain the biomechanics and anatomical realities of women’s bodily noises during yoga (you know, when happy baby releases happy sounds!). Funny, yes. And the secret to preventing this? More keigels!
2). A while back, I received a phone call from my father, and with a very serious and concerned voice, he proceed to warn me about those ‘lucky lemon pants’ after the recent scandal of Lululemons see-through yoga pants. “They are exposing people’s privates!” Thanks Dad, another crisis adverted!
3). While practicing in Mui Nei, Vietnam, I had the pleasure of studying with Les, an Australian teacher. As soon as we got into our first downward dog, he insisted that webegin barking like dogs….people were hesitant at first, but soon the yip and howls of chihuahuas and rottweilers began filling the room– I still think of it everytime I’m in downward dog, and always smile when I imagine what kind of dog I would be that day!
4). Lastly, but not at all the least—If you had the fortunate experience of completing a 200hr yoga training with me, you would recognize this tune instantaneously…. Ladies (and gent) of the Aug 2012 training, this is for all of you, Yoga Girl ‘s (yes, you want to click this!)
Well that’s a start….Remember to share you’re laugh-worthy experiences, and maybe even let your inner dog out next time you find yourself on you mat!