I have a group I meet with every week. I talked to them about the importance of our first two medicines. I tell them they are tears and laughter. Tears are first because we cry when we are born. Laughter is next as that happens at about 4/5 months.
I thought I was so smart giving my group permission to cry until someone told me that she hadn't "cried in years and you can't make me". Enough of that! I also tell them that if they cry in awkward spots I can help them to quit crying. A few have taken me up on that.
I ask my group to practice smile-ups and I show them how to do that and ask that they do it along with me. They will occasionally. I enjoy that as many look so tentative and funny. I get a laugh. In a training I did with a friend recently, I had her demonstrate for the group.
I was holding the microphone and giving direction!
I got a chuckle from her but knew it would be more fun with the entire group, so I then asked that they all join her. Many did! I got a really good laugh then.
Laughter breaths are fun to demonstrate and to get people to do them along with me. We all get some good laughs. When they cooperate. Who in a crisis shelter feels like smiling, let alone laughing though?
Why do I enjoy laughter yoga? It doesn't require a mat, bending, or getting into any weird shape or pose. You get plenty of good breathing while doing it. And you feel better.
I was at my daughter's house for a visit when I came upon two of her boys meditating. I knew I had heard them talking about spinjitsu/ninjitsu and wondered where they heard that from. So I asked. "Who taught you to meditate?"
The oldest said, "Grandma, we have always known!" That is all they had to say about it. All I could think of was ya, right! Then I thought wouldn't that be cool if they could keep up with that habit?
My first experience with meditation was transcendental meditation. I was in college and had double booked myself, and since I needed the other class for my degree program, I only had one class of meditation.
During the class, I was taught hmmm, hmmm as a mantra. The class was told that they would each get a mantra. In the class, we were taught to sit with our hands in a certain way and to breathe.
Years later when I was expected to meditate for a recovery program, I tried the meditation I almost learned, I sat in the position with my hands just so took some deep breaths, and said, "Hmmm, hmmm," then "f--k him" were the next words that came out of my mouth.
That was the last of my transcendental meditation to this day.
Most recently at a grief retreat I was working at, I sat by and watched a yoga teacher and the group doing yoga. Her specialty is hot yoga. So I mostly watched and enjoyed watching. It was very cool how they all got better by the second day and there was only one minor collision.
I remember a retreat where I really appreciated yoga and thought I would continue the practice at home. It lowered my blood sugar numbers and I was told that I could get my height back with yoga.
Well, it has been several years since then, and I have shrunk so I am 2 1/2 inches shorter than my top height and I am taking insulin on a sliding scale. Laughter yoga does keep me from slipping into depression and reading on vocal and medium.com authors will keep me laughing too.
About the Creator
I am married with 7 children, 27 grands, and 12 great-grandchildren. I am a culture consultant part-time. I write A Poem a Day in February for 8 years now. I wrote 4 - 50,000 word stories in NaNoWriMo. I write on Vocal/Medium weekly.