People occasionally cry off participating in laughter yoga because they ‘don’t have a sense of humour’.
“I’ve nothing to laugh about,” they might say.
Or “I can never get the joke right: it falls flat.”
When I hear this, I always smile and say “Terrific” which earns me a quizzical look.
You see, laughter yoga is based on the premise of not requiring jokes or comedy or humour.
It’s about laughing as an exercise.
And yes, given that we’re so conditioned to think laughter must be associated with humour, it can feel bit ‘silly’.
It isn’t for everyone. In my family, one daughter plays touch football, a son plays Ultimate disc frisbee, another son is into triathlons and another daughter is a cheerleader: I admire their enthusiasm and passion but their chosen exercise activities don’t necessarily float my boat or mine, theirs!
One clear distinction between laughter yoga and other exercise options, I believe, is that we all can laugh.
Yes, we may react to a situation that is ‘funny’ by laughing but as I’ve written previously, humour is personal and cultural.
We can laugh as an intentional physical act – a concept not dissimilar to doing a bicep curl when holding a dumb bell in the hand. We don’t need to even be in the mood! This intentional physical act of laughing is the exercise of laughter yoga as Indian physician Dr Madan Kataria intended.
Indeed Dr Kataria has likened Laughter Yoga to a dose of Draino to clear blocked plumbing:
Laughter Yoga facilitates a cleansing process. Once the rubble is removed, laughter will flow naturally again.
That’s what I’ve seen and experienced. Those who laugh willingly and often actually laugh more freely. They more readily see the lighter side of situations and may even laugh off situations or circumstances that previously caused great pain.
So back to the beginning: do you need a sense of humour to do laughter yoga? No. Can laughter yoga improve your sense of humour? Only you can determine that by having a go, willingly.
© Heather Joy Campbell 2018