There is nothing better than the feeling of a gut wrenching chuckle, an unexpected cackle or a surprise one syllable “HA”. The power of laughter can decrease stress, change perspective, rid anger and has the ability to connect people. Supporting both your mental and physical health, laughing releases endorphins, strengthens blood vessels and is a natural muscle relaxer.
Ever fallen down on your face in class?
Displayed a human reenactment of the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Tripped across the studio over absolutely nothing and try to pass it off as a light jog? Snored in savasana? Sure, we all have.
Yes, it’s true! We ALL have! And I’m here to tell you that while many people think that a true yoga class is strictly zenned out yogi masters, serious practitioners, and secret cast members of Cirque Du Soleil, there are just as many Chris Farleys, left footers and giggle bunnies who are yogis as well.
You are allowed to laugh in a yoga class.
In fact, laughter can be beneficial to your practice. Laughing exercises the body, replenishes cells and provides fresh oxygen to your bloodstream. Don’t forget the silent sister of the mighty laugh, the smile. Sharing similar benefits, smiling is a quiet way to lift the intensity of your practice and release endorphins as well.
Balance is key. I love a good sweaty intensely focused class. I also love those days where I just can’t really gain my balanced and I’m forced to embrace the “giraffe on ice” methodology. I look forward to falling in class. Not only is it a reminder that we are all learning as we go but a reminder that going some place new can be fun and sometimes even funny.
So take it easy. Allow yourself some space mentally and emotionally to let go of the perfect way to take a class. Not only is yoga the practice of connecting the mind, body, and spirit, it’s the practice of finding your true Self. And if your true Self can fit in a Mini Cooper with 20 other people wearing red noses, or likes to wear shorts over your pants just to see the reaction on people’s faces – well then, welcome. There is a space waiting for your personality in yoga class.
If the moment strikes, don’t hold back. Get that extra rush of oxygen, that fun abdominal workout and don’t be afraid if you make your neighbor smile. They might need it too.
Laugh on, smile big and search for more fun on your mat. And don’t worry… the auditions for Cirque Du Soleil aren’t until August, you have plenty of time.