A good belly laugh in to get through difficult times
Hi there! While your regular columnist, Cheryl Russell, is out on one of her many walks above and beyond the usual, thought I would jump into her desk chair and share a few words on her laptop before she returns. Best if I start with an introduction: I’m Cheryl’s Laughter Yoga class T-shirt. Until this thing called sheltering, for more than 11 years, I was out like clockwork every Monday morning…that is me or one of my look-alike cousins. Now suddenly I’m stuck in her closet with no place to go. Getting pretty bored just hanging out. Bet you know what I mean.
From what I have learned about the benefits of laughter that she tells her class each week, now more than ever would be a great time for people to laugh together. Mind you I’m not for one minute suggesting that any rules be broken here. Just lamenting how the class is good exercise since they move around a lot when they do their routines such as giggle juice, silent laughter and cell phone laughter. Even though staying home is where everyone needs to be right now, I’ve heard some great suggestions over the years that can still be done in the comfort of your own home.
Let’s start with the laughter cheer that is practiced around the world. Saying the words ho-ho-ha-ha-ha, clap your hands together with fingertips and palms together. What this simple technique does is activate every reflex throughout the body. The brain has a positive response to the chant which in turn boosts your immune system. Think you’ll agree that is especially helpful right now.
Every laughter routine can be done in front of a mirror thereby removing the idea that you are laughing by yourself. I like the idea of laughing with me, myself and I as Cheryl often reminds class participants. One of her favorite routines that works well in front of a mirror is, “I’m Amazing.” All you have to do is look in the mirror and recite: “I am amazing” (pointing to yourself), “You are amazing,” pointing to the mirror, and “We are amazing” (opening your arms to include everyone) and then say, ”Ho-ho-ho!” Try it and you’ll see it’s powerful and fun.
With most everything going virtual, there are some online classes you may want to try. I highly recommend SebastianGendry.com. Think you’ll like him too. Oh, I think Cheryl’s on approach; will close with wishes for your health and well-being. Hopefully I’ll see you back at laughter yoga class soon.
Originally published, Orange County Register, April 9, 2020