The Best Medicine

Beaker Prince is a delightful person.  She really pays attention to her students!  We were standing at the front desk of Schiller Recreation Center, as she was checking her roster and schedule.  I don’t know how our conversation got headed in this direction, but at some point I just looked at her and said, “nothing like a good belly laugh, I always say!”

In a few minutes, we were all on our mats in the room, and as usual, she took requests from students.  I always ask for help with my neck and shoulders (and she gave it to me!).  One student asked for something that might help with depression and stress.  She had just been to a workshop with another instructor who taught about using yoga to aid in depression.  It was fascinating how all of this began to tie together…

At some point in the lesson, Beaker had us sit in a circle on the floor, and then gave us a strange look.  “We’re going to do a laughing exercise,” she said.  Some people (being highly suggestible) immediately began to laugh. Others sat wondering. I think one rolled her eyes.  Basically what we did was the exercise where we shake our arms in the air, but this time we did it while laughing.  That’s right.  Laughing. And, we did it for ninety seconds.

Do you know how long ninety seconds is?  Ask (for instance) a five year-old to do anything for ninety seconds.  You are asking for a lot.

Or ask a yoga class to shake their arms in the air and laugh out loud for ninety seconds.  Same thing.  Or, maybe we all did an age regression back to five! I had gotten in early practice today, since my Tuesday lineup includes two kindergarten classes (I wish I had more!).

Then, we did an exercise standing, stomping our feet, and saying HA HA HA HO HO (that’s right, in five!) while we shook our fists.  Beaker was trying to come up with something for us to visualize stomping.  Having had lots of experience in the past with releasing pent-up anger, I immediately said, “bubble wrap.”  That went over very well!

Do you know how your body feels after laughing that much?  Can you imagine?  Or perhaps you will just do it for yourself now…

It reminded me a lot of the “offloading” exercises in Kai Kermani’s book Autogenic Training, which are used to release uncomfortable emotions that come up during the practice of AT.

So, my suggestion to you all, is that it is time for a nice big dose of medicine now…

LAUGH!

Laugh-In Ending Jokes (I can’t believe that my straight-laced parents let me watch this as a child!)

Be well, and at peace,

Phil

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