Nathan Mansbach, Mexico: My Yogic life started back in the late 1990’s, but it was not until the year of 2006 that Laughter Yoga found me. And yes, I like to say that Laughter Yoga found me, because it arrived into my life unexpectedly. I was doing a Yoga Therapy Teacher training in the USA, when one day, one of my classmates asked for permission to lead a Laughter Yoga session during an afternoon break, just for fun. I can vividly recall how, by the end of the session, lying down in the floor, I couldn’t stop kicking with my arms and feet, screaming and laughing. I´ve got totally hooked. I remember myself just saying: “I really feel how the sky has just opened it’s doors for me”.
Soon I learned Dr. Kataria was setting a Laughter Yoga Teacher Training in Los Angeles. I couldn’t wait any longer and in May 1997, I trained with the Master. Back in Mexico, I immediately started practicing and spreading the voice of Laughter Yoga. My own transformation was set. Soon, I began discovering unknown capabilities in myself. I soon realized: “This is one of the tasks for which I am here”.
In September 2007, the All American Laughter Yoga Conference was set to be held in Miami, Florida. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to vibrate with my teacher once again, so I flew to the USA, this time with my 14-year-old daughter, Liat. We arrived in the afternoon of Thursday, September 27, and I drove directly to the venue where Dr. Kataria was holding the Teacher Training, previous to the Laughter Yoga Conferenece. We spent a few hours with the group, having the opportunity to practice Laughter Yoga on the beach. Soon afterwards, about 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. everybody was getting ready for supper. Liat and I decided to drive to the place where we were supposed to stay, but since we felt hungry, we decided to stop for dinner into a nice Chinese restaurant, in Aventura, Florida. We sat at the table and had a chance to watch the beautiful pictures I had taken during the beach session. After 10 or 15 minutes, while having our meals, a man walked by our table, he “accidentally” hit one of the chairs and very politely excused himself. After a couple of seconds, he was running out of the restaurant with my travel hand bag, containing our passports, money, credit cards, I.D.’s, keys, camera, etc., all our personal belongings. After a while, we found ourselves helpless, out of the restaurant, where the people in charge, practically had swept us out of the place, unwilling to afford any loss or responsibility, inside their premises. Out of the restaurant, while Liat was frightened and crying, the local police officer made sure to remind me how stupid I was for not securing my belongings with my hands. After a couple of hours, without any “functioning” telephones where we could call home or where I could cancelled my credit cards, we finished arrangements with the local police, and received and appointment the next day, in order to continue with the legal process.
It took us a few hours to get into the apartment we had borrowed for our stay, since we had no ID’s left with us. I was able to cancel my credit cards, not without noticing that the thief had “milked” them with thousands of dollars, right in Aventura’s Shopping Mall, next to the Chinese restaurant.
Next day, feeling angry and helpless, we began our legal journey through the police station and the Mexican consulate. I realized this was going to take days, so after a long and arduous day, I called Dr. Kataria and I told him I was not going to be able to attend the conference. He understood and gave an advice: “Keep your spirit high”. On that very moment I thought: “How the hell can I keep my spirit high?” Before going to bed, feeling drained and tired, I took some time to meditate. Soon afterwards, a sparkle inside me began to grow. I have been carrying this sparkle, this light inside me, along my entire life. It is my Arjuna, my warrior of Life that has never abandoned me. It was my High Spirit, as Dr. Kataria said. Everything was instantly clear: Nothing can rip my spirit, no one can steal my laughter!
My daughter and I arrived next Saturday morning to the Laughter Yoga Conference, while Dr. Kataria was conducting a L.Y. session. I remember Dr. Kataria’s eyes, nodding, while I was doing my best to let myself go, and probably thinking: “Yes, you have made it”. After lunch, Dr. Kataria invited me to me to share on stage my experience with the attendees and we just kept flowing, laughing and raising our level of vibration and elevating our mantra to life: Ho, ho,ha,ha,ha. ! Very good, very good yeay! Muy bien, muy bien, yeeiiiiiii!
Next Monday, we were able to finish all legal arrangements and flew back home.
Now I know for sure: “We teach what we, ourselves, have to learn”.
Laughter Yoga has helped me to learn, and I keep learning, how to laugh, how to open my heart, how to live with joy and content, how to touch my own and other people sadness, how to let go, how grateful I can be, how to find and open different doors, how to elevate my spirit at all times, how to be a better person, how to look into the distance, into the sea of infinite possibilities…………….