Laughter Yoga – Truly Life Changing

Andrea MagnaboscoI first got to know about Laughter Yoga in October 2015 and it was a life changing experience. Though my job and family was stable, my life was very boring and I wasn’t ok from within. I sensed I wasn’t complete and was not doing the right thing in my life – the thing I was meant to do.

So I decided to attend a Laughter Yoga session hoping it would change my life. Initially, I found it strange and funny seeing everyone laugh so much for no reason. I felt very dumb and my inner voice was shouting “what the hell are you doing? Stop it, you look crazy!” – But, I kept faking my laughter throughout the session and asking myself, “Why can’t I laugh like them? I want to learn like them!” But a day later, I was feeling so light that I actually wanted to come back another time. What kept me going was the fantastic feeling of connection with other people after an hour of laughing with them. I was feeling much more connected with them than with the few friends I had known for 10 years. And this was what made me go back to the second session.

Later, when there was a bomb attack in Paris, I wanted to know how anyone can laugh in front of these terrible events. It was then that I learnt about the inner spirit of laughter, which teaches one how to cope with life’s challenges and to laugh even in adversity. I kept going to almost every session and kept laughing alone for at least 10 minutes every day. This changed my life dramatically and I realized that Laughter Yoga was a part of my life, part of my future and that I had to dedicate my life to Laughter Yoga in the future.

In June 2016 I trained as a Laughter Yoga leader. I was feeling so great and full of expectancies about my life. But, sadly, after some weeks I started feeling bad as I found it difficult to complete the 40 days challenge and wasn’t feeling a part of the laughing world yet. Even then, I kept up my laughing every day. It was really trying and I decided to take it slow. But in a couple of months I started to lose hope about my laughing future, though I was in constant touch with my laughter teachers who encouraged me at every step, shared ideas and opinions and provided a lot of support. I still felt useless and thought there was no hope for me. It was as if there was some sort of internal resistance.

I then joined another laughter session and continued my journey of learning more about the magic of laughter and the several benefits it provides for complete body – mind wellness. I faced excitement, fear and apprehension. In fact, when told to assist in a laughter session for elders, I was really scared, but I survived! At the end of the session, the look in the face of those 90 years old men and women was so sweet that a voice in me told me to just carry on with what I was doing. Perhaps, this was my calling – this is what I was looking for and had finally found it as I spread the world of laughter among people from all walks of life. I listened to my heart and took the decision to keep going with those people.

But, personally I still had to free my real laugh. I was trying with all my effort to reach it and let go of all pent up emotions. It was my laughter teacher who helped me to get over my irrational fears and express myself openly. Something changed deep inside me. When I subscribed for the training, I had told her, “my heart is in your hands, mould it, and let me be laugh”. And so it was! It was worth the effort. It had to be hard and difficult, very intense. It squeezed all my energy to allow me to purify from my fears, from my rational mind. To let the emotions in me flow freely. I cried so much and realized something very important: what I was trying to desperately reach – the laugh from my heart couldn’t be accomplished with my brain; and the laugh I used to have when I was getting emotional was just a filter from my brain to stop getting more emotional. It was just my rational mind stopping the true me. And as soon as I discovered this, my real laugh came out. It’s just laugh and as soon as I laugh, I don’t really care if it’s real or not. Laughter is all about doing it; not about thinking!

Laughter gave me another gift – new friends with whom I can laugh and share my love. I found the right people in the right place at the right moment. It is a fantastic feeling, like pure magic.

Not much has “apparently” changed after me being a teacher except one incredible thing: I am aware of being part of the flow, I am aware of myself – of who I really am and what I want to become. What is my goal in this life and what to do to achieve it. I sense myself as a part of the flow, connected with people, connected with everybody. I am part of all and all is part of me.

So even if not much has seemingly changed in my life – same work, same routine – I am completely changed inside. I live way more happily, I am in the “be laughter” and try with all my efforts to accomplish what I learned in the teacher training. I know it’s just a matter of time to start spreading love in the world, more than what I do now.

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