Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened... (Laughter Yoga)

Last night I attended the Laughter Club (and potluck dinner) at ArtSpace Hartford. So-called "laughter yoga" is an international sensation that has had some pretty prominent press lately. In case you missed it, Laughter Clubs get together for structured laughing sessions and the punchline is... there is no joke. In fact, talking is kept to a minimum, except for some explanation of the "exercises." Hartford's lady of laughter, Laura Le, took us through a series of movements and breathing exercises - we hopped on one foot and laughed our asses off, high-fived while cracking up, played "Ho Ho Ha" (a "Duck Duck Goose" variant).

The group was small and included some incredulous first-timers. So it was fun to watch people squirm, striving to overcome self-consciousness for the sake of being good sports and - who knows - maybe reaping some mental health benefits. Whether or not we all become laughter regulars, I think just trying it once is a worthwhile exercise in breaking ice, expanding comfort zones and letting go of inhibitions. We all got our first giggle of the evening over having to sign a liability waiver on the way in.

Admittedly, I did get feel a little light-headed a couple of moments from all that strenuous romping and laughing.

I must say, I was a natural (Laura said I totally made her laugh). I credit my past history as a camp counselor. It's not that hard for me to embrace being publicly silly or have child-like fun. When I found myself at the lead of a laughter conga line, I just channeled Joan from Mad Men. And when we reeled in the most hilarious fish ever, I thought of River Monsters dreamboat Jeremy Wade.

This group is free and meets Tuesday evenings at ArtSpace Hartford at 5:45. The more the merrier, I'm sure.

Read more about Laughter Yoga. Or watch John Cleese explore the phenomenon on the BBC:


  1. I love John Cleese!

  2. Katie you blog real well! almost as good as ducking my goose! we had a BLAST. please come back soon.
    see ya next weeek with your splendid salad