Way back when I cannot even remember what year it was, I was slightly addicted to a television show called The Secret Life of Us. On one of their episodes they highlighted a laughter club, which I thought was very cool. I'd heard about them before then, but this made me more interested in finding one. The fact that I now know that the small bit of "laughter-clubbing" they had on the show was nothing like what we do matters not to me, as I am still in debt to the show for kindling my interest, so to speak.
There was a little time between that episode and my first moving to
, and then hearing about the laughter club here. But once I was in (I believe it was three or four months after it began here), I was truly IN. It quite quickly became something I had trouble doing without. Bendigo
I've always been an easy-going happy sort of fella, and have often been interested in alternative ideas and "thinking out of the box", so it seems that I was almost a shoe-in for taking to Hasya Yoga, as its official name is. Also having a bit of a thespian streak in me, the idea of laughing while doing outrageous actions, or based on weird ideas, really appealed to me also. And as I learnt more, did a leadership workshop, and actually benefitted from the partaking myself, I was no longer a convert, but a died-in-the-wool zealot! And if I missed a week (which was actually 2 weeks, being the Saturday in the middle of the week before and the week following) it left a cavernous hole in my life and I couldn't wait to get back into the swing of things next time around.
With all of my acquired knowledge I could almost write a list of biblical proportions if I wanted to, based on the benfits of Hasya Yoga, so instead of doing that I'll settle on listing some of the things that I have found most valuable for me:
- reducing inhibitions and improving self-confidence
- physically aiding my health (I felt better and healthier - no lie!)
- made a lot of wonderful friends, many of whom were almost as zany and madcap as myself
- and most of all, no matter how bad other things were in my life, I had something to look forward to weekly, that would make me feel better regardless of how much I had to "force" it.
I'm not sure what else I have to say, except that some of my friends are simply "weekly acquaintances" whom I interact with for approximately an hour each Saturday, but some have become people whose friendship I value greatly and I'd like to think will be in my life for a long time, regardless of laughter club's presence or not.
Oh, and with regard to the last bullet point, once you can get past that initial uncomfortable feeling that comes from trying to laugh like a monkey, or like a lawnmower, or even attempting to laugh with no sound, you will realise that even when forcing it you still gain the benefits of the pheromones (spelling?) that your brain releases in the act of laughing. You cannot help but feel good!
20 February 2009