Stress Relief With Laughter Yoga
“Kids laugh 300 to 400 times per day,” says Alban Pruthi, instructor of “Stress Relief With Laugher Yoga,” to a class held at downtown CrossFit gym 202strong. But if you’re an adult with a to-do list, multiple crises to solve, and a neverending quest to take over the world (phew!), then you might be short-changing yourself in the laugh department: Adults get a genuine laugh in only seven to 10 times per day.
Now that’s no laughing matter.
Insert Alban, a quirky, gregarious, witty, and fun-loving guy, who discovered the concept of laughter yoga during a trip in India. He saw a class being held in a park that was having the kind of fun too good to not reproduce at home.
“I decided I wanted to teach that,” he says. “I think laughter should be free!” (Thanks, KCDC!)
First, Alban had students go around shaking each other’s hands while imitating laughter sounds. “Ha Ha Ha Ha, Ho Ho Ho Ho” they forced out at first …
Then the class gave way to genuine laughter.
Then there were breathing exercises to relieve the day’s stress.
Students were instructed to pretend that they were enjoying humorous cell phone conversations, many wishing every phone call could be so fun.
Alban instructed the class to imagine being cats and dogs, then to interact as such. One might guess that some students may have just been acting out their past lives …
Then Alban told an embarrassing, though comical, story about a smelly encounter with someone on an elevator (you had to be there … or maybe not) and encouraged students to recall embarrassing stories about themselves. Suffice it to say that the tears of laughter and spontaneous snorts meant there were plenty of those to go around.
Finally, Alban asked everyone to share both what they learned and what they experienced throughout the hour-long class. Students described laughter yoga as “hilarious” and some said while they were originally worn out from the day, the class was a welcome rejuvenation!
One student even proclaimed, “I’m Carol and this has been the best hour of the day.”
As long as at least 300 laughs were born out of that hour, then indeed, Carol, indeed.
Samantha L. Justice splits much of her time between her amazing day job as an HR consultant for nonprofits and shooting with her favorite Canon camera in tow. She enjoys the cultural melting pot that is D.C., traveling to new destinations, and spending time with nearby friends and family.