This is one date I’ve always wanted to do. Laughter Yoga clubs exist all over the world.They are free to attend, usually held in public parks or city squares, and the benefits of practicing are enticing – more endorphins, less cortisol. An antidote for anxiety, stress and inflammation in the body. It may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more. You burn calories when you laugh. Best of all, you feel good!
The date idea has been sitting innocently in our date ideas generator for years now. I see it every now and then and resolve to go along. When the Y date idea in our alphabet dates arrived, I couldn’t resist any longer.
I didn’t tell Den about it ahead of time – I find that if he has a preconceived notion of a date, he’ll bag it right away. It’s part of him hating to leave his comfort zone. I’ve made the mistake before of telling him where we were going when I knew he wouldn’t like it – it doesn’t bode well for a fun date. He gets all negative about it before he’s even had a go (Ten Pin Bowling and Strawberry Picking leap to mind). Usually, once we’re there and in the midst of it, he loves it.
We rolled up to Federation Square, Melbourne CBD. The middle of the city on a Sunday morning. Lots of people around to witness the ridiculousness (and yes, it is purposely ridiculous) of our little Laughter Yoga group.
The concept is simple: Laugh for no reason. The laughter leader takes you through a series of exercises incorporating breathing, rhythm and fake laughter. Pretty soon, the laughter stops being fake and turns to real laughter. You move around the group during your exercise, making eye contact with other members in order to contagiously spread the mirth.
I always laughed hardest when I caught Den’s eye – him too. Mostly because we were, I’ll admit, slightly mortified at what we were doing acting like lunatics on a Sunday morning in the middle of the city. It was hilarious. I caught Den wiping away tears of laughter at one point.
The practice goes for about half an hour, then you regroup and decompress – an important part of the process.
Straight afterwards, I felt light and happy and great. Then I crashed a bit – a common side effect if you don’t “ground” yourself enough following the session. I felt wiped out, frustrated, angry and sad all at once. There were a few tears. I wasn’t myself the rest of the day. I’m an emotional person at the best of times, and this had clearly stirred something up. Looking online, I found it was normal to clear away some bad emotions. I’m sure with more frequent practice, you can get to the feeling good bit.
Regardless of that, it was still a fun date. It met all the requirements we need – under $30 (free, in fact!), something we’ve never done before and something that pushed our comfort circles.
We made a little video for you to see. Find a laughing club near you and try it out!