Laughter Yoga with Mylene
April 2 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
DE-STRESS WITH US!
Hosted on the first Tuesday of the month by local laughter yoga leader, Mylene, Laughter Yoga is a class that enables you to practice laughing so that when life happens and it gets difficult, you can laugh and change your perspective and state of mind. It involves child-like play with meditation and breathing exercises and laughing (no yoga mats needed).
Some benefits of laughter yoga include: Easy and fun exercise for health and happiness, reduces stress instantly, strengthens immune system, keeps you in a good mood and cheerful throughout the day, oxygenates your brain and makes you feel more energetic, keeps positive mental attitude in difficult times, burns calories and even increases memory.
Check out this Mayo Clinic article about the health benefits of laughter yoga!
More About Mylene and Her Class
Poitras is an Expressive Arts Specialist, which means she assists people in self-expression through such things as water coloring, finger painting, dance, life stories and singing. She also does massage therapy, laughter therapy, puppetry and reiki, which is a form of energy work. “Dying is a big journey, and I help patients and their families embrace their situation,” she said. For the past several years, she has also had her own business, Dance LaVie, where she lists herself as a Massage Therapist, Reiki Practitioner, Expressive Arts Facilitator and a Laughter Yoga Leader.
Laughter Yoga classes consist of a group of people who gather together to practice laughter as a form of exercise to improve their health — the “Yoga” refers to the union of body, mind and spirit. They began in 1995 when Dr. Madan Kataria, of Bombay, India, while writing an article entitled, “Laughter: The Best Medicine,” had gatherings in a park in order to get people laughing. He told jokes, but people soon grew tired of them, and some were even offended by them, so he came upon the idea of “laughter for no reason.” It was soon discovered that “fake” laughter had the same health benefits as “real” laughter — such as the relief of stress; a reduction of anxiety, fear and depression; a strengthened immune system; improved respiratory and circulatory systems; pain relief; improved digestion; relaxation; normalization of blood pressure; self-confidence; and the promotion of compassion and creativity.
“Laughter Yoga creates the body chemistry of happiness,” Poitras said. “Besides having fun, you create endorphins. It’s like an inner jogging.” And Kataria said, “Laughter does not solve your problems, but it can dissolve your problems.”
Poitras’ Laughter Yoga classes include deep breathing, stretching and laughter exercises. She begins by telling people they can put their problems in the garbage can outside the room and pick them up when they leave. There are bubbles, of course, which not only lighten the mood, but also help engage proper breathing. Participants do “silly stuff” to lighten up and boost self-esteem. There’s role-playing, such as pretending you are at the beach and walking on hot sand, or you are marching as if in a joyous band or parade. Ordinary activities are exaggerated as they are performed. There’s a lot of improvisation. They tell jokes in “jibberish” and laugh, which forces the rational mind to let go. There’s a lot of positive affirmation. There’s also a guided relaxation. At the end, they come into a circle and she asks them if they would like to send joy, laughter, peace and love to someone or to a situation. And always, there is the laughter.
“We laugh for no reason, just for pleasure, to have fun and feel invigorated,” Poitras said. “When you laugh, you are here now, just being in the present. At the end of class people feel more relaxed, lighter. They’ve forgotten their problems. I love to see how they transform,” she said. “They tell me I make their day.”
“They come to have fun,” she said. “They come because they are depressed and want to find that joie de vivre again. They want to try something new, to expand their minds, to heal. Laughter is good medicine. Some people say they miss this — the laughing and being silly — from their childhoods.”
Flo Bartosiak-Grenman is one of Poitras’ happy students. “These classes bring me a real sense of release about any issue in my life,” Bartosiak-Grenman said. “I come away with a different perspective. Suddenly things are not as important as I thought, and I leave feeling that life is good and that there’s no need to worry.”
And Poitras keeps the laughter going, even outside her classes. “I try to get people to laugh when I’m in public,” she said. “At a red light I’ll be laughing, and I’ll roll down the window and say to the next car, ‘I’m practicing Laughter Yoga.’ When I get to the next red light, I’ll be next to the same car and they are laughing. It’s fun and contagious. I’m often creating situations where people will laugh. I find a way to bring love and peace and laughter to people.”
“Everything starts with self-acceptance and learning to be here now, and to enjoy life, to be mindful in everything you’re doing,” she said. “Peace and joy are available all the time. I believe we’re here to love and to serve each other, to bring joy to everything we do. … Express yourself. Be creative. Lighten up. We need to be more aware that this is a beautiful life and that we’re all in this together. You can create a masterpiece with your life. If we express ourselves and are creative, we have infinite possibilities.”
Love Donations welcomed ($5 Suggested)