One of my many amazing laughter yoga students is Rhonda Locklair. She just got this article published in The Green Dove, an online weekly magazine filled with feature stories, interesting facts, videos and interviews designed to inspire, surprise, teach and enlighten. I'm so proud of Rhonda!
Laughter Yoga from the Heart
July 31, 2009
By Rhonda Locklair
I have started several articles on my favorite subject of Laughter Yoga, but repeatedly ended up stuck. Stuck?!? That just seems impossible being that I could talk endlessly on the subject. Also impossible because I am an incredible research nerd and would love to spout out numerous quotes and research findings on this topic.
I’ve stalled all the way around trying to decide what would be the best approach to this and I finally figured out that I would just have to let the research wait for now. In my quest for valid information about this topic, I am going to finally let it all rest and just write from my heart and tell my story of Laughter Yoga. All the research can wait for later.
Laughter Yoga found its way into my life at a time when I needed it probably more than I have ever needed it. I had first become aware of Laughter Yoga several years ago, but had no way at that time to attend any classes, but I knew that it was something that I wanted to pursue one day, how, I did not know.
I researched it on the internet and found Dr. Kataria’s site. I was so intrigued because it truly made sense to me. As a long time off and on student of yoga it made incredible sense to me. As a student of life it made even more. Fast forward a few years as I was presented an opportunity to become a Laughter Yoga leader myself. How everything fell into place for this was nothing short of divine timing.
While sitting under my gratitude tree grieving for my father who had recently died of cancer after a four year long good bye period, I had a sudden thought that I should really go take a class in Laughter Yoga. I knew that the timing in my life was perfect for it and that there was an incredible strong pull for it to happen, but had no idea how it would happen due to many life circumstances at the time.
Fifteen minutes later I went into the house and started to check emails. During the time that I had sat beneath my tree grieving and feeling gratitude for my father, I had received an email from a friend that I had met on line through a social site in which we shared our common interests (we are both art-o-mat artists).
She had shared with me that she was a Laughter Yoga Teacher and I had expressed interest because of my research. What a great surprise to find out that she would be teaching a class in a few months and invited me to attend. I was dumbfounded that this had literally fallen into my lap at the time that I sat there trying to focus on gratitude in my time of grief. In that brief flash of time laterally everything had changed for me. What was an impossibility in my eyes had suddenly become very possible.
So fast forward a couple of months and I am on a plane flying literally into a blizzard. Airports were being shut down and every single flight that I had, all three, were late. I was running between each one on course with my new destiny. It was a crazy trip that forever altered my life. I met my dear friend Laura Gentry (of the Iowa Laughter Yoga School) in person and she is now one of my best friends, I became a Laughter Yoga Leader and was able to reconnect with another dear friend that met me along the way for this life changing journey.
I do feel “called” to do this work that I love so much. So all in all this first article of many that I hope to share about Laughter Yoga isn’t really that much about the exercise at all, but about my personal journey with Laughter and how it has literally fallen into my lap over and over again as a healing tool, coping mechanism and way of life. I have personally used it every way possible from pain management to exercise and everything in between I could and will share volumes about all of these and much more. I now lead workshops on various techniques of Laughter Yoga from Stress Management, Creative thinking and even Laughter Yoga boot camp.
Why do I feel so compelled to share this wondrous tool? I literally can’t see where I cannot use it. It works for everything. Everyone can do it and this awesome tool is powerful beyond measure. It keeps finding its way into more and more of my life, so at this point I have decided to just follow the lead and see where it will take me.
Since agreeing to write articles on this subject it has repeatedly found more and more avenues to be included in every aspect of my life. I have recently agreed to post Laughter Yoga videos for a forum for a 100 day raw food challenge. Every book and magazine I pick up offers more and more information and research for me to share on this subject. It is literally at every direction I turn and I am so excited to share this tool and its incredible benefits.
So much for an article jam packed with information, research and health benefits. I felt compelled to tell my side of the story which is multifold. Being in a state of wonder and gratitude even in the worst of times can unfold a future that you can never imagine and the impossible can literally happen in the blink of an eye that change your world forever; laughter being the bridge that connects between barriers, both real and perceived.
The Barefoot Artist, Rhonda Locklair, is an artist, raw foodist, Laughter Yoga leader and self-confessed “gratitude goddess having the best day ever”. Rhonda is a regular contributor to The Green Dove, with Laughter Yoga from the Heart her first installment.
Here's a photo of Rhonda and me enjoying a good laugh together.