Blog Post: Laugh Your Way to Wellness
In an effort to have a totally new experience at the UBC Student Leadership Conference on January 8, I signed up for “Laughter Yoga” as my lunchtime activity. Granted, there were other options, such as watching the UBC Improvisation club perform. However, even though I don’t especially like the regular kind of yoga, I decided to try to laugh my way through the noontime.
Success was had! Founder of Ready, Set, Laugh, Allan O’Meara, was the Yogi for the session, and he managed to capture (and keep hold of) the attention of 60 university students for a solid 30-minute workshop. Between forced dance partnerships and extensive amounts of eye contact, there was plenty of opportunity for awkwardness, but O’Meara made everyone feel comfortable and provided the opportunity to experience the positive effects of laughter.
You know that feeling that you get after a laughter fit? Where your eyes are watering, your abs are aching, and your cheeks feel numb from smiling? My experience with laughter yoga taught me that whether that laughter is natural or artificial from the start, the positive feeling you get from the giggles remains. O’Meara is talented professional who truly believes in the power of happiness and the positive effects of laughter. At Ready, Set, Laugh, Allan is passionate about bringing good health, joy, and peace to the world through laughter. After all, laughter is the universal language, with no cultural barriers.
His theory of wellness through laughter is based on the fact that your body cannot tell the difference between real or “fake” laughter. By voluntarily laughing, your body receives the same psychological and physiological effects as it would from natural laughter. Besides, once you are taking part in one of Allan’s classes, your laughter becomes more and more realistic as the class continues. You begin by simulating laughter, but soon enough eye contact and playfulness results in real and contagious laughter.
Allan works with senior citizens in locations across Vancouver and is also available for booking for private events. Go to www.readysetlaugh.com to get more information about how you can experience the positive effects of laughter!