Diseases like cancer come from repressed rage and diseases like diabetes come from repressed grief. This is what my spiritual teacher said to a group of us in 2007. It stayed with me for a long time, an ancient piece of wisdom that resonated with truth and with purpose.
I also knew the remedy for both.
In 2006 I went to Masala Mendhi Masti at the CNE grounds. And that is where I came face to face with Laughter Yoga. It was such a simple concept – laugh for no reason. Laugh because it feels good. Laughter is a human connector, a way to tap into creativity and love. I was hooked. My friends thought I was a cuckoo for coco pops. Maybe I was, maybe I am.
I looked for this teacher soon after the festival and discovered he had died of a massive heart attack. Interesting. I pursued my yoga studies in Kundalini Yoga with love and devotion.
In 2008, and in a dark place, I went looking for laughter Yoga. After many months I found a teacher close to Toronto. I was excited, raring to go. I got to the training session introduced myself to everyone and spent the next few hours totally miserable. My body had no way of processing that much pleasure. I ate so much sugar that night and dragged myself back for the second day of training. And I am so grateful that I did. What I learned about myself was eye opening. What I knew I could offer others was humbling.
What followed from this simple two day training is my own inner spirit of joy. The more I laugh, the more I want to laugh and the more I laugh the easier everything is. My day to day experience has become lighter, more fun, playful and creative. All of these qualities are amplified in the people who I meet. Laughter Yoga has opened the door for community service – I have taught seniors, kids with special needs and cancer survivors. In venues I never thought possible; the Rogers centre, the Toronto Yoga Conference, The Steven and Chris Show on the CBC and in corporate board rooms. The reach has been amazing and each time I feel blessed that I make an income this way.
One of the most amazing parts are the people who come to Laughter Yoga – you just can’t help but love someone who you laugh with. I’ve met some of my best friends through this practice.
In this spirit I am holding a Laughter Yoga Leader training session from October 12 to 14. Bring an open mind and an open heart will follow. This is an opportunity to explore the practice with a small group of people who want what you want – inner peace reflected as world peace, a natural healthy way to connect to ourselves and to others. Come for the fun, practice for the pleasure. Email me at Salimah@yogavision.com to register.
See you soon.