Flashback to August 2005, I make my yearly pilgrimage to Masala Mehndi Masti at the CNE grounds with my friends. I had no idea what was in store for me. The day was sunny and warm. The atmosphere was so uniquely Toronto – people of all ages, colours, sizes enjoying the music and festival atmosphere. Just within earshot, I hear a call out from the stage. “Who wants to laugh?” Intrigued, I dragged my people with me. We started the practice with hand clapping and amazing partner exercises. It was brilliant. I laughed, felt pleasurably embarrassed and connected deeply with my body and the people around me. Sharing a laugh creates instant friendship. I walked away from the experience with a sense of wonder and excitement. It was such a simple idea with incredible benefits. It was called Laughter Yoga.
Flash forward circa September 2007. My spiritual teacher, Yogi Akal is holding a special class for graduates of my Teacher Training class. “Diseases like cancer come from repressed rage and diseases like diabetes come from repressed grief,” he said. I know better so I won’t call it a random statement. “What’s the remedy for grief and rage?” I asked myself. And then I made the connection. Laughter Yoga.
In 2009 I finished my Laughter Yoga training. It took a long time to find a teacher. It took a long time to be ready to do this type of healing for myself and for my students. I started teaching in Trinity Bellwoods Park. I would take a sign out to the park and people would gather at 8pm and we would practice together. First 5 people, then 10 and then 30 and 40. A seed had been planted. I made a promise to teach at Masala Mehndi Masti some way some how as a way of saying thank you for the inspiration and the trajectory.
My opportunity arrived recently.
July 7, 2011, through an amazing set of meetings and greetings I am introduced to Jyoti Rana – no other than MMM Festival Director and woman extraordinaire. And by some twist of fate – she has a programming spot open for Yoga at this year’s festival. . .we have lunch and the rest is kismet.
Introducing Yogapalooza at MMMidnight. Candlelight, moonlight, drum beats and Kundalini Yoga. A midnight celebration of spiritual awakening, movement, breath and love by the lakeside. Bring your mats and your friends. Wearing white will enhance your experience.
Join us on Saturday, August 20 at Midnight in the Boulevard Tent. Look for the pond and find the tent right next to it. This is a free class proudly brought to you by YogaVision and Masala Mendi Masti. For details visit www.yogavision.com