Last weekend 1,2,3 and Appit made a pilgrimage up Ohauiti’s Hill to the Settler’s Hall for laughing yoga.
i was scared.
Giovanni Fusetti said to me once, “Be scared, just don’t worry.”
i feel comfy laughing in front of people, i also know my laugh gains attention. i’m more at ease with laughter in public than i am with tears.
Most of me was ‘down’ with joining the laughing club on a Saturday arvo for 45 minutes. But i had a fear. i designed the idea that towards the end i would need to laugh, non-stop, for 10 minutes and somehow i would be asked to sustain it. i had this idea that it would be a forced laugh, even though i wished it wasn’t.
i was deliciously surprised at what actually occurred.
This was the moving picture of the afternoon overlooking Mauao and some new goats in their emerald paddocks:
Couples, a Dad with 3 kids in a van, another Dad and his daughter, some Mum’s and their daughters or sons, some women, some men, 2 teachers, a couple of friends, a person without a voice with a pen and paper and still with laugh, me and 3 kids were there in that sun-filled rural hall with her polished wooden floors.
I took some books, the train set, and one miniature basketball in case the kids wanted to ‘potter’ rather than ‘laugh’.
Kids came for free, Adults $10.
People filled the spaces in the hall where they wanted to be. The children started playing. Some of us talked to each other. i sang a Slovak call and the teachers began.
It felt much more magical than i could have conceived. Our teachers introduced a simple (non-verbal) almost drama class like game. Each game only lasted 1-3 minutes. In between each exercise we cheered (which felt fun not stink). My and Appit’s favourite was when we met another hiding behind our arms, we opened them to create a small gap like a clam opening its shell and let out a short giggle, then moved on to the next ‘fellow clam’. Anyone following me here?
The pleasant surprise was that each exercise only felt like it lasted 2-3 minutes and it felt like the teachers listened to the dynamic of the room, and introduced another game when the laughter was fading. The games also encouraged us to try different laughs, silent ones even! The kids joined in. They came and went from the exercises. Some stayed with their parents the whole time, some trained and booked, then ran back into the laughter, and then out again into the sunny fringes.
Number 1 LOVED it. Her clown, her sense of wild and cheek was utterly fulfilled. She spent a deal of time hugging a new friend – maybe someone she will never see again? i don’t remember her saying good-bye. They were utterly in-fun and present to one another. The children were very peaceful. Was it the sunshine? The change of scene? That Mum or Dad were without smartphone? The simple interactive games? The rural setting? Or the laughter? Their parents in joy?
i loved that my kids spent an afternoon with my abandon, my surrender, my joy, my wild, my non-controlling self.
i wondered how many times in my life-time and theirs will they get to see her – this beautiful Mummy, person, being?
We all wound down that hill altered. Forever more. Bring on the next laughing club at a little YOGA festival Sunday 20 September 2015.