At 10am on a Saturday morning I am standing in a roomful of strangers in my socks pretending to stir a cauldron while cackling like a witch. Apparently this will boost my endorphin levels, reduce my stress levels and flush out the stale air from my lungs. ‘You’ll go away on a high at the end of the session,’ promises the teacher. I doubt it. My shoulders are two tense inches higher than when I arrived, I am avoiding eye contact with everyone and wishing I’d stayed in bed with a second cup of tea.
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Laughter – or laughter yoga – clubs are popping up all over the UK. When I found out one had started in the little town where I live, I was curious to try it. ‘Isn’t it a bit desperate?’ said my friend. ‘I mean, can’t you just laugh normally?’ Well, that was the thing.
I’d noticed I didn’t seem to laugh much normally any more. I mean, yes, I giggled a bit at this and that, and made those ‘social laughter’ noises that lubricate conversations, but I couldn’t remember the last time I’d properly laughed. You know, those laughs that make you pump out tears and hold your sides in that painful-but-oh-so-pleasurable way.
Had I got too cynical? Too serious? Had I turned into a grumpy old bag? I missed those episodes where I thought I was going to die laughing. So why not try laughter yoga. Let’s see if this would work.
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