Laughter & Asanas: Benefits to Adding More Fun to Classes
By: “AJ” Amy Jo Crowell, Publisher Dallas Yoga Magazine & Co-Founder Cosmic Yogi Festivals
There is something to say about having positive energy in a yoga studio. You know what I’m talking about. The studios you walk into and you are instantly hit with a calm, friendly, relaxing sensation. It’s like you stepped into another dimension. Everyone seems to be having fun and laughing even though they are struggling and challenging themselves with their asanas.
“For a while, I took myself so seriously, and then I realized that no one seemed to be smiling in any of the classes I was teaching. I relaxed, started having fun and smiled more at my students. The energy changed dramatically and now my students smile during class!” Angie, Yoga Instructor, Dallas, Texas
“My favorite yoga teachers are the ones I know will crack me up and flash me their pearly whites during class. Let’s face facts, the more fun and laughter you have in class, the more you are going to go back to that studio and seek out that teacher.” Nancy, Yoga Enthusiast, Fort Worth, Texas
“Having friendly, fun, loving yoga teachers is the key to giving our yogi clients the best possible experience in our studio.” Camry, Studio Manager, Irving, Texas
We know there are many health benefits to practicing yoga asanas. It keeps your body flexible, reduces anxiety, keeps your blood flowing to improve your immune system, lowers blood pressure, assists in reducing stress hormones, builds muscle strength and the breath work builds strong lungs.
Believe it or not…the same benefits are true for laughter! Yes, practicing yoga asanas and laughing have many of the same benefits. So, if you are laughing during yoga class…you are doubling your benefits and doubling your fun!
The following are 5 Tips for Adding More Laughter to Your Classes & Community
Fun, Light Hearted Teachers
One of the more popular teachers that I know said to me, “I crack myself up in class all the time! I have fun with my students, but I still expect them to do their best.” Jason, Yoga Instructor, Plano, Texas
“One of the most important lessons I have learned in yoga is not to take myself too seriously, I learned to laugh at myself.” Cindy, Yoga Instructor, Garland, Texas
The goal of yoga studios owners should be to find the entertaining and enjoyable teachers who really connect with the students. This keeps the yogis coming back and they often bring their friends.
I’ve been to many studios over the years and every now and then run into someone behind the desk or a manager who isn’t very helpful or is talking or texting on their phone. They seem put out by answering questions and offering suggestions. A first impression of a person or a business is formed in the first 10 seconds. You never get another opportunity to make a first impression. Stand out from the rest in a positive way with smiles and a genuine helpful attitude.
Remind Your Students to Smile!
Often in class during extra hard poses, everyone seems to have overly seriously looks on their faces. Sometimes just taking a few seconds to remind yogis to relax and lighten up will help them nail their pose or reach that extra inch.
Laughter: Breath Work
Laughing is an incredible way to bring breath work to your own personal practice and to your class. I had the opportunity to be in a Laughter Yoga Class with about 200 other yogis. I have never laughed so hard for so long. I was gasping for air during my bouts of laughter and my stomach muscles actually hurt the next day! It was the most amazing breath work I have ever experienced and the most fun!
Connect Students with Each Other
When yogis feel connected to a studio and teacher they become more dedicated to their practice. Create a sense of community with the students in classes. Have a way for the students to connect after class with tea or cookies. Hold special events where the students get closer to not only the other yogis but the teachers, owners and managers. There are so many hilarious yoga events created all the time. Such as Goat Yoga, Beer Yoga, Glow in the Dark Yoga, 80s Yoga, Elvis Yoga….there are way to many to name. Be clever and come up with your own unique ideas that will bring your yogis to the classes. This creates a community and your community will continue to grow if you water it with love, laughter and fun!
Remember, humor and joy bring laughter to yoga classes and benefit not only your student’s health but your yoga class and business.
About the “AJ” Amy Jo Crowell:
Publisher of Dallas Yoga Magazine and Co-Founder of Cosmic Yogi Movement and Festivals, AJ Crowell, has been in advertising, marketing, publishing and large-scale event planning for over 20 years. AJ printed a weekly entertainment guide throughout Texas for many years. For the last decade, AJ has been teaching inner city Dallas high school students. She implemented Peace Makers classes and taught the importance of acceptance, diversity and giving back to the community. She is also the “Best Selling Author” of Loved Back to Life, a book focusing on recovery from addictions. AJ is a certified Kundalini yoga instructor and leads sound meditations with crystal singing bowls. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org