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Since 1979 • Spring-Summer 2021 • Circulation 5000

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Humour, Coping, and Yoga

A common reaction when something bad happens, is for one of the parties involved to say something like, “One day, we’ll look back on this and laugh.”

Humour can indeed be an effective coping mechanism, if we allow it. It doesn’t mean our circumstances are funny in the least bit, but maybe we can find something to laugh at while it is happening, as long as it isn’t at the expense of someone else (unless they are also in on the joke, of course). Or, at least we can find something to laugh at later one, in an effort to relax, like watching funny movies or going to a club to see a stand-up comic.

A few years ago something called “laughter yoga” was all the rage. Someone I know who is a yoga teacher told me that this actually is not yoga at all. However, I can fathom how guided laughter in a group setting can be therapeutic.

Indeed, the practise of yoga is partially to help with stress, to my knowledge. The only time that I ever laughed during yoga was one time when I attended a class with a friend, who rather unceremoniously started to slide on her mat and took a flop during a “downward dog.” Truth be told, I controlled myself at the time and we both had a good laugh about it afterwards.

Another time, I ended up in the wrong class. I was a beginner, and I was in a class where people were inverting themselves and doing headstands. That was one of the longest and most painful hours of my life. It’s also become one of the funniest stories that I tell to my yoga-loving friends.

As it turns out, yoga really isn’t my thing, but if it helps me provide comic relief to others, I’m all for it.

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