Dr. Viviana weighs in on how sharing a laugh can impact your relationship.
In 2008, Lainie Diamond was living in New York and was wondering where her laughter went.
She started to lose it around the time the nation began focusing on recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina ripped through Louisiana in 2005. One of the most devastating storms in U.S. history, the storm left a swath of destruction, death and depression.
Diamond is also a professional mezzo-soprano who, in addition to concerts, is hired to sing at funerals. She sometimes performed for as many as four funerals a week in New York. That, she said, can take a toll on a person.
“I was ready to laugh more,” she said. “I think human beings often realize they need to laugh more when things are getting too serious.”
Diamond turned to the Internet to seek how to bring more joy to her life.
She discovered a website for yoga instructor Vishwa Prakash. He wasn’t teaching the typical stretching and stances most people associate with the ancient exercise system for body and mind. He was teaching how to laugh, regardless of if practitioners were in the mood.
Laughter yoga is an exercise routine founded in 1995 by an Indian physician, Dr. Madan Kataria. Prakash studied under Kataria and began offering laughter yoga classes in New York, including weekly free walk-in workshops.
Diamond joined Prakash’s free class and soon was stepping outside her comfort zone and enjoying life more. She wanted to help others find their laughter and became a certified laughter yoga instructor.
After making a move to Houston, she began offering her own free walk-in classes every Saturday at the Houston Public Library System‘s neighborhood branch in the Heights. She has taught the free classes since 2011.
“I live in the Heights and I love the Heights Library,” she said. “It is a wonderful place.”