Three days after the full moon in Capricorn I found myself in a goat yoga class. Are you getting the synchronicity here? Capricorn…sign of the sea goat?
Goats were just what I needed. I’d been feeling a bit fragmented and scattered after some big waves of emotion that came up during the eclipse season that preceded the full moon. So this stabilizing Capricorn energy–like a goat with all four feet on the ground–was welcome medicine. That, and actual goats jumping on my back. And, above all, laughter.
If you haven’t done goat yoga before, you can probably imagine that it’s more about goats and less about yoga. I think I left with only half my body feeling limber, and I certainly didn’t reach a meditative state. But, oh did I enjoy a sweet release! It is impossible to keep a straight face when you’re in Ardha Hanumanasana (Half-splits Pose) and a tiny goat leaps onto your back then slides down your slippery yoga pants. Or when you look over and see one nibbling your friend’s earlobe while she’s in Child’s Pose.
While goat yoga doesn’t really feel like yoga it is. Yoga literally means to yoke–or connect–body, mind and spirit. Laughter feeds the spirit. And I don’t know about you, but I haven’t laughed nearly enough in the last year and a half.
You’re probably aware of laughter’s health benefits. Maybe you’ve heard the famous story about Norman Cousins, former editor of Saturday Review, who in 1964 remarkably recovered from a debilitating illness by creating his own laughter therapy. Laughing helps us heal the body by activating the immune system, and many people have incorporated humor into their recovery protocol.
Did you know that laughter can also help us heal energetically? According to Tracee Dunblazier, a grief counselor and author of Master Your Inner World: Embrace Your Power with Joy, laughter can positively affect our chakras, or energy centers. Our chakras correspond to bundles of nerves and major organs, as well as areas of our energetic body that affect our emotional, physical and even spiritual well-being.
“Energetically, the heart opens or expands when we laugh and allows for all of the other energy centers to release denser energies and align with the higher frequencies that enter the body,” she writes. She goes on to outline how different kinds of laughter trigger a release in the other chakras.
We actually raise our energetic vibration by having fun! It makes sense. When you’re getting a back massage by tiny cloven feet you’re not thinking about the things that stress you out. You’re totally in the moment and aligned with the flow (even if the flow seems like pandemonium.)
So, if you’re feeling a little distant from your mindfulness practice or ungrounded like I was pre-goat yoga, the remedy is simple and sweet. Do something that makes you laugh.