Married couple turned “Laughter Yogis”, Lauren and Alik Colbert are incorporating laughter into yoga! They’re certified laughter yoga teachers, aiming to ease the world of its woes one laugh at a time. Focusing heavily on wellness and health, the dynamic duo serves many around the world. The only thing you need to be relieved is yourself, and an open mind!
What inspired you to explore yoga and incorporate the factor of laughter?
We were experiencing a very challenging time in our lives due to workplace stress. Lauren had been temporarily laid off due to budget cuts. When she finally got hired again, it was into an intensely stressful work environment . After enduring unemployment and then right into a high demand workplace, Lauren experienced some stress-induced health issues.
At the time Alik got injured while working. He went on disability and thereafter got laid off. The spike in stress for both of us was extreme. Overall, we both realized we had poor stress management and emotional dysregulation.
Meanwhile, through all of that, we were planning our wedding. – Lauren came upon laughter yoga while scrolling through some Google search results about “unique ways to relieve stress.” She registered for a laughter yoga session and invited Alik to join.
Alik was hesitant and never attended any type of yoga or meditation classes before but went to support Lauren.
There was a transformational shift that took place during this session internally for both of us and it was life changing. Alik and I became avid laughter yoga participants and eventually became certified laughter yoga experts. We knew we had to make it our life’s work to help people experience the power of laughter to transform their lives, well being and overall the quality of life.
What inspired you to come up with the name “Laughing Lovebugs” for your yoga sessions?
We were called the “Laughing Lovebugs” by fellow Laughter yogis for obvious reasons haha… as a couple that loves laughter and in love with each other, we thought the name was quite fitting and it stuck.
Do you have a most memorable session to date?
We love that laughter yoga can be done during celebrations, in the workplace, or anywhere there are people ready for an experience that can alleviate, reduce, or eliminate stress, anger, loneliness, and anxiety, and provide comfort for loss, pain, depression, and more.
With that said, it’s a bit of an effort to choose just one since we have so many wonderful memories providing our services for so many people from all walks of life and ages.
After much thought this particular session comes to mind for us… we had a client based in London that was working on improving her well-being and booked our monthly laughter yoga program. She was so committed to our program that one time she logged on, and it was not only her alone; to our surprise she was in an uber with several of her friends on the way to a holiday party. We actually facilitated a group virtual laughter yoga session while they were en route to the party, and even the uber driver shared a laugh with us…. They were so engaged and said that they equally enjoyed and will always remember this unique experience connecting with laughter together… Testimonials like these always feel great! Words cannot describe how incredible this feels every single time it happens! We have so much gratitude to be a part of moments like this one and we are still in awe.
Is there a company you’d love to work with that you haven’t yet?
We would love to work with Unilever because we admire that they work with brands that help people feel good, look good, and get more out of life just like we do but with laughter yoga. We would love to spread awareness about this well being practice to encourage Unilever employees to participate in doing something that not only feels good but is good for them. This company’s values align with our own. It would be beyond amazing to provide our workplace laughter yoga sessions to give the employees at Unilever the unique opportunity to experience this new innovative wellness tool to promote employee stability, well being, and more. Overall, laughter yoga sessions can help create a much happier and more efficient workforce.
What challenges do you face, if any, during your yoga sessions?
A common challenge we face during our sessions is getting clients to feel comfortable with laughter without relying on any humor, jokes, and comedy. It’s our favorite challenge because we receive the opportunity to be the catalyst to helping people feel good with laughter.
Do you have any mantras that you use during your sessions?
Yes, a couple of our favorite mantras are:
“When you Laugh with the Laughing Lovebugs, prepare for an experience like no other.”
“‘We Love The Way U Laugh.“
In what ways do you incorporate teamwork, when working with large or small groups?
We hold every session together. Clients benefit from receiving Laughter Yoga services from both Certified Laughter Yoga Teachers that have different styles of facilitating laughtercises. Laughter yoga sessions help to foster team bonding no matter the size of the groups. Our customized sessions help improve the team connection, culture, and cohesion.
What is next for the Laughing Lovebugs?
We are hosting 4 Day Feel Good Retreat experiences, launching branded merchandise, and continuing to expand globally working with individuals, companies, and organizations in various industries across the world. We are energized to continue striving forward, progress and attainment.
What is most rewarding about your line of work?
Laughter yoga is such a fulfilling line of rewarding work for us! We have a passion to empower, inspire, enlighten, and awaken the inner joy within every human interaction. In every session we have the opportunity to do just that via laughtercise. We enjoy encouraging people to laugh more and laugh daily to help improve the quality of this life experience.
10. Do you ever face any resistance or challenges when trying to incorporate laughing with yoga?
Unfortunately, many people never heard of nor experienced laughter yoga…so they are hesitant to laugh because they typically laugh only for jokes or a good mood. In laughter yoga we combine laughter exercises & deep breathing with childlike playfulness & movement, to connect and let go. We remind people that they can feel good by choosing to laugh for the health of it! We also remind people that simulated laughter is welcome and the benefits are still real.
How has doing such work transformed you both?
Prior to this work, Lauren did not know how to emotionally regulate and Alik had no way of emotional release. Since we live a laughter life there has been an undeniable mind and body connection that we both benefit from. Laughter yoga has improved the quality of our relationship and our lives overall.
Since Laughter yoga is not only our business but our lifestyle our mental, emotional, physical, and even social health has greatly improved!
What type of legacy do you see yourselves leaving?
A legacy of living life well, thriving with love and laughter!
Follow: Laughing Lovebugs @laughinglovebugs
Interview: Ashley Lambert @a.sophistique
Photographer: Ryan Powell