Laughing Lovebugs, the husband-and-wife team of certified laughter yoga experts Lauren and Alik Colbert, aka Laughing Lovebugs. Their passion for Laughter Yoga inspires them daily, and they infuse this joy into every interaction and connection they have, as well as into every aspect of their lives. The aim of laughter yoga is to combine laughter exercises and deep breathing with childlike playfulness and movement in order to help clients unwind and feel connected while coping with feelings of loneliness and anxiety, reducing pain and depression, as well as coping with anger and frustration. There has been scientific evidence that laughter yoga strengthens the immune system, increases the number of antibodies that fight infection, alleviates pain, relieves tensions, lowers blood pressure, controls blood sugar levels, and keeps the heart healthy.
As they are known for their electrifying, high-energy laughing yoga workouts, their dynamic workout has caught the attention of numerous brands such as Amazon, Google, PayPal, and many others. This is an incredible duo who are not simply talented yoga instructors, but who are Renaissance individuals who are prolific creators, and are entrepreneurs as well. Alik and Lauren didn’t let the doors slammed in their faces stop them from starting their own brand their own way, check out their inspiring story and pick up some great tips from their experience.
1. We are huge fans of tenacious entrepreneurs, so we decided to learn more about Laughing Yoga to see what it’s all about.
Thanks for this interview and your interest in learning about Laughter yoga. Many people have never heard of nor experienced laughter yoga… Laughter Yoga is perhaps the only exercise routine that helps to ease physical, mental, emotional, and social stress all at the same time!
Laughter yoga is a new innovative wellness tool in helping reduce stress, burnout, fosters team building, improves morale and leadership skills, communication, enhances creativity, promotes emotional stability, well being, and more!
The session consists of simulated laughter exercises with gentle breathing techniques. With prolonged intentional laughter, one can exhale more carbon dioxide, which oxygenates the cells of the body and brain which results in multiple health benefits. Laughter yoga improves mental, emotional, physical, and social health at the same time. No yoga mat, flexibility, or sense of humor required.
2. When you practice laughing yoga, part of what you do is focus on finding joy – what brings you joy?
We find joy in helping people feel good with laughter. There is a difference between happiness and joy; happiness is an outward expression of a fleeting state of feeling an euphoric emotion and joy is a lasting consistent inner sense of being content.
It is awesome to lead a human connection experience with the vibration of joy. It’s so fulfilling to lead laughter yoga sessions for people of all walks of life and all ages all over the world! We help people get comfortable with being uncomfortable via laughtercise.
3. How would you rate each other in terms of how funny each of you is?
An interesting fact about laughter yoga is that it is not based on being funny, jokes or comedy. We teach people that you don’t have to rely on a good mood or have a sense of humor to laugh. The best part is the body doesn’t know the difference between real laughter and fake laughter, so even with fake laughter your body still responds with the real ease of feeling good hormones that lower stress.
4. It is impossible for any of us to achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person or group of people that inspired you to be the person you are today?
We would not be where we are today without the positive influence and support of Alexa Drubay, our laughter yoga master teacher. We were ready to advance our skills to the next level to become laughter yoga teachers so that we can train others to become certified laughter yoga leaders. During the course we learned a wealth of information about laughter yoga as she enthusiastically guided us on a journey to foster a deep connection within ourselves.
We really appreciate her for helping us to pursue our passion while upgrading our skills and growing in this laughter yoga journey. She provided remarkable tools and excellent guidance that helped to hone in our strengths and we are so thankful for her.
The amazing Alexa not only helped to motivate us toward our unlimited potential, she took the time to assist us in doing so and also nominated us as Global Laughter Ambassadors. It was such an honor to learn from Alexa, she is an incredible Master Laughter Yogi and empowered us to teach laughter yoga.
5. If you have a student who is struggling with a pose or laughing exercise during class, how would you handle them?
Laughter yoga doesn’t involve traditional yoga poses. No flexibility or yoga mat required. Laughter yoga also known as Hasya Yoga, and yogic breathing techniques of Pranayama, which brings more oxygen to the body and brain making you feel more energetic. We also remind students that they can fake laugh and still reap the benefits. We encourage the participants to laugh for the health of it and even the fake laughter eventually turns into real laughter.
6. If you were to describe your process for creating a balanced and challenging yoga class for your students, what would you say it is?
One of our taglines is “Once you laugh with the Laughing Lovebugs, prepare for an experience like no other.” An open mind & heart is all you need to bring…you don’t need to be in a good mood to receive the benefits of laughter yoga. We hold every session together. This provides an optimum balance of both male and female energy for an even more well rounded immersive experience across all demographics. Also, this provides for a better client to teacher ratio because you’re not getting a Laughter Yoga Teacher, you’re getting a team of Laughter experts to support you. The participants benefit from receiving Laughter Yoga services from both Certified Laughter Yoga Teachers that have different styles of facilitating laughtercises. Alik cultivates a space to promote emotional release and Lauren provides tools that nourish emotional regulation.
7. In your role as a laughing yoga instructor, what is your mission?
We have an interest to elevate, uplift, restore, and awaken the inner joy in others. We got into laughter yoga because we have a passion to empower, inspire, enlighten, and awaken the inner joy within every human we interact with.
8. If you could share the funniest thing that ever happened to you during one of your sessions, what would it be?
It’s always funny to see when people’s pets get excited to see their pet parents laughing (especially the dogs). There have been a few times the dogs are barking with laughter while in a session. To witness a transformational shift that takes place during a session both externally and internally is so much fun- Every time feels so good. People are always shocked that they end up laughing without waiting on external factors like jokes.
9. It is evident that you are both innovators, what traits do you think have contributed most to your success?
We focus on optimal performance not perfection. We are not afraid to try new things or ideas and determined to explore our unlimited potential to grow successful.
We maintain an optimistic and positive attitude even when we experience challenges . We see challenges and obstacles as opportunities of growth. We understand that No means next. We remember that every challenge is temporary and trust that we can overcome obstacles. We set intentions to take inspired action to help people feel good with laughter.
10. Given the fact that you are successful African American entrepreneurs, what specific advice do you have for people who want to become entrepreneurs?
Do what you love and remember Perfection is only an idea, not a reality.
Remind yourself “I’m not perfect and “I’m Great anyway”
Find comfort in not knowing and embrace uncertainty along the journey. There are great rewards in not knowing everything, just keep going, learning, ignore the naysayers, and focus on your vision as it continues to unfold and most importantly, believe in yourself!
For more on Lauren and Alik Colbert: http://www.laughinglovebugs.com