Kochavim Laughter Yoga!
Our Marggi Shechanah has a hidden talent and hobby, when she is not hard at work in the Misrad (office) as Office Manager. Her specialty, Laughter Yoga, came to the fore with Kochavim at their Peulat Erev (evening activity), when the eager chanichim (campers) gathered in the clubhouse known as “Bunk 26”. It was a great exercise in community-building and stress relief.
Marggi’s favorite explanatory slogan for Laughter Yoga, for which she is a Certified Instructor, is “Laughter is the shortest distance between 2 people”. She added the extra bonus of a Mini d’var Torah about the Jewish connection to Laughter Yoga, before the chanichim actually began. She told the story about our matriarch Sarah, who learned when she was 90 years old that she would bear a child. Upon hearing this news, she threw back her head laughed! And thus was her son named: Yitzchak (he will laugh). Ergo, we are literally the Descendants of Laughter. And this strength at the core of our Jewish soul has helped us to survive when faced with hardships in our history.
The activity was a combination of deep breathing, making eye contact with the Kochavim community members, pantomined mini-dramas, and laughter ranging from silent chuckles to loud, boisterous, raucous hoots. Some of the mini-dramas used for the pantomines were: you enter the New Chadar Ochel (dining room), and you love it so much that you throw up your hands, and laugh with delight! You have a disagreement with a bunkmate but talk it out with jibberish! You then do forgiveness laughter and hugs! Shy laughter! Fireworks laughter out of your fingers! Laughter cream (just like sunscreen and insect repellant) that you rub over your body! The mini-dramas crescendoed in volume, and then grew gradually quieter with deep-breathing exercises in preparation for the next activity: bedtime. All-in-all, this was a wonderfully interactive, community-building, stress-reducing Peulat Erev, that imparted valuable, healthy life skills for all ages. Todah Rabah (thank you) to Marggi (photo, below) for so generously sharing your hobby!