Ellen DeGeneres, Yoga and Laughter
I’m reading Ellen DeGeneres book at the moment and constantly burst out laughing while reading. This not so much of a problem, except when Brendan is trying to sleep next to me, the girl on the bus misinterprets my laugh as that of a maniacal scientist, or when I’m sitting in my doctor’s waiting room trying to convince the receptionist I do not have any symptoms of craziness. Anyway, the book is so fabulous, like reading Ellen do a long extended stand up piece, and I hope she won’t mind if I exhibit that fabulousness here with an excerpt that had me rolling around on the floor while my dog looked at me like I’d just space-rocketed through the ceiling.
‘There are all different kinds of yoga. There’s power yoga. There’s Bikram yoga, which makes you sweat a lot because it’s done in very hot rooms. You can always tell who does Bikram yoga because they’re stinky. But all yoga is based on Hatha yoga, which is what I do, and Hatha yoga is based on watching animals stretch in nature. I know what you’re thinking. “Ellen, I’ve seen my dog stretch out in certain ways to clean himself and I don’t want to do that.” That’s not the part yoga focuses on.
The word “yoga” literally means “uniting,” because when you’re doing it you’re uniting your mind and your body. You can tell this almost immediately because your mind will be thinking, “Ouch, that hurts,” and your body will say, “I know.” And your mind will think, “You have to get out of this position.” And your body will say, “I agree with you, but I can’t right now. I think I’m stuck.”
Another thing that is great for stretching out your mind and body is meditation. It helps improve your memory and it increases blood flow. It forces you to calm down and relax. There are a lot of different ways to meditate. You can do it by yourself, or you can do it with other people. I’m still talking about meditation. You can do it anywhere. All you have to do is close your eyes. So you probably shouldn’t do it while you’re driving or operating heavy machinery, but otherwise you’re good to go.
Meditation requires a lot of focus and sometimes it is easy to get distracted. I’ve tried taking classes because I think it’s easier to meditate with other people. Being surrounded by good energy helps me focus and find positivity and happiness. But even then, I always want to open my eyes. Especially because there’s incense burning and I always think the room is on fire. So instead of focusing on my inner joy, I focus on trying to remember where the closest exits are. At some point, I do tend to open my eyes for a second just to see if the room’s on fire. Of course it isn’t but when my eyes are open I see two other people with their eyes open and I wonder how long they’ve had them open. Then I notice the giant gong and I think, “I wonder what happened to The Gong Show.” Chuck Barris hosted that show. What about that other Chuck? Not Chuck Barry. Chuck Woolery. He hosted the Love Connection. He did “two and two.” I wonder who came up with that. Did he? Was it a producer? Did he not know there was a number called “four”? That makes me start thinking about the number four. It’s interesting that “four” is spelled f-o-u-r but “forty” is spelled f-o-r-t-y. Then of course I immediately think about building a couch fort. Maybe I should build a couch fort on the set of my show and have my guests talk to me inside the fort. That would be fun and entertaining and we should probably do it in our pajamas.
Once I realize that my mind has started to wander I stop and try to do what I’m supposed to do when that happens—focus on the third eye. Guess what? That makes me think about how great it would be to have a third eye. Would I want it on my forehead or on the back of my head? Maybe on the top of my head. No, ’cause of rain. What if my lips were eyes? Then I’d get a lot more crumbs in my eyes, but I’d be able to get a really good look at what I’m eating.
Just as I’m designing a pair of sunglasses in my head for my lip-eyes, the teacher hits the gong and I jump. I almost yell, “Oh my God!” but because I’m smart I yell, “Ohmmmmm!” I’m the only one chanting, but the class just thinks I’m really into meditation. The ohm actually calms me down so I leave feeling great. I’m peaceful, relaxed, and in a great mood. And now you see why it’s so great to meditate.’
There’s so much more in this gem of a little book to give you the giggles – highly recommend. 😉