Posts Tagged ‘laughter’

The Power of the Porch

The front porch.

It’s the welcoming threshold into our home. The porch is a magical gathering place where we learn, socialize, celebrate, mourn, reflect, observe, confide, and just hang out.

Front porches stir memories from childhood. I grew up in Knightsville, an Italian neighborhood in Cranston, and it seemed like everyone had a porch. And not only did they have a porch, they practically lived on it during the summer and early Fall.  I asked my Dad about it and he said years ago, before tv, everybody sat out on their porch. It was their entertainment and a voyeuristic glance around their particular corner of the world.  “You would see your neighbors as they walked by to go get ice cream or some treat, wave a warm hello and sometimes stop and chat.”

I fondly remember my childhood porch; it was the gathering place for family and friends on summer nights. We raced home to make curfew and then plopped down, telling outlandish tales of the day to make ourselves laugh. You’d never know who’d show up to visit, and better yet, bring something sweet.

Laughing Elephant has a porch too. A big and breezy one with adirondacks haphazardly arranged, remnants of the last conversations that took place here. It was the selling point for us; we knew it would be an ideal gathering spot for our community and we were right. Students come early and stay late to sprawl on the steps and watch others mastering  handstands in the front yard.  The porch just draws you in, the perfect spot to savor a moment, to just be in the moment.

The front porch is like a yoga class. It’s home. It’s where we come to learn, socialize, celebrate, mourn, reflect, observe, confide  and sometimes just hang out.

Need a reminder of the magic of the front porch? Or a reminder of how wonderful yoga is? Please come and experience both at Laughing Elephant.


From The Laughing Elephant to The Giggling Pachederm and Back

6:30a shenanigans

6:30a shenanigans

Saturday, 4am, South Bend, Indiana. Can you say FREEZE YOUR ASS OFF?!?!?!?

It was a good show today. We got up at 4:00a to be on site for 5a for a noon game. It’s still eerily dark in South Bend, IN and bone chilling cold, the kind of cold where it hurts to breathe. The tv truck is an ice box at this hour and my director and I try to warm up the crew with our ribald humor.  I love my manic maestro, my cohort in tv crime who makes every idea I have better, every show better by just being…

The crew and I talk storylines and what needs to be done. Most of the crew is tired and snottily sick; prescriptions are compared, Vick’s wafts through the air and Hall’s are tossed around like candy. It’s January, college basketball season is in full swing and no one has time to be sick.

It’s almost gametime and we get on the air without a hitch. So what if the game clock and buzzer soon malfunction and we are delayed by 7 minutes…which by the way…is an eternity in tv time.  Out of the mayhem comes the magic and eventually it just works. We race to catch a plane, get delayed, arrive excruciatingly late to the next city, get up absurdly early to do it all over again. And again. Scene.

Cut to the next day as I arrive at our yoga studio, Laughing Elephant.  My director fondly calls it the Giggling Pachederm. Which is apropros because we do a lot of giggling here. He has never been to this warm, welcoming space, doesn’t understand yoga, nor does he care to. But he likes to do good work, and laugh along the way, and so do we. Students soon filter in with solid hugs, hello’s, ‘where ya been’s’, and it’s like coming home. They want to know what we are doing in class today, and there’s an air of expectedness as we begin. This is our show, our work with a beginning, a middle and an end. We are blessed to have some of the finest instructors in the state under our roof, including the beautiful pink lady, who today cajoles and masterfully pushes us beyond our perceived limitations. Out of the sequencing mayhem comes the magic…and it just works.

I realized on my interminable flight home that my, and our, compartmentalized worlds are not so different. There are threads of commonalities that weave through the fabric of our lives. We work hard on and off the mat to be better and do better and find the joy and laughter along the way. And we do it blessedly together.

So I gladly bring the Giggling Pachederm to the television truck, blending the good karma of one space with a completely different space. In return I take my creativity and my director’s strong work ethic to the studio, and to the mat. And more and more often, it just works. Brilliantly.


Lessons From The Mat

by Lori Mancini in Connection Grateful Prayer with 1 Comment

As requested, here is the prayer that was recited at the end of Debbie’s beautiful class:

We would like to end with a prayer.

We would like to thank the God of your own understanding for blessing us with this amazing community..

We believe Yoga is about creating space.

Space to move, to learn, to grow.

In this space, may you be inspired, and perspire!

In this space, May you feel safe, and loved, and wanted, and heard.

In this space may you laugh, feel ok to cry ,and always extend a hand.


That’s what we cultivate.

That’s who we are.

Help us to  always remember these things so that we can better serve and be served.

With grace, compassion and gratitude, we give thanks.