It’s not a secret that Big Heart Tea Co. is a women-owned and operated business. However, we haven’t really spilled the tea on what it’s like to work there. It’s fun, ya’ll. Like, really fun. We are a group of real women with real problems and stress and workloads and families (all the things) who share a common goal: making tasty, sustainable tea that impacts the world in a positive way. And even though life is still full of all the hard things, we know how to laugh. We laugh during photoshoots, blending tea in the warehouse, during meetings with the boss: someone is always laughing. And it’s contagious.
This summer, we’ve paired with Emma Klues to be intentional about our laughter. We love a good punny joke, don’t get us wrong, but Emma has taught us that laughter can be exercise as well. So pour yourself an iced tea, read how Emma does it, and laugh just for the health of it.
Our Favorite Funny Girl
Emma Klues loves to laugh. In fact, she is a certified Laughter Yoga Leader. For real. On a trip to Greece in 2008, she found herself on an island off the coast of Athens with a group of seniors in a laughter yoga session. Even with a language barrier, she was able to make a deep connection to this group of people. After returning to St. Louis, she discovered laughter yoga wasn’t just a one time thing. She found local meet ups and eventually became certified herself. Now Emma is speaking this universal language in a weekly group in Tower Grove Park. She seriously can’t wait to laugh with you.
Emma has been a Big Hearter since the early days of Big Heart Tea Co. Originally impressed with our sustainability, it became an official love story after trying out some of our signature line teas. Her current favorite is Royal Treatmint, just don’t tell the other flavors.
Laughing for the Health of it.
Laughter yoga was invented by Dr. Madan Kataria, a medical doctor in India, in 1995 while researching the proven health benefits of laughter. He discovered that laughter has both physical and psychological benefits even when it is not authentic. In other words, your forced laughter is having a positive impact, ya’ll.
The Benefits of Laughter Yoga
Here’s what our girl Emma has discovered through work with laughter yoga. First, your body is clever, but it can be tricked with fake laughter. You don’t need a fresh standup routine to benefit from laughter yoga. Additionally, it’s legitimately good for you. Reduction in cortisol levels allows the body to release stress. The exercise of laughter brings fresh air to the bloodstream and contracts the abs giving your bod the oxygen and ab workout we all love without the crunches.
Laughter doesn’t make your stressful life disappear, but it does give you a reprieve from the hard parts of life that we are all juggling. Even if your brain is thinking about a looming work deadline, your body cannot hold onto that stress while you are laughing. Even a fake laugh will allow your body to escape the physiological impacts of stress.
We’ve always been firm believers at Big Heart Tea Co. that there’s room at the table for everyone. Laughter yoga takes the same approach: anyone is welcome and anyone can be successful.
Full Disclosure: What Laughter Yoga is Not
Laughter yoga is like a cousin to your traditional yoga routine. Don’t expect to leave a month of laughter yoga sessions with toned arms and renewed flexibility. This practice uses the deep breathing practices of yoga and the principle of being present. It won’t do anything for your crow pose, but you’ll feel refreshed when you’re finished.
It’s also not a happiness guarantee. Sorry, babes. It allows you to practice cultivating joy. It teaches you to be present in the moment. It encourages you to take care of yourself and connect with others. All of the learning done in laughter yoga are tools for working toward a happier lifestyle.
You get a laugh! And you get a laugh! Everyone gets a laugh!
Let’s get honest here. Sitting with a group of strangers and forcing laughter can be weird. We get it. But, quick reminder, your body is easily tricked and even the fake, awkward laughter has a positive impact on your well-being. Emma has thirteen years of experience with laughter yoga and in that time, she’s never been in a session that didn’t ultimately turn into authentic laughter. Think back to a time when your laughter was explosive. Even if the trigger wasn’t that funny, with the right friends, the laughs can go on and on, ebbing and flowing. Remember that feeling? That’s what laughter yoga wants to give you.
For that very reason, the exercise of laughter can be found from boardrooms to classrooms. Laughing helps us connect with one another and release stress from our bodies.There are laughter clubs all over the world both in-person and over the phone to get people everywhere laughing for the health of it. Find laughter yoga locally and bring a friend along!
Downward Dog, While Laughing and Sipping Tea
All at once is a bit ambitious, but we believe in you, babe. The constant juggle of our lives is hard. That’s why your friends at Big Heart Tea Co. are looking for all the ways to make it a little lighter. For us, laughter and tulsi go a long way. So when summer is heating up, make a batch of homemade cold brew tea, stretch, breath and laugh.
Big Heart Tea Co. is a tea company with a lotta love. Blending up sustainable tea, we know that the world is a happier place when we take care of our planet and our bodies. We’re looking out for ya’ll with single-origin, organic tea sourced from farms we know and love. Brew up one of our caffeine-free, herbal teas to keep you laughing, but not past bedtime. As a women-owned and operated company, we believe laughter is good for business.
Life is hard. Laughter and tea help. Pour yourself an iced tea and laugh for the health of it. Laughing for the health of it. Hilari-tea ensues. Stretch. Brew. Laugh.
From the Guru Herself
Hear a little bit from Emma on why she was drawn to laughter yoga and why it’s an important part of her weekly self-care.
Laughter Is Serious Business
Kiddos laugh about 300 times per day. Adults? Maybe 20. It’s easy to write this off as a light-hearted, goofy, childlike thing. Don’t get me wrong - it can be all of those things. But make no mistake. This practice can go as deep as you invite it or allow it to go. Some people pop into a session a couple times a year and enjoy the community. More power to them. Some people attend clubs weekly and develop their own daily practice. That’s great too. I’ve talked to people who credit their cancer recovery to laughter yoga, both in terms of their physical health but also in keeping their spirits up.
Some sessions will have laughter exercises that encourage you to send laughter to a part of your body that isn’t working, or laugh at yourself in the mirror if you’re taking yourself too seriously, or try some forgiveness laughter. It can be a tool for all kinds of processing, connecting to yourself and to others.
Occasionally, I’ve seen it be a catalyst for a needed cry. Like anything, you’ll get out of it what you put in. I really enjoy doing it outside, breathing in fresh air with a group of people. Snacks or drinks? Even better. But sometimes I just get a few minutes in during a car ride or in the shower. Again, this is not about perfect form or diligent dedication toward a specific goal. It’s just simply always an option and, in my personal experience, it’s never been anything but a significant boost.
Laughter As A Life Force
Your personal mileage on what this does for you may vary, like any practice. For me, doing this once a week, even when I don’t feel like (especially when I don’t feel like it) gives me: