Ending relationships can be similar to experiencing the death of someone we love. An explosion of blame, tears, anger, confusion, and pain that covers your spirit, until you have that gift – a moment of clarity that you will be all right. You will laugh again. You will dance with your arms freely waving in the air in a moment of unexpected bliss. That is when you know it is your turn to find true love.
Written by Sahid Ahmed
Lusting After Life
Laughter yoga and meditation coach Indy Rishi discovered as a young man that the quest for love can have unexpected detours. He became caught up in the thrill of seeing several women concurrently, sometimes four or five at a time, without the women knowing about one another. In this early phase of his life, he put pleasure above monogamy by participating in what he thought to be sexual but loving liaisons with each woman.
“We all have shadows, we all have darkness, we all have situations that we like to put on the table,” Indy said. “That darkness, the urge not just to be loved, but to see how far I could go and how conniving and manipulative can I be.” Indy’s fascination with the true meaning of love was the catalyst for his constant influx of relationships with women. In the beginning, the majority of his education on sex and love was artificially fed to him through a media-driven “fantasy.”
“I grew up watching Bollywood and Hollywood, warped by the kissless romance of the East and the hardcore intimacy of the West,” Indy said. Once Indy started having relationships, he became more of a self-taught lover. He began to learn more about the true meaning of intimacy with each relationship he had. While there were many women, it did not diminish his love for each individual. Because of the level of depth and intimacy, he shared with his partners, they would all face the eventual heartbreak.
For a time, he lost sight of the possible emotional consequences of these relationships until he developed more serious feelings for a particular woman he was dating, who was separated from her husband at the time. Unfortunately, the woman later re-formed an intimate relationship with her husband and told Indy about the situation. This very confusing relationship and the avalanche of emotions gave birth to an unusual response from Indy.
Even though he was extremely upset, he began to laugh intensely and continued to laugh in an almost “maniacal” way as opposed to responding in an angry way. “It was either laugh or be really upset and really angry,” Indy said. “I wanted to be really angry, but I just needed to go the laughter route and I just kept laughing. It was better than being angry.” This experience was the catalyst for his discovery and journey into becoming a laughter meditation practitioner.
Indy lived in New York during this time and often attended various local events in the city. He discovered a listing for a weekly laughter yoga class held by chiropractor Dr. Alex Eingorn in Manhattan and thought he would try it. After the first class, he was hooked. He felt such a natural high from the experience and realized this was something he wanted to incorporate into his life on a continual basis. Dr, Einhorn’s friendship and his classes opened a window to Indy’s spirituality.
He felt a level of joy that he didn’t know was possible. Indy learned how to incorporate the healing qualities of laughter into his life and gained a greater sense of peace. “I can tell stories and I can make those games up and I can perform them and make people happy and feel cool but not hurt anybody in the process,” Indy said.
No Regrets, Just Lessons Learned
His current emotional state emanates a spirit of pure joy and contentment with the person he has evolved into. He has learned to channel the pain and disappointments of his sexually charged and emotionally driven dating from his past into a giving and a more selfless expression of love.
I’ve loved many, and I’ve loved deeply. I was intimate with all my partners and had profound, unique experiences with each of them. Some I hurt, others hurt me, and we learned what it meant to have deep, intimate relationships with the opposite sex. Indy Rishi
“It’s really hard to be mad at somebody if they’re laughing,” Indy said. His interpretation of love is now interconnected through laughter meditation, music, the power of breath, mindfulness, and true acceptance of sincere love that people can attain. Through the practice of laughter yoga, Indy has a present view of love that is much more sincere and earnest than the carefree, more impulsive experiences of his early days.
Now a yoga practitioner himself, his yoga classes have a festival-like atmosphere. During one of his sessions, the entire meditation group takes an imaginary cup and literally drinks in laughter. In a practice, he calls “cup laughter” they often drink in “imaginary” glasses of laughter in open public park settings, and revel in their freedom of expression.
Indy’s early passionate encounters gave him the insight to gain a better understanding of how to love himself more and ultimately everyone he meets. His current endeavors of creating apps and software for organizations, such as the Khalsa Peace Corps, and teaching laughter meditation are far from the expectations that his family had for him when he was younger. Coming from a traditional Indian family, he tried to meet their expectations of attending college and going to med-school, but deep down he knew he wasn’t listening to his inner voice.
It took him several years to discover the balance of how to maintain happiness in all facets of his life. Now, he has found the perfect way to channel his mindfulness abilities to others as he continues to share his greater understanding of incorporating music, love, and the universality of laughter yoga to everything and every person he encounters.
The future is boundless for Indy, just as his receptiveness to love and the attainment of inner contentment is. As he reaches out into the world with his heart and soul wide open he is receptive to all of the love that is given to him. He now accepts the lessons in love as a gift every day from each experience he has.
My love stories are inevitably the fire behind my self discovery. They have been the motivation for me to rediscover myself. They have taught me the importance of self control and to understand how passion can obstruct our pursuit of success and happiness. Indy Rishi