In the News: Esther Ouray gets folks laughing

In the News: Esther Ouray gets folks laughing

by Sheila Regan, City Pages
May 8, 2014

Get your endorphins running tonight in a laughter workshop led by artist Esther Ouray at the Third Place Gallery, where you’ll be led through a fun evening that explores wellness and community building. A part of the Arts on Chicago Project, a Pillsbury House + Theatre initiative, tonight’s workshop is part of an ongoing exploration by Ouray, called In the Pursuit of Happiness.

In addition to being an independent performing and teaching artist who often works with In the Heart of the Beast, Ouray is also a certified laughing yoga teacher. However, for this project, she doesn’t necessarily call what she’s doing laughter yoga, in part as an effort to have it be more accessible to people that wouldn’t go to a yoga class. Still, she notes that there are health benefits to laughter, including physical activity, community building, and stress relief.

The title of the project, In the Pursuit of Happiness, has to do with Ouray’s belief that everyone has a right to be happy, but in order to be happy, people have to practice it. “In the environment we live in, if we don’t practice it, it’s hard to come by,” she says. With happiness comes empowerment and a strong base for social change.

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