10 Ways Yoga Can Help Your Relationship

  “Yoga” translates as “union.” The tradition teaches that the union we’re seeking begins with ourselves and ultimately extends to all beings and to the universe itself. Marriage – or any solid relationship – is also a union, a union of two persons committed to sharing their lives in a loving partnership. 
Here are 10 ways yoga can help your relationship:

1.Yoga is about connection.  

Practicing yoga makes you more connected to yourself. The process of slowing down and connecting to your breath makes you more aware of how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking. When you’re better able to understand yourself, it’s easier to be more understanding of others, which leads to feeling more connected. 

2.Yoga makes you more compassionate. 

Yoga teaches you to love and accept yourself. It teaches you to have compassion for yourself. When you can forgive yourself for not being perfect, it’s much easier to be compassionate with the imperfections of others. 

3.Yoga brings clarity and teaches you to take responsibility.

When you get clearer about your own stuff – your reactive tendencies, head trips, projections, and desires, you can take responsibility for your behavior. Taking responsibility for your part in a dynamic is an important step in shifting things. 

4.Yoga helps you process.

The very process of tuning in to your breath allows you to sift through your feelings and gain insight into whatever the issue is. From this more lucid place you can figure out if it’s something you need to discuss with your spouse, or if it’s better for you to process on your own. 

5.Yoga is about softening and letting go.

The physical practice is a great teacher; at some point you run into your own stuck places and there’s nowhere to run. Yoga teaches you to back off and go easy when you encounter a tight place in your body. Breathe deep. Soften. Let go. 

6.Yoga breeds tenacity. 

Of course you could come out of the pose (just like you could leave your relationship), but then what? That tightness will be waiting for you next time you do the pose (or when you get into a similar situation in your next relationship). With both yoga and a partnership, progress requires commitment and quiet determination coupled with non-attachment. You have show up, do the work and let go of the outcome. 

7.Yoga is confrontational. 

So is being in a relationship. There’s no clearer mirror than the one your partner holds up to you. 

You can try and blame your partner for your stuff, you can make him/her responsible for your happiness, but at the end of the day, it comes down to you. Who are you being in this relationship? What are you committed to? How are you willing to grow and expand your integrity? Your relationship will push you to face these questions. But yoga will too. 

8.Yoga teaches you to respond, not react.

Reaction is instantaneous; there’s no choice involved. X happens; Y follows. The space between reactivity and responsiveness is freedom: when we become less reactive we can rest in our equanimity. We reclaim our freedom slowly one breath at a time.

9.Yoga teaches you to have a sense of humor. 

Having a sense of humor really helps. It’s okay; it’s just yoga. Tomorrow will be better, or the next day, or the day after that. When you practice over the long term, you get a sense of the bigger picture. Not everyday will be the greatest, not every practice will feel complete. Sometimes you’ll be grumpy, tired, sore, whatever. But you know it’ll change and come round to feeling good again. You can relax and trust the process.

10.Yoga makes you a better lover.

Mmm hmm. Oh yes, it does. 

Yoga teaches you about restraint and abandon. It summons fearlessness and bolsters compassion. It shows you how to move with your breath, and synchronize it with others. 

It’s about sex as a vehicle for connection and for increasing intimacy. 

Yoga makes you a better lover because it makes you more in touch with yourself, and when you’re more in touch with yourself it’s easier to connect more deeply with someone else. When you show up and give generously to yourself, you can show up and give generously to another. 

I rest my case.

Thanks to Dearbhla Kelly, yoga teacher and writer for Huffington Post for the basis of this post. 


One For The Brides-To-Be

Since our very own dancing yoga teacher, Sandi Visser, got engaged last weekend, it seemed only polite to do a little post on yoga for weddings.  We love nothing more than a good cause for celebration and this certainly qualifies – we are so excited for you, Sandi!

How is this for an idea for your photos, Sandi?

The moment that you say “I do”.

Look, they even have our lights in the background? Love this pic.

We love this. The flowers, the light, the trust!

And finally, finishing off with this lovely Warrior 2 for two… A beautifully grounding asana, to keep you steady and remind you to use your practice when the madness of setting up for the big day kicks in, and to keep you balanced and strong.

Here is a Native American blessing that you may wish to keep close to your heart:

“May the sun bring you new energy by day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.

May the rain wash away your worries.

May the breeze blow new strength into your beings

And all the days of your lives may you walk gently through the world and know its beauty.

Treat yourselves and each other with respect.

And remind yourselves often of what brought you together.

Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.

When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at one time or another,

remember to focus on what is right between you, not only on the part that seems wrong.

In this way you can ride out the storms

when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives,

remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment the sun is still there.

And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked with abundance and delight”.