The practice of yoga is an inward and progressive journey. We become aware of the interconnection between our mental, physical and emotional levels. Gradually, this awareness pours into other aspects of our lives, including into our relationships with others.
Yoga Gives Us a New Point of View
Yoga gets us to look at things from a different perspective. The relationship between the yoga teacher and the yogi can provide insight on what factors contribute to a healthy relationship, whether it be listening to our teacher for a cue to get into a posture, or changing your point of view to get a better understanding. The ability to listen and see things differently from your initial perspective can be beneficial to a having a healthy relationship. This connection also shows us how important communication is. If a teacher cues a yoga pose improperly or unsafely, you certainly could fall on your ass‐ana. Trust is involved, as we trust in our teacher to guide us through the practice. We linger on to every fresh word that pours out of their mouth to make sure we have the correct information and the right foundation to build a strong and stable structure.
If things are missing from this communication, the structure could begin to weaken and perhaps fall apart, just like our personal relationships with one another. Yoga practice shows us how things take work, effort, and consistency. Much like in a healthy relationship, to maintain a positive level of understanding, both sides have to put in work to meet in the middle. The harmonizing of all these key elements of communicating, listening, understanding, and implementing leads to more positive results in the health of a relationship.
Yoga allows us to embrace our true selves, and thus gives rise to our authentic expressions as we grow emotionally, physically, and mentally. While developing our true self, we also begin to foster self love. Oscar Wilde said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance”. Knowing the root of our own self‐ and being able to love that self‐opens the opportunity to embrace richer and more meaningful relationships with others.
Focusing on pranayama in yoga is yet another factor that can contribute to a healthy relationship. Taking a moment to catch and slow your breath calms the mind and the body. Taking a breath during an argument or when you become stressed out can be beneficial by providing fresh oxygen to the mind, calming the nervous system and the sympathetic response of “fight or flight”.
Speaking from my personal perspective, my yoga practice has made a vital impact on my personal life, on how I approach situations and develop my personal relationships. Taking the time to appreciate my true self, experience mindfulness, and to allow for growth has improved relationships I have with other people and my significant other. In yoga we learn to honour intention, leave judgements on the doorstep, and keep the doors to the possible open. It always allows for growth and improvement. Yoga is how I engage in living, on and off of the mat.
Author: Brittany Carey