Not everyone is a fan of Valentine’s Day, but it’s actually a great time to check in, revisit your relationship and rekindle those flames. Over time, challenges keep our relationship flames from burning hot. It’s not for lack of love, but busy days are intense, leaving couples tired and preoccupied. As relationships progress people get lazy and mixing things up is key. In this pursuit, it’s time to strengthen your trust and intimacy with a little yoga.
So, why yoga?
Well, you’ve all tried the standards: weekly date night, taking time for intimacy, focusing on connecting … but how?! Women and men view connecting very differently. Most women love it because they enjoy the “warm-up” activity. Most guys prefer some type of parallel activity (shooting hoops, anyone?) while increasing a couple’s intimacy.
Yoga is a perfect way for couples to work together, have fun and improve trust. Couples yoga is a practice where most poses take two people. Working with a partner takes patience and understanding, not perfection. Exploring couples poses together can be a little scary and a lot of fun. You’ll have to rely on your partner for support, building closeness and intimacy.
Yoga is also a great way to take better care of yourself. In a relationship, physical attractiveness remains important. You don’t have to mirror what our media portrays, but living in sweats and sleeping on the couch everyday can get very ummm … unappealing. Knowing that you both are caring for your physical wellness will only heighten your attraction.
Most people who practice yoga have favorite poses. As a yoga instructor and coach, I try to bring the idea of play into the practice of anything we do. After all, as Plato once said, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. ” Some poses will be more enjoyable than others, but the mindfulness that comes with yoga requires us to stay – calmly and peacefully.
Patience, compromise and boundaries are always important — in relationships and yoga. Couples yoga is like a mini-therapy session, but it doesn’t have to be serious business.
So, practice away and find your favorite poses! They may change over time as you get stronger or more flexible. Play with which pose you like best and which one your partner likes best. The art of compromise in any relationship — I mean, yoga pose — teaches us that sometimes letting go of control is the best way to expand the love!
Boundaries let us know what’s okay, and what isn’t. In yoga, you’ll find your edge. You’ll understand how far you can stretch, or how long you can hold that pose with strength and power so you don’t let your partner down. Literally! You’ll see when you’re not doing enough, or when you’re just hanging out in a pose and not really contributing to the relationship — I mean, the yoga pose.
NY Times science journalist William J. Heath in his book The Science of Yoga revealed the many benefits of yoga. He wrote,“Yoga enhanced sleep, energy, health, endurance and flexibility.” He describes how “men and women who take up yoga enjoy wide improvements in their sex lives, including emotional closeness with their partners.” His findings on relationships and yoga aren’t just about couples yoga, but simply practicing yoga – side by side. If you take your classes together – and I highly recommend it – you can still hold hands during Savasana.