Have you ever felt disconnected from someone you used to know so well? You may be asking yourself how this could happen. Whether this is your spouse, a best friend or even your teenager, losing connection and understanding of your loved one can feel very disturbing and lonely. Losing touch with another is an unfortunate yet common occurence. People can sometimes become too busy to focus on their relationships and where there was once frequent communication and quality time being spent, there are now shut doors and rare encounters. Also, it is likely that when a person is suffering, whether stress related, past trauma, death of a loved one and/or other related issues, they forget how to express themselves effectively and may instead protect themselves from being "judged" by closing off. This in turn, can damage a relationship and can create a distancing feeling for both partners. Regardless of the reasons, there are ways to regain understanding and connection with that special someone.
Partner yoga allows for an emotional, physical and spiritual growth between two people. This is a fun, uplifting and yet, grounding and peaceful way to gain insight into yourself and your partner. Partner yoga builds trust physically and emotionally, internally and externally. It also enhances passion and attraction for a couple and can increase intimacy in a relationship. By doing yoga with a friend, family member or loved one, you can also experience fun and laughter in a genuine and healing way. Let's not forget that whether individual or with someone else, yoga strengthens the body and mind which can lead to an overall happy, healthy person and relationship.
Here are a few options and unique ways of practicing partner yoga to ultimately increase satisfaction and understanding in your relationship.
Yoga with your Teen
A lot of teenagers constantly view their parents as superior and therefore, giving themselves a status of being inferior. With this being said, kids can begin to feel separate from their parent, not wanting to open up to them and/or defiant. Parents can also begin to misunderstand their teens and lose connectivity or ways of communicating effectively during this time. There are a lot of awkward and mysterious things happening during adolescence and what teenagers want most is to feel understood and supported by parents. In turn, parents can also feel awkward and confused during this transition in their child's life and may not have the proper tools to create an open and accepting environment.
Partner yoga can help alleviate some of this awkward tension. It helps build trust and acceptance between parent and teen as it requires neutrality and equality. The parent is no longer in charge or superior and therefore, the teen has room to feel empowered and confident. When a teenager is given space to take responsibility of a joint activity, there is more opportunity to grow and in turn, they may start to feel more supported and trusted by their parent. This has a major impact on parent/child relationships, a teens' self-esteem and their ability to form healthy and positive relationships in the future and overall, can create a healthier home environment.
"I believe that being more 'in-touch' with someone actually requires physical touch"
Yoga with a Lover
An intimate relationship is a blend of desire and bliss as well as fear and confusion. As much as you may love someone, life can take it's toll on your relationship and nobody is perfect. There are many couples who are facing difficulties in regards to affairs, financial stress, co-parenting, and/or daily struggles of jealousy, greed, etc. In my practice, I often recommend a couple schedule a date night at least twice a month in order to spend time together without the distractions of daily life in order to re-connect and maintain a deep understanding of one another.
Any couple can benefit from partner yoga no matter how long you have been together, what type of issues you are having, or where you see your relationship going. Yoga with a significant other may enhance trust, intimacy, understanding and belonging. Some relationships can be categorized as controlling/powerless which means that one partner is overly controlling, has difficulty trusting in the other, is often displeased with outcome unless they had something to do with it, and often has to take charge during activities. This type of relationship can create a lot of distance, power struggles, and unnecessary tension. Again, partner yoga requires equality between participants in which both partners will have to contribute to poses and depend on one another. This eventually helps the couple to experience each other differently even outside of the yoga practice.
Another issue that a lot of couples face is distrust. This can be the result of an affair, social media or even a person's past traumas that bleed into the current relationship. Without trust, a lot of turmoil and arguing can arise. Partner yoga requires the couple to be extremely trusting, in the moment. The practice requires that the couple use their bodies to support one another and create a strong, balanced foundation. In fact, if one person pulls harder than the other, they can both fall down. It requires patience, communication, and a deep understanding of the present moment. Physically, partner yoga is symbolic of the emotional components needed in a relationship. Will my partner be balanced and centered enough to withstand difficult times? Will my partner have enough strength and courage to provide and protect? Will my partner take responsibility when needed? Can I trust that my partner will be there for me and if we build something together, will it last?
Yoga with a Buddy
Who doesn't need a little down time to unwind, wring out all the stress, tensions and toxins, and have a little fun? Partner yoga doesn't have to be about finding a deeper connection with your soulmate or enhancing intimacy with a loved one. After all, good yoga practice has no need for outcome. I have experienced that my best yogi self arises when I just have fun and let all expectations go. By letting go, I am not implying that there aren't results. In fact, there are many benefits to doing yoga with a friend. The amount of laughter that comes with yoga with a buddy is astounding and it's nearly impossible not to smile. Friends always enjoy exploring new ways of having fun together and this is a perfect activity to feel fulfilled and happy.