8 Ways Practicing Yoga With Your Partner Can Improve Your Spiritual Connection
Many people question the validity of partner practice as yoga is traditionally done individually for a more personal experience. However, yoga teachings have always acknowledged that human beings are meant to interact with others and that relationships have the potential of expanding the understanding of the Self.
The true and ultimate intention of this ancient Hindu discipline is to train the mind and the body for a deeper kind of awareness, so that it can bring about a higher consciousness. This extends to the spiritual connection made with others. If you allow it, here are some of the ways that couple yoga can vastly improve your relationship with your partner.
(image: Yoga Journal)
The physical aspects of yoga encourage couples to get into poses that balance each other out. The first time might not be a complete success as you’re still trying to figure out how to synchronize your breath and movement, but as you gain more experience, you’ll start to move as one unit which can manifest even off the yoga mat.
Establishes a no-holds-barred connection
There is no other approach to partner yoga but to show up as your true self especially in the face of your significant other. Health psychology expert Emma Seppälä describes the act of baring one’s soul to their partner as vulnerability, which requires a lot of courage. By coming as you truly are, you are establishing a relationship that is built on authenticity, honesty, and openness.
Expands awareness of the other
A lot of the poses will require you to listen to your each other’s bodies, know when they can continue, or when they need to stop. It attunes you to the needs of your partner, as well as their fears and emotions and become more discerning in how to respond.
One of two things can happen when a person makes himself/herself vulnerable: rejection or acceptance. As they usually say to open a class, practice and all is coming. Yoga focuses on respect and acceptance with where you’re at, may it be the shape of your bodies or your ability to execute postures. It cultivates peace and teaches you to celebrate yourself and your partner.
Holding someone’s gaze might be a child’s game, but it’s actually a powerful exercise. Mic shared a telling experiment of couples trying to sustain eye contact and found that the longer you can hold it, the more relaxed you feel in the presence of another. In partner yoga, there are instances when you have to trust your partner to hold your weight or mirror their pose as you look into their eyes.
Encourages growth as a couple
Having something to do together is an effective way to improve your closeness. Yoga, along with other hobbies, builds an environment of support and encourages you to grow together.
Because yoga is an art of movement as well, your focus will of course be on each other’s bodies. In some moments, you have to physically touch your partner to guide him/her into a particular posture. Massages during the final resting pose is also more intimate when it’s done by someone you love.
The advantage of practicing with your partner is that you don’t have to filter your thoughts. Yoga Journal notes that people have the tendency to water down conversations with small talk, even with an intimate partner. Yoga removes this hesitancy of getting real with your partner, and instead improves your ability to communicate verbal or otherwise.
With these benefits, it’s no wonder why yoga is so invaluable in today’s stressful world. The physical postures tone the body while the meditative practice is effective in centering the mind and helping one see what’s most important. As long as you have an open mind, anyone can practice yoga even without knowledge of Hindu teachings. Devoted yogi Meghan Markle, whose mother is a long time yoga instructor, has often been seen leaving some of LA’s yoga studios after an hour of Vinyasa. Don’t be surprised if Miss Markle ends up introducing her future husband, Prince Harry of Wales, to the discipline as a way to improve their connection.
If you’re looking for ways to do so with your own partner, give yoga a try. Set an intention before you start. I talk about intention setting for my New Moon Rituals. Partner yoga is gaining more recognition as an effective therapeutic exercise between couples and it’s because spiritual connection is as important as physical connection between two people.
Do you practice yoga with your partner? What have you learned about each other? How has it helped you?
Let me know in the comments!
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