Need a Yoga Pre-nup?
People come to a yoga class for all kinds of reasons, and if they show up a lot, there's a safe bet that what's driving them is a quest for inner peace. Most people with a consistent and dedicated practice are not there just for the workout, although that is certainly built in and there is no doubt yoga will improve the strength and health of one's body. That's not the only "side-benefit" to a regular practice, though. Generally, committed practitioners will have at least one favorite teacher, sometimes 2 or 3. So, if a person is showing up at the same place at the same time in the same teacher's class on a regular basis, that person is likely to see the same faces on the mats around her or him. This leads to the friendly chat, and hopefully, ultimately, to community. But what happens if there's one face in particular that stands out? Or, is it ever a good idea to date someone in your yoga class?
At first glance, it might seem like a rockin' idea. After all, you're both health-conscious yoga lovers with the same taste in teachers. Maybe your mind fills instantly with the idea of yoga night(s), matching mat bags, romantic trips to Lululemon. Cupid strikes where he strikes, and I'm certainly not gonna tell you to walk away from your soul-mate if that's what seems to be happening. But I am going to say you might want to proceed really slowly and consider how you'll feel if things take off hot and wild and then hit a brick wall...or fizzle out, or end in a way that is painful to you. If it's a class you kinda like with a teacher you mostly like at a studio which is decent, then losing the class if the relationship fails is probably no biggie. But, if this is your CLASS, with a teacher who really resonates with you at a studio that feels like home, where you are getting some serious inner healing done, then proceed with caution.
The most important relationship you'll ever have is with yourself. This is real, this is the truth. You are going to live inside your own body for your whole life, it truly is your home. Hopefully your physical practice is an effort to use your body as a tool to explore your state of mind and to better understand yourself; your tendencies, your inner dialogue, the way you show up in challenging moments, and to do your best to create more love, more awareness, more patience, more compassion and more honesty whenever possible.
There is no doubt that two conscious and loving people coming together out of choice is one of life's more beautiful gifts. And of course it's only natural that you will meet people in those places where you spend the most time. I encourage you to move carefully because I've seen a few very beautiful relationships that sprung up between students, and I've seen a lot that have ended in a way that made it hard for one party or both to take class post-break-up. I've had situations where exes have split the week...she comes Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, he comes Monday and Wednesday. But more often, the space itself now holds the energy of the relationship, of the past, and is no longer a safe space for healing to occur.
Having said all of this, if your intuition tells you the person on the mat next to you is THE ONE, and many conversations support this premise, go for it. Hopefully it's the beginning of something beautiful. Just maybe discuss who gets the class if things don't work out ;-)