Oh yes, yoga can make you a better lover….and I don’t mean in the physical arena (although I guess that’s true too).
Seriously, now. What I’m talking about are relationships—the give and take, committed, balancing act of long-term love that is so full of both challenges and joys. Here’s how a regular yoga practice has helped me navigate my own relationships, both romantic and not:
1. It increases your awareness. Through a regular, dedicated yoga practice you will become more aware of your everyday thoughts and feelings. A byproduct has been that when I’m feeling sad, threatened, or jealous in a relationship, I am more able to step back and observe these feelings before I act upon them—saving a whole lot of time and tears.
2. It teaches you to listen. Focus. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard that word in yoga class. By focusing, we learn the art of active attention; to zoom in and allow everything else to fall away for a moment. This translates to becoming a better listener in our daily lives. In a heated moment, I can (sometimes!) catch myself, take a deep breath and instruct my mind to focus on the other person. Because as much as I wish it was, it’s not actually all about me.
3. It allows you to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. Part of practicing yoga is learning to sit within discomfort; to breathe into tightness rather than fight it. All relationships, no matter how close, experience uncomfortable moments of varying length and intensity. Yoga reminds us that this is natural and gives us the tools to deal with it. Keep breathing, and you will find your space.
4. It encourages you to stay in the present. Who hasn’t found themselves fretting over the future of a relationship every now and then? In a forward-thinking culture of goals and five year plans, it’s hard not to. Practicing yoga will encourage you to live in the present and stop putting pressure on your imaginary future, and, therefore, the future of your relationships. Love the one you’re with wholly, right now, today. Because when you do this, the future has a funny way of taking care of itself.