We all long for honest, joyful, and fulfilling relationships. Yet, many of us find that intimate relationships can be challenging and, at times, even painful. After all, they act as mirrors that reveal our brightest lights as well as our darkest shadows. These dark shadows are the result of deeply rooted, untended wounds that are difficult to face. Many relationships end due to the inability of one or both partners to be present with those wounds.
Healing, transformation, and self-growth lie within embracing the entirety of our authentic selves — both the light and the dark sides. This strengthens and teaches us how to open our hearts to healthy, self-aware partners who we can co-create bonds of trust and unconditional love with. One of the best ways to achieve this type of healthy relationship is through yoga. Here are three ways yoga can help you cultivate authentic, sustainable partnerships.
Yoga Helps Us Self-Heal
(Photo Credit: @nourishbytash)
The word yoga, which comes from the Sanskrit word yuj, means "to yoke" or "to unite". It's the perfect name to describe the practice, which is all about balance — balance between the left and the right sides of the body, between strength and grace, between contracting and opening up, between energy and rest, and between the light and dark emotions and energies within us.
Yoga brings us on an inward journey. The rest of the world falls quiet, thoughts and obligations drift away, and a serene centeredness brings us into peaceful harmony with our authentic, timeless inner-self. In this space, judgment and labels don't exist. There is no good or bad, right or wrong. Everything simply is as it is — and it's perfect that way.
Through yoga, we learn how to embrace ourselves fully. It teaches us how to love all of our nuances; for without darkness, there wouldn't be any light. The inward journey of yoga gives us the tools for healing the self, because true healing only comes from within. This helps us become the best, most complete versions of ourselves, which prepares us for healthy interconnectedness with another.
Yoga Teaches Us How to Be Mindful
Mindfulness is the ability to stay focused on the reality of the present moment without attaching any judgment or emotions to it. It's the simple awareness and acceptance of "what is". The fast-paced and over-stimulating nature of today's culture makes it very difficult to stay present in the here and now. Most of us are frequently stressed out and caught up in our own heads, consequently disconnecting us from ourselves as well as the world and people around us.
It's been proven that these stress-induced reactions can be replaced with relaxed responses through a regular practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness helps us gain insight into our own feelings and thoughts, enhances clarity for better decision making, and increases feelings of gratitude and compassion. These are the ingredients for a healthy relationship! Psychologists have found that when couples practice mindfulness, their relationships are enriched by better problem solving abilities, acceptance and compassion for one another, and lower stress levels.
One of the best ways to commit to a regular mindfulness practice is through yoga. Yoga incorporates three of the most successful mindfulness tools: physical postures (asanas), breath work, and meditation. Not only does it feel great for the practitioner's body and mind, but it allows for presence in relationships as well.
Yoga Helps Reduce Stress
It's nearly impossible to be a good partner when overcome by stress. Stress often creates deeper issues, such as low energy, moodiness, depression, sexual issues, and low self-esteem. Each of these issues can be very problematic for a relationship.
Luckily, yoga can help improve all of these areas! Yoga has been scientifically proven to calm the nervous system, boost energy, enhance physical and mental wellbeing, increase self-esteem, and reduce stress overall. It brings the practitioner into a more relaxed state so that they can be present and loving with their partner. Bonus: yoga also makes us physically and mentally stronger and more flexible. This diminishes self-judgment and allows us to feel attractive.
The eliminations of stress creates more room for joy. It allows us to connect and be open with our partners. Yoga can provide the tools for creating a life that is expansive, authentic and full of lots of love.
How do you like to keep your relationships happy and healthy? Share your tips with us in the comments below!