Via Judy Rukat for Elephant Journal
Yoga does not require aggression, it desires effort in the form of patience, love in the form of commitment and respect by honoring our limitations.
With practice even the most challenging poses are executed with grace and ease. The relationship you cultivate with yourself through your yoga practice influences the relationships you build with others off of the mat.
Interconnectivity vs. Codependence
How do we balance the innate need for autonomy with the desire for connection and intimacy? We not only enjoy feeling wanted and appreciated but need to have a purpose.
Investing mentally, emotionally and spiritually into partnerships provides a sense of importance and healthy interdependence through positive mirroring with feelings of love for another that reflect and encourage self love, provide unconditional support, and that special togetherness that feels liberating.
Yet, if one partner gives too much, ignoring his or her boundaries and constantly feels unappreciated this dynamic can create a void in which a connection to the self is lost. This codependent cycle creates a thick residue of resentment, anger and regret which causes an eruption and, if expressed, an argument about the same thing can occur over and over again that can eat away at the happiness of both partners slowly and painfully day by day.
Love in the Now by Releasing Expectations
Yoga teaches that the root of all suffering begins with attachments and so often we cling to our relationships and attach our hopes, fears and even identities to our partner. It teaches trusting that all we can know and experience exists right here and now and not in some ideal or distant future.
The fear of losing someone, the doubt of not living up to another’s expectations or our own unrealistic ideas can create a grasping onto those we feel close to which ultimately keeps us feeling unhappy, dissatisfied and even unloved.
Instead, why not simply enjoy the beautiful moments you can spend together today, honor one another and invite gratitude in for the little things like laughing, holding hands and kissing?
Mutually Enhancing Relationships
A truly intimate loving relationship requires compassion for yourself first. If we can embrace all that the present moment has to offer, and live life as you freely choose then, you will happily experience that same freedom in your relationships.
We often overstep each other’s boundaries, take on defensive or judgmental tones and project ideas onto another when we fear losing someone, or worse when we fear losing ourselves. If we confront our fears with gentleness we can respect what makes us feel insecure and also understand our partners vulnerabilities and learn to transcend these obstacles together with trust rather than critique or judgment.
All Is Impermanent
Yoga translates physical sensation into a language we can understand. Through self awareness we learn the ways in which we can love, nourish and know our transient self. Yoga practice can offer brief glimpses into that vast and ever expanding universe that exists within and helps us to see the same in our partner. Change is the only constant.
The most important relationship we will ever have is with ourselves. Above all remember, if something does not feel right, for goodness sake, do not suffer through it for the benefit of not making someone else uncomfortable.
To fully love our self (and someone else), we must first practice self awareness so that we can trust that we will know when to stay, when to compromise and when to give ourselves room to breathe. Be willing to explore your own transformations as they arise and know with certainty that your evolving relationship will undergo its own shifting, but alas, each new day promises adventure—honor your truth, respect your partner’s truth and simply allow it to grow from there.