In today’s world where everything has become so digital, it is hard enough to maintain the true essence of a relationship. We are going deeper and deeper into the virtual world and are usually not aware of how far it’staken us from our loved ones. We become confused and lose confidence as to how to behave or react in certain situations or how to convey our feelings and thoughts to them.
Yoga and Relations
This is where Yoga plays a very important role. Yoga is something that you cannot do on a phone or a gadget. You have to be present here and now – body, mind and soul, for you to experience the desired effect and derive its vast benefits.
When we are doing a particular asana, our mind requires us to become fully aware of our body and the breath, awareof that particular stretch and observing which muscle is currently at work. Similarly, when we do pranayam or meditation, our practice requires us to be fully aware of the breath and the body.
Yoga is an excellent path to becoming more aware of how the breath is working, and using this art to enhance the body and the mind. Our breath is never working in past or future mode. It is only present now as we are alive and breathing. Due to our routine one hour practice session, our mind is subconsciously getting trained to be in the present mode the rest of the 23 hours as well. We start living relationships in the present as well, without comparing it to the past or even to the future that hasn’t arrived yet.
There are bound to be problems, arguments and misunderstandings in relationships. This is because no two people are completely identical or perfect. There are differences in habits, opinions and beliefs. But one starts to respect the other person’s uniqueness just as he respects his own. Instead of fighting these differences, we learn to celebrate them.
In yoga, we are constantly told not to compare our progress or our strength and flexibility with others in class. This is for the same reason again – we are all designed and made to function differently. Yoga makes you accept these differences and not make you compare.
When you accept these differences in class, you start accepting outside the class as well – differences between two people or even differences between your relationship and relationships of others.
To master a yoga posture, one requires patience, practice and dedication. Nobody is perfect, we are all learners and on our own separate journey, trying to become a healthier, fitter, wiser, and more successful positive version of what we were yesterday. The otherstoo are on their own journey. Hence we learn to practice compassion, since nobody is perfect.
You start becoming more open to observing and understanding things from the other person’s perspective as well. Yoga shows you that even though you are unique, you are still made of the same substances in nature that the others are made of, and that everything, including you is temporary. This brings the ego down and teaches us to be more accepting towards others and how to live in the present – harmoniously with ourselves and with others around us.
Of course, nobody should tolerate bad or abusive behaviour, but instead of reacting in the same manner, we learn to at least try and discuss things out in a calm manner.
In yoga class, we learn to love and accept who we are, we are not scared of being alone. And thus we stop chasing people or relationships or becoming obsessed about them. This positive and healthy vibe attracts the right people and relationships into your life.
Yoga teaches us patience and the art of observing and listening to your body and to your teacher, instead of being in a hurry to speak or react to prove your point. We carry this art with us even when we step out of that class. This art of patience and observation with understanding plays a key role in improving and enhancing our relationships, whether it’s our relationship with our partner, a parent, a sibling, a friend, a neighbour or even a colleague or a boss.
As I keep telling all my students – Yoga is not just that one hour practice session. It is way more. It is also what you take with you and practice throughout your day, in terms of your food and sleeping habits, a healthy lifestyle, a positive outlook towards life, and yes, also how you handle your relationships!