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Last week I did some ground work on the state of my relationship with my partner. And thanks to the internet, I got overcharged with all kinds of characteristics my relationship had to cover, in order for it to be a healthy one.
Some of those signs were a bit awkward. Some even surprising. But most of them were quite the cliche. I made a small selection of these significant signs:
• You are playful together
• You see your partner as trustworthy
• You enjoy the way your partner has changed and grown
• You view your partner a little bit more positively than most others do
• You kiss every day
• You have fun together
When practicing yoga, we are not practicing to dive into the depths of our relationship--at least, not those that include someone else. When practicing yoga, we are diving into the depths of the relationship we have with our own self, our own physical, mental, and emotional bodies. I noticed that the so-called signs of having a healthy relationship with our partners were also good pointers for a healthy relationship with ourselves:
• Are you playful?
• Do you see your body as trustworthy?
• Do you enjoy the way your body has changed and grown?
• Do you view your body a bit more positively than most others would?
• Do you have fun together?
• Do you kiss every day?
We could see a yoga class as therapy. In a yoga class, we create movement, shape-changing movements. And by creating those movements we try to connect to our bodies on a deeper level, therefore we invest in a healthy body and mind. We could see the breath as our therapist, as our breath deals with tension. Tension created by those movements, or tension that we were unaware of before practicing. We are trying to listen, really listen, to what our body is trying to tell us.
I made a small self-inquiry using those hints as my guide. So for a moment don’t worry about your partner (and all of the questions that run through your mind: does he or she still love me? Does he or she still find me attractive? Does his or her best memory include me? Do we bring the average of how many times couples have sex on a weekly basis up? (Oh please yes!) Do we bring it down? (Oh please no!)). Worry about you! Consider yourself as the one. You will be "together" until death do you part.
Are you playful?
Most likely you’ve seen a kitten play. Kittens have these crazy fifteen minutes every day, mostly when twilight comes. They just go crazy!
They jump up and down, they climb into the curtains, they run from one side of the room to the other--it’s not even running, it’s blasting!
Kittens do this in order to release energy. Be like a kitten, every day, for at least fifteen minutes. Bounce, jump, sing, scream, dance, boogie...Go crazy, and not a little bit. Go crazy a lot! Release tension, laugh, cry, do whatever needs to be done in order to discharge and recharge.
Do you see your body as trustworthy?
You should! Our bodies are beautifully constructed pieces of art, and
nature's result to the issue of sthira and sukha. Sthira means stability, solidness, and steadiness, that which gives us solidness. Sukha means permeability, softness, and ease, that which allows us to move. If you take a close look at one cell from our body, you will find that it is semi-permeable. It takes in what it needs and it gets rid of what is harmful; a very clever system.
If you look at the spine you will find a beautiful and dependable structure.
The anterior column (the front of our spine) is mostly solid, as it deals with weight bearing. The posterior column (the back of our spine) is shaped with bows, leaving more spaces and allowing us to move.
It's OK to have some confidence and trust in our bodies. It has been--and still is--serving us in the best possible way since the day we were born.
Do you enjoy the way your body has grown and changed?
Most of us don’t, I guess. We all want to be young, “good” looking, and “fresh." But each and every one of us will have to deal with aging, as everybody is dealing with time.
I think time is an Ishvara Pranidhana thing, Ishvara Pranidhana meaning surrender. We have to surrender to time. Have to, implies of course that indeed we have to “do” something. Surrendering to something can still be an act of will.
If we can surrender to time, if we can surrender to the reality of becoming older and grayer and wrinklier and less flexible, we will most likely suffer less. We might even find beauty in this proces, enriching our lives and broadening our view.
Do you view your body a bit more positively than others would?
I sometimes spot people who are deeply in love with their own body:
Honoring it, enjoying it, embracing it. For me it is so inspiring to look at those people. There is this deep contentment inside of them.
I even think that it is one of the most attractive qualities one can have.
For some of us, me included, this is a difficult thing to feel; seeing yourself more positively than others would.
On some days I’m OK with myself, on other days far from it. Maybe we can embrace this. This movement, moving from OK to far from OK.
How could we experience appreciation if it was all there was?
Take time for our bodies. Practice yoga. Give yourself a massage every once in a while. You know what you like most. Try to relate with attention to yourself. Remember, the grass is greener where you water it.
Do you have fun together?
As said, our body is a beautiful vehicle. Allowing us to move, taste, feel, see, hear, and smell. We can have so much fun with those senses! We can listen to music. We can smell the aroma of fresh herbs. We can see the sunlight show. We can taste the full body of a beautiful glass of wine. We can move. And we can feel, feel ourselves, feel our loved ones. Do we need more privileges to enjoy ourselves?
Do you kiss every day?
Don’t forget to kiss! Kiss whatever you can kiss. Practicing yoga will most probably enable you to kiss more and more parts of your body, which is a nice side effect.
And after doing this little self inquiry, you might notice that your relationship with your partner is even better than the one you have with you!