By Will Allen, Co-Founder of MyYogaTeacher
It’s not new news that relationships of any kind can be challenging. Sometimes in good ways and sometimes bad, but either way, we grow and learn.
Friendships, relationships with parents, siblings, coworkers. Even the very strongest bonds between humans can face obstacles. But our relationships with husbands, wives, domestic partners, boyfriends, or girlfriends often involve more unique challenges than any other type of relationship.
Romantic bonds are very special bonds. These relationships require a significant amount of attention and work to be and stay healthy.
There are many types of activities which promote healthy romantic relationship growth and maintenance, and one of these activities is – you guessed it – yoga.
Because a yoga journey is (or should be) a uniquely personal experience, we feel that couples yoga is perfect for those who are longing to not only grow in their yoga practice together but also become more bonded to one another.
Couples yoga builds trust, connection, intimacy, compassion, empathy, and still fosters better physical, mental, and emotional health on an individual basis.
Here are several reasons why couples should do yoga together.
Yoga is an opportunity to spend time together.
In this busy, chaotic world, couples prioritize their time together less and less. Notice, we didn’t say they have less time to spend together. Because that’s simply not true.
We make time for what we truly care about the most.
Making your relationship a priority over almost everything else in your life besides your own selfcare and basic needs is the best way to grow and thrive as a couple. You are still very much individual people. But after that, you’re a pair!
Yoga is the perfect opportunity for couples to spend time together, prevents distancing, and helps them learn how to better give and take.
Yoga helps couples create shared moments where they can come together and leave the world behind, create memories, and enjoy their relationship, if only for a brief time in their day.
Yoga fosters a physical connection.
In a world where we are often met with coldness – blank stares, scowling faces, insincere handshakes, office partitions, and unhappy environments – any chance we get to physically and/or emotionally connect with the warmth and love of our romantic partner is one we should take full advantage of!
Yoga for couples is a perfect way to connect (or reconnect) physically with your partner.
Your skin is your largest organ. When you receive pleasant touches, your brain releases a hormone called oxytocin, which not only lowers feelings of stress, anxiety, and fear but actually helps you build an even stronger emotional bond to your partner.
Since touch is an integral part of couples yoga, it makes sense that a regular couples yoga practice will surely strengthen your bond with your romantic partner!
Couples yoga reduces stress and anxiety.
One of the primary benefits of yoga is stress reduction and relief from anxiety and depression symptoms.
As we’ve discussed, relationships can be stressful. Compromises, disagreements, societal pressures. Being in a romantic relationship requires a certain level of responsibility, which can also be stressful.
On top of that, many people allow the stressors of their work life seep into their personal lives. It’s hard to compartmentalize work life and home life sometimes.
Excessive stress and anxiety, if unmanaged, definitely has a negative impact on any relationship, but especially the one with your partner. Couples yoga not only releases oxytocin, a feel good chemical (often called the “love hormone”), yoga allows your body to release other “happiness” hormones.
Endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin are all released into the bloodstream during and after your yoga practice.
The connection that comes from doing yoga together plus the mutual release of all of these amazing chemicals helps couples destress, releases anxiety, and allows them to face the world with more peace.
They stay grounded together and lean into each others’ strengths in times of trouble!
Yoga for couples creates sexual wellbeing and intimacy.
It should come as no surprise that stress and anxiety reduction makes room in your relationship for more intimacy.
However, couples who are distant, disengaged, out of sync, and have busy lives also usually struggle with maintaining or creating the intimacy and sexual wellbeing many need in their romantic relationships. Additionally, if one or both partners isn’t fit, flexible, or toned, that can affect their self confidence in the bedroom as well as how well they interact physically.
Couples yoga (practiced privately) can also include massage, meditation, and mutually beneficial poses that spark intimacy.
It also helps that yoga can be done at home in an area of the house that’s comfortable for you and your partner. Feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally safe is important to creating a healthy sex life, and so if intimacy is your goal, it’s best to practice couples yoga in a place where you both feel very comfortable!
Couples yoga helps build trust and emotional support.
Trust is one of the primary keys to making any relationship work but is especially important to have with your partner.
When we are romantically involved with another human, we open ourselves up in ways that make us vulnerable. We trust that person to treat us with care, respect, and love when we show them who we truly are.
In this type of partnership, we rely heavily on the emotional support of the other person.
Couples yoga requires you to rely partially or entirely on your partner, depending on what pose or poses you’re practicing. The types of poses practiced in couples yoga are often different from those performed in other forms of yoga.
In this process of “letting go,” you will find you and your partner will cling to each other more. The result of this is you and your partner learn more about each other. Strengths, weaknesses, talents, and limitations.
Not just physically, but emotionally.
With that knowledge, you both get to create an even deeper bond that allows you both to grow in your practice, your relationship, and as humans in ways you never imagined!
All couples go through ups and downs in their relationship. This is normal! The goal is to have tools to navigate those down times in a way that is not only healthy but brings you closer together.
Sometimes, you both may just need to do something fun, new, or exciting to make it through those challenging times. Other times, you may need to use couples yoga to reconnect, harmonize, calm down, or build up that much needed trust and emotional support!
Will Allen is a passionate yogi, meditation practitioner, and co-founder of MyYogaTeacher. He left a career in aerospace engineering to pursue his passion and make the world a better place through yoga and meditation. Follow MyYogaTeacher on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about how yoga can improve overall health, positivity and interpersonal relationships.
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