Relationships. My favourite topic. Complex. Nuanced. Very advanced yoga. Real yoga. Did you know that the word yoga literally means to “unify” or “join together”? In yogic philosophy, relationships are sacred encounters, individual curriculums meant to help you evolve, heal and become complete within yourself through association with another.
We have relationships in order to grow and to awaken from the illusion of separateness – we do not have relationships to make us happy. At least not all the time. When we apply this understanding to all of our relationships, we realize that the relationships are clearly a form of yoga. After all, as already mentioned, yoga means relationship, connection or union.
In the Yogasutra, the source text of yoga, Master Patanjali talks about how the fluctuations of the mind (citta vrittis) are preventing us from seeing ourselves, people and situations in their true light and form. He also talks about 4 bhavanas and how these 4 moods or virtues can calm the citta vrittis. This in return increases our emotional intelligence and our happiness, improves our relationships and allows for the experience of Oneness.
Many years of painful and wonderful relationships later, together with years of studying Yogasutra and other yogic texts as well as psychotherapy, mindfulness and meditation here come 5 simple proven-to-work ways to help you improve your relationships:
1. Love yourself. How you see and treat yourself determines how others see and treat you. If you want to love someone you must love yourself first. Accept yourself, feel worthy of your dreams and good enough to receive them. If you are used to settling for second best, rethink, reshape, recalibrate. Your frequency is everything and attracts the right partner into your life. Attention please: Self-love and self-care is not just basking in your light. It is also owning your mistakes, taking responsibility for where you screwed up, apologizing for it and doing better next time.
2. Stop nagging or fighting about points that are not the point. Be honest with yourself and your partner. What is really your issue? Certainly not the crumbles around the toaster or the way he squeezes his toothpaste and always leaves it open. That’s only human. Find the courage to communicate how you feel and what is bothering you about your relationship. Not addressing certain things will not make them better. Choose direct communication as opposed to passive aggression or pretending it's all good when it’s not.
3. Learn to not shut down. Practice to stay open in any situation. Healthy boundaries are great, but shutting down keeps you away from learning the life lesson especially during a conflict. Notice when you're closing your heart and are not letting your partner in. Breathe into your heart and allow it to soften. Listen to what she or he wants to say. Your goal is to understand, not to be right! Many people are not willing to hear this: but long term relationships are more about about forgiveness and understanding than anything else.
4. Hold hands. Touch. Hug. Have sex. Even if you’re not in the mood. The chances are you will be as soon you get out of your head into your body. Sex and affectionate, physical touch triggers hormonal and chemical responses in the body that give you a natural high and can help you understand how to rekindle romance. When times are tough and you’re looking for how to rekindle a relationship, many of us have trouble being physical with our partner. Many couples however discover that if they force themselves to have sex, soon it doesn’t become “work” and they remember that they actually like sex! The fact is, sex is good for your relationship. Make it a priority. Being physical helps intimacy grow.
5. Shavasana yourself. Take a rest. Lie down and take a nap. Take a longer shavasana. We’re often annoyed with our partner just because we’re exhausted. When you are relaxed and rested your nervous system and perception of people and situations changes.
Hope this may be of benefit to you. Leave a comment and let me know what resonated with you.
Keep being courageous + stay open for the mystery ✨
With SO much love 😘