The Yoga of Relationships, Part I: Center yourself to connect with another

In the yogic tradition I trained in, the ground is the first point of focus. Upon entering a pose, we draw our attention to points of contact with the earth, sensing energy move from the ground into our body, turning the spirals of energy that then fuel the full expression of the asana.

Where is the ground in an abstract, perhaps difficult, conversation about values, choices, strategies that challenge us? Where it is in a yoga pose – beneath my feet, and pulsing in my breath.

Whether we call it God, the Earth, our Higher Self, or just our “center” or “breath,” we all exist by connection to what is more than ourselves. In the most atheistic of terms, Consciousness, what we call our selves, cannot exist without breath for more than a few moments – we are fundamentally dependent on an external source of life. In feeling this connection to our source of life, we reground. We touch back to the fundamental, and our tensions and cares can be reabsorbed into this source.

Disconnection from my partner arises when at least one of us feels disconnected from this source of life. Connecting to this force helps us reconnect to ourselves so that we can then reconnect with one another. 

All that sounds very complicated, but reconnecting to your center can be very simple: when you are about to enter into a conversation that may be full of conflict, breathe consciously. Just twelve thoughtful breaths can change your physiological response to conflict. Release your jaw and shoulders as you breathe. This will help deactivate your stress response and prime you to connect to the world, and people, around you.

2 responses to “The Yoga of Relationships, Part I: Center yourself to connect with another”

  1. So wise. I’m going to pass this along to our couples therapy group if you don’t mind!

    1. Please do! This is an excerpt from the yoga classes I wrote as a complement to couples therapy.

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