Yoga – Relationship-Relationship-Yoga

When it is that time of season and we see the petals of spring start to respond to the ever-present calling of the sun and the ‘urge to merge’ is supposedly strongest; it is appropriate to flex the yogic muscles and take on the complex subject of relationship. There is very little, if anything that is ever said in the yogic texts about the “yoga of relationship”.

If we agree that much of what we are engaging inhandinhand our hatha practice are the powers of observation then perhaps looking at the structures and characteristics that form around these two ideas can give us a hint of their connectedness.

The physical practice of hatha yoga has constructs called ‘asana’ from which we can explore the relationship with self.
The relationship with ‘the other’ is also a construct, a tool that can also be used for self-discovery.

But as we look closer many similarities do appear.

Inherit in both the dance of hatha yoga and the dance of relationship is the “urge to merge”, mentioned earlier, the desire to feel ‘more complete and whole, the remembering of connection, the remembering of what it is to love and be loved.

Both relationship and hatha yoga practice are mirrors that reflect back to us just how we approach or how we ‘walk’ in life.

We bring into either construct the goals of; feeling better about ourselves, being happier, being passionate about the way we live, more open, more secure, stronger, more flexible and on a deeper level, to learn more of who we are and why we are here.

As we begin our “practices” of relationship or hatha yoga, feelings of excitement, and enthusiasm mix with anxiousness and possibly a little fear. The give and take of these energies is inherent in both. They bring similar questions to the forefront of one’s awareness.

“What do I want from this practice/relationship?”
“Is this safe?”
“What am I feeling?”
“Shall I take a risk and move further into this experience?”
“What will I allow in?”
“ To what am I paying attention?”

The list of questions may grow and diminish and their answers change daily, even moment-to-moment.  In a hatha yoga practice the adjustments of the body to postures and breath take on a similar dynamic. And like in any ‘good’ relationship we are met with challenges, “edges” in the hatha yoga vernacular.  In hatha yoga they may be of a physical nature, but can appear as emotional and mental ones as well.

In relationship the energy of love can provide these types of edges as well, for love does not always equate roses and romance.
The Sufi mystic Hafiz makes the following observation;

“Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth…
…The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:
Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out

Indeed, we will experience the depths and the heights of our psycho-physical make-up in both a relationship and a hatha yoga practice.

As the relationship or the hatha yoga practice continues a certain familiarity develops.  Doing the same asana again and again or being in relationship for a period of time can bring a sense of security, but at the same time this familiarity can appear boring, limiting or predictable.
Hatha yoga, like a relationship can open us to new and vast vistas.  And yet it can be a closed, system as set patterns emerge, requiring imagination and creativity as well as the ability to listen to keep the practice or relationship fresh and vital.

Again from author/yogi Joel Kramer;
”But it (relationship) could be open, like a river, which by its nature allows newness to enter and flow through it.  A river has a defined form or pattern, yet what’s contained within its form is constantly changing.”
Both hatha and relationship are tools to help us to remember our connectedness not just to “the other” or ‘to self’ but to all of our experience.   This can be seen as the outgrowth, the discernible manifestation of the indefinable, limitless energy of Love.


Posted by | Paul Reynolds

“Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen. Not any religion or cultural system…..” - Rumi

For over 30 years Paul Reynolds has collected and shared inspiration from a wide variety of sources. Embracing the philosophy that at the core of all these expressions is the reminder that we are loved and supported every moment. This unending stream of inspiration, imagination and wisdom is posted via his weekly ‘Living the Question Blog’, which has become ‘home’ for those discoveries. If you would like to receive the readings and share them with those you feel will benefit, please fill out the ‘Subscribe’ form to the right and Paul’s selections will come to your email every Friday.

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