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Yoga Promotes Healthy Relationships

By Sam Dworkis

In previous articles, I wrote that yoga, when appropriately practiced, can have a profound affect upon your body, emotions, and diet. But did you know that when properly practiced, yoga also offers you help and insight into your relationships including your responsibility and role in them? Successful relationships are built by respecting others and by paying proper attention to the people around you. However, lack of respect, or "abuse" regardless of how subtle, inattention, or even hyper-attentiveness can damage a relationship. Such damage can cause emotional hurt and sometimes physical distress, both to you and others.

An proper yoga practice is but a microcosm of life itself. You get out of it what you put into it. You learn that success in a correct yoga practice does not come by how many repetitions you do or how hard you try to get it right. Nor does success come by how far or how deeply you can force yourself into those "uncomfortable positions," which often leads to frustration (by not getting what you think you should be getting) or possibly injury as your body interprets such force as "abusive."


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Instead, success in yoga comes by learning how to be "present" when you practice. You learn to enjoy and respect your body for where it is at the moment and not where you wish it could, or should be (which is living in the future). And success is impeded when you want your body to respond as it did when you were younger (which is living in the past). With a successful yoga practice, you don't need to be anything, such as flexible or strong or even healthy. You just need to pay attention to "the way things are" and just do it (living in and enjoying the present). In so doing, when you learn how to move through life without forcing or making unreasonable goals, and as you move forward paying attention as you go; you will experience the pure joy of the moment. Therefore, by treating your yoga exercises intelligently and respectfully, you move toward balance of body, mind and spirit.

And because the body and mind are so intricately interrelated; as goes your body, goes your mind. Over time, as your body becomes increasingly balanced, and as you increase your flexibility and strength; your awareness and control increases, both physically and emotionally. Likewise, success and joy in relationships comes not through force or manipulation, but from the sheer delight of paying attention to your partner or friend or child or parent and by enjoying their very perfection.


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This doesn't mean that you do not guide or direct, but that you do so without manipulation or force; just as you learn in your yoga practice. As you pay attention to the "perfection" of your body and as you begin to apply yoga's subtle details to your practice, your body becomes increasingly balanced. Likewise, as you learn to pay attention to the "perfection" of others, you become increasingly aware of the subtle ways you affect your relationships and the way they affect you. Yoga, as in relationships, is all about taking personal responsibility, being proactive without aggression and doing less to get more.

Reproduced with permission
Resources: with profound thanks to Sam Dworkis of  www.extensionyoga.com.

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