So… partner yoga workshop yesterday? BEST THING EVER. I’m still feeling so warm and cozy and full of love this morning, and more grateful than ever to be with Erik.
We got to the workshop yesterday and were kind of disturbed and amazed at how many couples were crammed into the studio. I felt self-conscious, like we were in a parenting class or couples therapy or something. But then the couple teaching the workshop (husband-and-wife team who also own the studio) started talking to us, and we started to loosen up and enjoy the dynamic in the room. The oldest couple in the room had been together for more than forty years, and they come to this workshop every year. The newest couple had been together for six weeks. Another couple who come to the workshop every year talked about the huge fight they’d had the first time they registered for the workshop, when he thought it was at 6:30 instead of 6… you can imagine what happened there. One couple was pregnant and their joy was palpable.
According to the teachers, who got this from one of their teachers, relationships are the highest form of yoga. Since yoga is all about finding enlightenment in the moment, relationships present a huge challenge. You have to accept your partner in each moment as he is, not as you expect him to be or want him to be, and that’s very hard. So, they told us, this workshop wouldn’t just be about doing poses with each other, but would work on the non-physical elements of yoga as well. Woah!
We started out with an exercise in reversal. The “non-talker” in the couple was instructed to just talk for a few minutes, with the “talker” listening. Obviously this breakdown of coupleness totally applies to us (and, just as visibly, to the teachers, which was cute), so this was fun. I loved hearing Erik talk! This helped me think more of being quiet as a generous action, a respectful action, and not as a deprivation on my part. 😉 I’ll try to listen more in future. Already, this morning, I’ve stopped myself from interrupting him so much. 🙂
Then we did some normal partner yoga, supporting each other in stretches and watching each other do a sun salutation. That was nice. I have a new appreciation for Erik’s gorgeous arms and shoulders. 🙂
After that, they dimmed the lights and walked us through a Thai massage sequence for the next, oh, hour and a half. That was incredible. We massaged each other’s feet, legs, back, arms, face, and scalp. I found out that a lot of the things we did in the Thai massage, and in the partner yoga, are the same wonderful adjustments yoga teachers have done on me in the past — pressing down on my sacrum during Child’s Pose, for example — and that was a nice thing to discover. As Erik said afterward, it reminds us that partner yoga isn’t this separate thing from regular yoga.
By the end of the massage, we were soooo relaxed and comfortable and just felt really loved and loving. Couples were kissing and hugging all over the place, but it didn’t feel weird or gross, just very caring. We were given instructions on how to start a “couple journal” (which is basically like those friend journals we used to do in middle school, writing to each other and exchanging the book), and we revealed to each other the “favorite photo of each other” we’d been told to bring to the class. Erik chose this one, I chose this. We ate mini cuppycakes and drank yummy juices. Then we went for dinner at California Vegan, and returned home and slept on our newly frameless futon. 🙂
This morning we awoke still feeling loving and cozy. We went for a walk at Runyon Canyon, had a good talk (with me interrupting less than usual), and came back for a quick breakfast before I left for work.
The partner yoga workshop was the best thing we’ve done together in a long time. It’s so nice to grow together when we already have such a strong foundation of love, trust, respect, and laughter. I’m so glad we went, and so glad we have the relationship that we do. 🙂
[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]