Skip to main content

Yoga and Marriage

I'm a little high strung. I know, for those of you know know me well, this is hard to believe, right? I come off as such a go-with-the flow, mellow gal. Ha! We all know that's a joke. I'm wound pretty tight by nature and have spent most of my life being anxious, nervous and controlling.

In my old age I've relaxed. I suppose that life experience has taught me that I can not control everything and that things will work out even if not as originally planned. I also contribute my ability to breathe and relax to practicing yoga, something I've done now for almost ten years.

I started taking "power yoga" in graduate school. It was more of a challenge than a practice at that time. I was still pretty limber from youth and years of dance and I was able to contort my body into just about every position the teacher told me to. My body and lifestyle has changed greatly in the last decade but I've continued with yoga. I found, after having Caroline, that I had more body than ever before, meaning I had to think before maneuvering into each and every yoga pose. It was at this time that I truly began to understand what yoga is all about.

We can practice yoga day after day, month after month and year after year and each time have a completely different experience. It depends on our moods, our physical status and our concentration. Yoga is about connecting our body and breath. If we don't breathe, we can not bend. If we do not inhale and exhale we are immobile, inflexible. Some days in class I can stretch my arms high, lean forward and touch my ankles. The next week I can barely reach my knees. I've never been able to touch my toes. But, I keep trying. I go to yoga class each week and I forgive my body and accept it for what it is able to do at that current moment. It doesn't matter what I did last week or last year. Yoga has taught me about practice, perseverance and acceptance.

I've been taking a pre-natal class all winter and all of my classmates have now had their babies, leaving me to a weekly private session. The owners of the studio are a husband and wife team and ironically, over the past several weeks, the husband has taught my class. He is a quiet man, maybe in his sixties and I don't know too much about him other than his name, his interest in Tai Chi and Buddhism and that he practices yoga. Somehow last week we started talking about relationships. I, of course, told him about my blog and he told me about his marriage lows and triumphs. I'm the same age as his kids, he's been marriedfor forty years and is on his third marriage. In between downward facing dogs and cobbler poses, we discussed the challenges of compromise, managing finances, staying in love and growing as a couple. I was surprised to hear him say that he was the one to push marriage the third time. I'd think that after two marriages, a person may decide it's just not worth it anymore, that it's easier to be alone. I also thought that the third time would be the charm and that he'd have no problems with this wife. Who knew that some of his marital challenges are the same ones I have?

Listening to my yoga teacher reminded me that marriage is a lot like yoga. It changes every day. We can't expect our relationships to stay stagnant. We can't forget to breathe. If we do, we become inflexible. We have to be willing to take each day at a time. Some days are better than others but we have to embrace each moment for what it is. Relationships are about practice, perseverance and acceptance. We may have our moments with our partners when we are so in sync, it's like we can almost touch our toes. There are other times when when are in a funk and relating with one another only gets our stretch to our knees. Yet the toes are always the goal. They'll always be there and we, as spouses, should always keep those toes in mind. We may never reach that perfect yoga pose and we may never have the perfect relationship but we have to keep breathing and keep trying.

Namaste.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I Love Otsego but I Love Andy More

Growing up, my big brother was your typical older brother. He loved to torture me and his favorite hobby was making me mad or making me cry. He took my own stuff and made me buy it back from him at a yard sale. He put dog crap in my socks and sneakers. He threw spit balls at me, pinched me and never let me win at any games. Despite his daily doses of teasing and displeasing me, I did notice that he wasn't particularly interested in other people making me mad or making me cry. I'm not saying he was ready to fight on my behalf, or ride up on a white horse to protect me, but he was pretty firm in his position as the number one bane of my existence. Despite the fact that he no longer tortures me quite like he used to, our relationship has left a lasting impression on me, long into adulthood. As a self proclaimed arm chair therapist, I take note that I have been trying to work through that relationship for years-with Andy. Poor Andy had no idea that, when we started dating, I'…

Holiday Letters- in Two Versions!

I don’t know about you but I love a good holiday letter. Nothing sends me into a tailspin of self doubt and depression like reading the carefully crafted story of the highs and accomplishments of those in my life. As the letters flow in, alongside the photos of the beautiful smiling faces of my loved ones, I curl up under a warm blanket, look out at the bleak, gray winter skies and think: what the fu#k is wrong with me?We are so fortunate, due to modern technological advances, to be able to experience this self doubt an average of 20-50 times per day as we addictively scroll a variety of social media channels. Yet nothing truly confirms our own personal inadequacies like a yearly summary of others’ successes and happiness neatly packed in an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper, folded in thirds and slipped into an envelope alongside a card collage of beach shots, matching sweaters and smiling, happy faces. I, too, have sent along such letters to accompany our smiling happy faces, providing thos…

An Open "PM" to Polly

Hey Polly, it’s me- Melissa. Can I call you Polly? Because I feel like I know you. Do I know you? We’ve been in the same social media circles for many months now.I see from your profile that you went to Cornell. I have a lot of friends that graduated from there. It’s an awesome school. What year did you graduate? I also see that you’re self-employed. I really respect entrepreneurs, particularly female entrepreneurs. What’s your business? Are you a photographer because your Facebook profile picture of Doubleday Field is fantastic.I see that you don’t have any Facebook friends, Polly. I understand that. Are you lonely? It can be really lonely around here. Listen Polly, this election got really nasty but at the end of the day are all neighbors right? Do you want to meet, do you want to talk about it? Haven’t seen you on social media since the election. I totally get where you’re coming from, Polly. It’s been hard for me, too. When you put yourself out there with really strong opinions pe…