As Yoga practitioners, there are so many opportunities to work towards inner peace, health and happiness with the company of a spouse, family member or a small gathering of like-minded friends. Whether it’s about pairing up for some Sun Salutations, meeting at the park to practice pranayama, or making a date for meditation, these and other positive practices offer up ways of spending quality time and create real connection with those we love.
Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate the immense value of fellowship on my own journey; not only for the exchange of inspiration and support but also for its power of unified intention. I’ve had the good fortune of practicing Yoga and meditation with many dear friends but primarily with my husband and partner on the path. Together we encourage each other through regular shared practice. I believe it is this unified vision that has not only made for a happy and harmonious married life but also for increasing our love and respect for one another over our 21 years together. When people gather their energies together with the purpose of conscious evolution 1 + 1 can equal 11!
There are many sadhanas (spiritual practices) which easily lend themselves to cooperative effort such as practicing asanas, mudras, pranayama, Yoga relaxation & visualization, japa, meditation, various pujas, study of scripture like the Yoga Sutras or The Bhagavad Gita, mantra recitation or spiritual chanting (kirtan), planning and preparing sattvic meals together, doing a detox or juicing program, creating or joining in community seva (selfless service). Essentially, any practice that generates positive qualities such as compassion, wisdom, harmony and true peace is very rewarding when it can be shared with fellow practitioners.
Let’s consider some of the many benefits of a shared practice:
Spread Happiness: Positive actions naturally make a person feel good about themselves. The closer we become to our true self, the less fear & insecurity we have. Our capacity to love our self and others increases. This means more honest communication, more authentic moments. More happy moments in our inner and outer lives.
Get inspired/be an inspiration: cooperative practice is a very effective way to exchange good energy. It helps people bring out best in one another. If our compass gets stuck, another person’s enthusiasm can reaffirm the teachings, and sometimes nudge us out of apathy or our comfort zone.
Be consciously social: Yoga socialization is an opportunity to steer the focal point of meet ups from over externalization (draining) activities (like roaming the mall to buy stuff we don’t need) to purpose-based interactions that uplift and recharge our inner battery.
Express care and kindness: Cultivate cooperation & compassion through gentle touch during asana time, by “omming” together or by helping someone heal with a guided relaxation. True kindness is encouraging healthy and constructive habits in those we care about.
Present & together: sadhana gives us an opportunity to nurture our relationships, by being present. It’s a chance to slow down, share revelations, exchange wisdom values as well as enjoy moments of mindful silence. Being together without distraction-this is quality time.
Stress Less: Tension from our daily lives can spill over into our interactions with others. When couples embrace daily stress reducing practices such as Yoga and meditation, they can dial back the drama and approach life with a calmer, more balanced outlook. In this way, little things don’t escalate into big fights.
Keeping it real: relating to someone through a sincere desire for conscious evolution keeps the communication and intention in the relationship real. As our awareness of unity or Yoga evolves, we naturally want less game playing, less manipulation, less selfish motives in our dealings with those in our lives. Truth or Satya adds depth to our character and our relationships, when we honor it.
Home sweet AUM: -a place where uplifting spiritual practices are done is filled with peace, harmony and good vibes. That only doubles and triples with more of the family joining in.
To read the full article please download our Asana Journal App or purchase Issue 168 December 2016.