by Kaitlin Vogel: When it comes to cultivating healthy relationships, it turns out yoga and love go hand in hand…
Yoga is more than a physical practice. It’s a way of life. It can transform the relationship you have with yourself and the people around you. When it comes to developing healthy relationships, the secret to success lies in the love and yoga connection.
In fact, the word yoga means “to yoke or join together.” While this applies to the individual mind and body, it can also apply to joining two people together.
Let’s face it: in healthy relationships, we all want to be heard and understood.
Along with developing a greater sense of self-awareness, yoga brings you into the present moment. This enables you to connect with others more authentically and see the world through a more compassionate lens.
Science shows us that the love and yoga connection is indeed very real. Read on to learn exactly how!
Yoga and Love: Why Yoga Gives You That Lovin’ Feeling
Many of the yogic breathing techniques (Pranayama) improve the body’s ability to respond to stress by increasing the relaxation response in the body.
The more relaxed we are, the better we relate to others. So when you or your significant other is stressed, it can take a toll on the relationship.
On a biological level, yoga enhances vagal tone. This is controlled by the vagus nerve (a cranial nerve, which has the widest distribution of all the nerves in the body). And this affects the nervous, respiratory, and digestive systems.
When you or your significant other is stressed, it can take a toll on the relationship.
Needless to say, when the vagus nerve isn’t functioning properly it can wreak havoc on the mind and body. People with low vagal tone have a tough time dealing with stress. Those with a high vagal tone are better adapted to handle stressful situations.
And according to another study, “Deep breathing could link mind and body together to regulate the information processing related to attention.” In other words, yoga can increase your ability to focus.
And let’s face it: in healthy relationships, we all want to be heard and understood by our partners.
The Yoga Connection: How Yoga Increases Feelings of Social Connection
Have you ever wondered why you leave a yoga class feeling more connected to those around you? It has to do with synchronized movement. As it turns out, moving together promotes bonding.
“When people move together as one orchestrated unit, they later report that they experienced an embodied sense of rapport with each other – they say they felt alive, connected, with a mutual sense of warmth and trust as they converse,” says Barbara Fredrickson, positive psychology researcher and author.
And that’s for a typical yoga class!
Then there’s Partner Yoga (often called AcroYoga) to consider. This two-person yoga practice is a great way (and not to mention super fun) to develop a deeper sense of trust, bonding, and intimacy between two people.
Yoga and yogic breathing are proven to reduce stress, make us more present and able to focus. Practicing yoga also establishes a deeper sense of community, and AcroYoga takes it to the next level by building trust and intimacy. The connection between yoga and love is very real.
Why Practicing Yoga Can Help You Create and Maintain Healthy Relationships
The benefits of yoga extend far beyond the physical. Yoga is scientifically proven to lower stress, reduce anxiety and depression, and limit the negative emotions that hold you back from living the life you want.
When you embrace yoga as part of your lifestyle, you can change your mindset and open your heart to embrace love and intimacy on a deeper, more fulfilling level.
So, here’s to healthy relationships filled with more yoga and love!