Yoga in Practice - Cultivating Healthy Relationships

Article by Paul Jerard.

In Yoga meditation, we look for answers within, and open our self-awareness, but we still have to relate to those around us. Relationships are a mystery to some of us, while others handle relationships like an art form.

This is not to say that quantity makes up for quality relationships. For example: It is possible for a social butterfly to have a large quantity of dysfunctional relationships. On the other hand, it is possible for someone else to be an introvert and have healthy relationships.

The key to establishing balanced relationships starts from within. No matter how much we try to improve our behavior, the proof shows up when we interact with others. Let’s look at the anatomy of a healthy relationship.

1. Mutual Trust: If trust does not exist, caring is limited. When the relationship is tested by the stress of life, it will not hold up. If you cannot be honest with a friend, co-worker, family member, lover, or spouse, this places severe limitations on communication.

2. Freedom: Some relationships are like prison sentences. You cannot have a healthy relationship, when one or both parties are trying to establish control, demanding, or placing unrealistic expectations on each other. At the same time, both parties should never feel trapped. A healthy relationship is not a form of confinement. When a relationship is consistently unhealthy, both parties should be free to withdraw or part company.

3. Acceptance: A relationship must be taken at face value. To be happy with what you have is a form of Santosha (contentment). You have every right to correct your children and teach them good manners, but trying to change a friend puts a strain on both parties.

If one person has a “check list” for another to fulfill, there will never be happiness in the relationship. Some people feel that their spouse must think, speak, and act, according to their standards. The irony is that we would feel very bored if everyone agreed with us all the time.

During your next Yoga session, when you begin to meditate, it would be healthy to contemplate a relationship that could use some extra care. What can you do to improve it? What should you avoid doing? Why do you want to improve it?

The actions you take should be ethical and rooted in mutual benefit. It is one thing to improve yourself from within, but it is quite another to be patient, avoid conflict, spread happiness, and be tolerant of others.

Always remember that you can influence relationships on a daily basis. Yoga practice teaches us to put our ego in the “back seat.” Take the time for self-realization and bring healthy solutions to your relationships.

©2008 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, has written many books on the subject of Yoga. He is a co-owner and the Director of Yoga Teacher Training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA. He has been a certified Master Yoga Teacher since 1995. To receive Free Yoga videos, Podcasts, e-Books, reports, and articles about Yoga, please visit:


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