By Andrea Robin
When people think of the word “intimacy”, they automatically associate it with romantic relationships. And it sends some people running for the hills. I have come discover that intimacy is an essential part of all close relationships. And while it isn’t always easy to do, it’s totally worth it. It involves making yourself open and vulnerable and allowing people to see who you really are. Tearing down any walls you’ve built up around you from past hurts and letting yourself be open to being hurt again. All in the name of love.
I had read some years ago, that if you cannot gaze into the eyes of the person that you are dating/married/ seeing/etc that there is something intrinsically wrong with that relationship. A lack of true intimacy. It doesn’t mean that relationship can’t be healed with a little (or a lot) of work, but both partners have to be willing to put in the time and effort. I’ve noticed in my Couples yoga classes, that during the asanas in which you are supposed to look into your partner’s eyes, so many couples are uncomfortable with it. As the weeks go on, some couples stop coming to class (granted, that could be for a variety of reasons). But for the couples that continue to come to class and work on looking into each other eyes, I can see a change in how they relate to each other. Both physically and in how they verbally communicate with each other.
I’ve noticed a change I myself since I’ve started practicing Partner yoga. I’ve been teaching it for a while, but teaching is not the same as experiencing. Experiencing the asanas and eye connection has made me a much better teacher and showed me that it’s safe to trust and open myself up to someone I barely know. I’ve sat in a position with my partner that would make most married couples blush. But because we already had a positive connection with each other, and are working at deepening our trust of each other, we understood what it was that we were doing. I felt safe. And I was able to open up to him, much quicker, in such a way that would have taken me months with other people.
You don’t have to being doing Couple or Partner yoga for a deepening of intimacy to occur. You know how you sit with close friends when discussing something really important to one of you? You are very close to each other, possibly touching knees or hands, and really looking into their eyes so they know you are listening and understanding them? That’s how we should strive to talk to all our friends and family, all the time. Your children will feel heard and important. Your friends will be grateful for your advice and just being there for them. You will connect on a deeper level of understanding and love with everyone in your life.
Andrea is a member of the YCW 200hr Teacher Training program.