10 Ways Yoga Improves Marriage

After two series’ of marriage counseling, my husband and I have learned to handle our differences more productively rather than screaming at each other, which only leads to more frustration because nothing gets resolved. Still, we have our disagreements that do not involve screaming but still are not always productive or entail calm listening and understanding. Such is marriage life or any invested relationship for that matter. People will disagree and sometimes have a hard time getting back on the same page.

In the past, disagreements would bother me until we sat down and dissected the argument yet sometimes those dissections would create new arguments. I used to believe that marriage meant coming to an agreement on everything and if we didn’t, then we were doomed. A bit dramatic, yes, but I didn’t grow up watching a model marriage since my parents divorced when I was very young. Anxiety and anger would spark inside me the minute we would get heated in our words and I would have a hard time letting go of it, going over what I should have said and how wrong he was for hours after the disagreement ended.

However, I have noticed a positive shift in how I handle disagreements and I how feel during and after one since making yoga a regular practice about four months ago. I don’t succeed every time but the below list does help me immensely. Irritations inevitably happen in marriage and sometimes linger. The list below is moment to moment tips but the more we practice them, the more they become part of our normal behaviors. And it is irrelevant if your partner practices yoga/ breathing techniques or not; we can only control ourselves and by personal betterment, we can influence our partners and in turn, our marriage.love yoga

10 Ways Yoga Improves Marriage

  1. Pranayama (focused breathing) allows us to dissipate anger and frustration by not letting them build. Staying present by focusing on our breath prevents the “always” and “never”s from entering the scene. Whenever I feel myself getting heated, I immediately shift my focus to my breath and it really helps to regain clarity.
  2. Realizing that emotions and moods are fleeting and that the only constant is our breath. Once you realize this, you will truly recognize that “this too shall pass”, so it is not worth connecting to the unpleasant emotions.
  3. Lokah samasta sukino bhavantu translates simply to “may all beings everywhere be happy and free.” Remembering this chant and that everybody seeks freedom and happiness allows us to feel more connected to our spouse rather than distanced.
  4. Meditation during yoga brings clarity to the mind so that disagreements can be more clearly explained without the ego’s relentless defenses spouting anything to win so that you forget your original point.
  5. More physical flexibility gained from asana certainly never hurt intimacy in a marriage.
  6. Mental and emotional flexibility by remembering the above mantra helps to realize that your spouse wants to be happy even if they may seek it in different ways than you. Flexibility breeds tolerance.
  7. Staying present allows a marriage to move forward. Most partners have at some point said or done something to the other that they regret. Staying present allows one to forgive past mistakes and not project into the future.
  8. Connecting to the divine within us all, whether you call it God, Oneness, or anything else, allows love to flow more freely to fellow humans, including your spouse. This love for your spouse deepens and enriches marriage.
  9. Letting go of the ego, even if for brief moments each day allows each of us to let go of our insecurities, seeing ourselves as part of a greater divine thereby allowing us to be true and honest in our relationships.
  10. Lifting the heart in asana and in life through meditation, pranayama, letting go and seeking the divine bring about a lightness opening us up to more joy and laughter. In day-to-day life in marriage, especially with children, it is easy to get caught up in the “business” of family life which can weigh us down. Lightening up and laughing in marriage is a key to a lifetime of happiness.

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16 thoughts on “10 Ways Yoga Improves Marriage

  1. Some great points here Kerry. I used to do tai chi and I recently taught my 6yr old daughter how to ‘breathe’ to achieve calmness which she practices now when she finds herself getting angry and frustrated. It really works for her and I use it too.

    • It really is so helpful. My daughter did a yoga class when she was 3 and they taught them how to take deep breaths using a “breathing ball” that stretched out and closed it. It might be one of the most valuable lessons.

    • That’s really interesting. I use the words “calm down” when Monkey gets worked up and tonight I even tried to get him to practice breathing. He is only 2 so we have a long way to go but my hope is he grows up knowing and using these techniques instinctively.

  2. Great list – and more importantly, I love that you are sharing how you are still learning and growing as a person! Gotta admit, it cracked me up when you mentioned that you’d want to dissect the argument and that would in turn lead to more issues/arguments arising! I felt your pain! Guilty, party of one! 🙂

  3. It’s wonderful that you’re finding such positive results from yoga!
    I am going to begin doing some basic evening yoga in January and see if it’s something I want to continue. I am eager to find a nice wind down routine. 🙂

  4. I was just saying to my husband this morning that I wanted to check out any local classes. I used to do a combined yoga/pilates class and I loved it. I feel I could be doing with it again. If it can also help all of the above that would be a huge bonus. I think women maybe generally dissect arguments; like part of who we are – psychologists and philosophers. 😉 x

  5. Love this post. Funny I should read it on the day I take my firdt yoga class in years. I have been eager to tell you how much I loved it! Definitely going to start trying to work it into my routine.

    Interestingly, I have had to work on a few aspects of your list with Monkey’s dad despite being separated. We need to effectively co-parent but can’t do that well if we are poor communicators. We have come so far from those out of control screaming days too. It is such a worthwhile endeavour. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  6. I love that yoga can make life different. I found that an odd possibility until I made it a part of my life. I love the phrase “Lokah samasta sukino bhavantu”. I will take that with me. It is so freeing to just let it be. But so hard to hold on to. And yoga helps to do that.

    Great post for me to read at this time. I wrote one on my blog about yoga making me feel like a beginner again. It is hard to be an older beginner. I am so used to being good at things.

    • 🙂 I’m glad this struck you. I love that mantra as well, it is beautiful and helps to share our love even when people don’t always reciprocate…a good thing to remember during the holidays!

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