I’ve been practicing yoga for over ten years now, and all the customs, terminology, and traditions have become deeply embedded in my life.
When I started dating my partner, who had never even done asanas before, it never occurred to me that he’d have no idea what I was talking about half the time.
I have since learned how to explain what I’m talking about and he has learned the power of Google. If your partner is a yogi, here are some things you can expect.
1. You may be a victim of yoga jargon.
After a meeting at the studio where I teach, I went back to home to my man with a mountain of things to tell him. I went on about the new ashtanga instructor and how I had found a new mala specific to my pitta dosha. When I finally looked into his eyes, I noticed the glazed over expression and realized he had no idea what I was going on about.
When a yogi gets excited about something, we just want to share it with the world; but sometimes we forget whom we’re sharing it with. Don’t be afraid to stop us and ask questions. We are more than happy to explain, we just forget sometimes!
2. Injuries happen.
We fall…a lot. It’s a normal part of the practice. Sometimes the only way to quiet the ego is to face plant. We have new bruises show up all the time with no idea of how they got there.
You need not worry though. If something, serious happens we’re not above seeing a doctor. Until then, don’t worry about all the crashes you hear in the other room. It’s when you hear nothing that you may want to check in.
3. We need encouragement.
Even Yogi’s need a little self-esteem boost every once in a while. We’ll be looking to you for that. If we get discouraged about an asana we’re having trouble with or a meditation practice we can’t focus on, we may need you to give us a little push.
A simple reminder for us to “listen to our bodies” never fails! Other times, we may just need you to listen so that we share and work things out ourselves.
In the same sense, we want you to get excited about our accomplishments. When we finally get into an asana we’ve been working on or we have an epiphany during our meditation, we want to share it with you. You may not understand why it’s such a big deal, but just know that it’s a big deal to us. We want to include you in our triumphs too.
4. You will try too.
We don’t expect you to chant, meditate, and have a daily asana practice, but we do expect you to try it. Yoga is such a huge part of our lives and has done so much for us; we just want you to have the opportunity to have it benefit you as well. We won’t force it if you really don’t enjoy it, but one class or DVD won’t do any harm.
5. Can you take my picture?
We take pictures of our poses EVERYWHERE! Don’t worry though, it’s not to inflate our ego. We take part in monthly challenges, give advice on how to get into certain poses, or just want to share our accomplishments with our fellow yogis. We want to share our passion with other, and these photos and videos have the power to inspire others.
I certainly would not have achieve headstand one year after having cervical spinal surgery had it not been for my best friend’s encouragement every time I posted a photo of my progress.
Furthermore, handstands would still terrify me had it not been for Kino McGregor and Kerri Verna breaking it down in their March 2015 #journeytohandstand challenge. Sharing pictures and achievements helps to encourage and inspire, and sometimes we need you to help with that simply with the push of a button.
6. It’s not just a workout.
When I asked my partner what advice he would give to a friend who was about to date a yogi he said, “Respect the practice because it’s a part of them. It’s a lifestyle deeply embedded within, making them who they are.” My best friend’s partner equates it with his love of working on cars. It gives him peace and a sense of quiet just as yoga does for his wife.
It is so much more than a physical practice for us. It is our way of life, our belief system, our passion, our everything. We practice almost daily, we attend classes and workshops, and we read everything we can get our hands on. We are a dedicated people who only want to better ourselves and the world we live in.
Yogis do their best to keep open hearts and open minds. If you find yourself lucky enough to call one your partner, know that you are truly special.
You have been accepted in to a yogi’s heart, which to us is one of the most sacred places. Be patient and be mindful, and you will be rewarded with the greatest love we have to offer.