A couple of months ago, I was a broken man. Every night, I woke up with terrible nightmares. My fears were haunting me. There were days when I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t sleep, and couldn’t eat. It was terrible.
My girlfriend felt the same way. I loved her with all my heart, but our five-year relationship fell apart. We didn’t talk to each other. We didn’t kiss each other. The love was there, but for some inexplicable reason, we were unable to show it.
I knew that I had to do something. I knew that I was about to lose the woman of my dreams. That’s when a friend of mine told me about yoga.
My friend said I should try yoga because in her case, yoga lessons actually helped improve her relationship with her husband. Of course, I didn’t believe her. My first thought was that I’m a man and I can’t do yoga. When I came home that evening, my girlfriend was in tears. She pushed me away when I wanted to console her.
That was the moment when I decided to give yoga a shot. Five months later, our relationship was better than it has ever been. So what exactly happened that yoga saved my relationship?
1. Yoga Taught Me to Listen
Do you sometimes hate yourself?
I know this feeling too well. When I finally realized that I, and not my girlfriend, was the main reason why our relationship was so miserable, I felt an overwhelming feeling of self-hate. I hated myself for the fact that I just didn’t see it. All these years, I had been blind to my own behavior.
One of the reasons I hurt her so much was because I didn’t listen. I was so egotistical and so focused on myself that I didn’t listen to her problems, her pain, and her feelings.
Yoga taught me to be quiet and to become a mindful listener. For the first time in five years, I sat down with her and truly listened to her. At the end of our conversation, she cried and kissed me.
2. Yoga Helped Me to Focus on the Important Things in Life
Yoga calms your mind. Anyone who has ever been in a yoga class knows this. The meditative power and the relaxed atmosphere allow you to focus in a way that is unbelievable. I didn’t experience this effect in my first lesson, but after a couple of weeks, I was able to focus better than ever before.
This transformation helped me to focus on the important things in life. It’s really hard for me to put it into words, but I realized just how truly important my girlfriend and my relationship really was.
My increased focus allowed me to distinguish between the things and people that I can and cannot do without. It hurts when you finally realize that you treated the most important person in your life in a way that she doesn’t deserve.
3. Yoga Gave Me the Strength to Not Give Up
I could have given up. Some of the arguments we had were quite painful and there were definitely moments where ending the relationship seemed to be the right thing to do. Today, I am so happy that I didn’t give up.
Thanks to the focus that practicing yoga and meditation gave me, I finally realized that our relationship was worth fighting for—even though it was anything but perfect at that time. I now enjoy a happy relationship that without yoga, I probably wouldn't have found the strength to keep fighting for.
4. Yoga Taught Me to Meditate
Yes, yoga strengthened my mind, my body, and my focus, but meditation improved our relationship on a whole new level. Yoga was the fire that helped us to reignite the flame, and meditation was the oxygen that we needed to help the flame to survive.
I remember one day when I came home from a meditation session, my girlfriend was in a bad mood and all I did was look her in the eyes. My state of relaxation and the calm energy I was giving off must have been contagious, because five minutes later, she smiled.
5. Yoga Helped Me Control My Thoughts
During our worst moments, I had thoughts that I’m not proud of. I was angry, hurt, and desperate, and as a result, my brain was full of negative thoughts that eventually led to very painful conversations with the woman I loved.
Because of yoga and meditation, I was finally able to acknowledge and control my thoughts. I developed the ability to distinguish between positive and negative thoughts, and to focus on the positive ones. This ability allowed me to communicate better, which eventually helped us to connect on a deeper level.
6. Yoga Taught Me the Importance of Purpose and Vision
Before yoga and meditation became a part of my life, I had lost track of my vision. In fact, I don’t even remember if I had a vision. I certainly didn’t have a vision for my relationship. There was not one day when I sat down and thought about why I wanted this relationship. I never really thought about our future.
Today, I have a vision. Our relationship has a purpose. If there is one thing that helped us more than anything else, it’s the time we spent talking about why we choose to stay together, our goals, and our shared vision of the future. It turned out that we both wanted the same things and we were just too afraid to talk about it.
7. Yoga Opened My Heart
I've always loved my girlfriend. She is everything I ever wanted, but in our darkest days, I was unable to feel this love for her. All the stress, the pain and the anxiety covered my feelings for her like clouds cover a beautiful sunny sky.
It took weeks of yoga and meditation before I was finally able to reconnect with this deep feeling of love. It’s hard to describe, but the inner transformation I experienced opened my heart. My love for her came back and it’s never stopped growing ever since.
Image credit: Cetin Cetintas