The Question: How Can I Convince My Boyfriend/Girlfriend to Try Yoga?
If you’re a practicing yogi, you know that there is almost nothing greater than bringing someone you care about to class- well, it’s only truly amazing when they LOVE it. There’s something about moving and breathing alongside a person you love that is incredibly beautiful. But, alas, sometimes the hardest part about it is getting this person into the studio.
For some reason, there are two very strong, prominent opinions about yoga out there in the Western world. One is that yoga is an incredible practice that links you to your mind, body, and Spirit. It is empowering and sensational, and makes you feel like you can conquer the world. After just a few classes, you allow yourself to experience a growth in strength and happiness, and you want everyone you meet to know it. On the other hand, there are some people who think that yoga is lame, or pointless, that breathing and stretching is boring and easy. They don’t think that time spent on a mat is time well spent, and would rather be off getting a workout in another way.
Now, I think that yoga is for absolutely everyone. No matter what your size or gender is, what your past looks like or what your future holds, you can find a style of yoga that is suitable for you and can either change your life for the better or encourage you to continue living a fulfilling life. That being said, not everyone is going to believe that.
I think it’s very, very rare for a person to enjoy being pressured into something, right? Imagine being even a little bit skeptical about trying out a new activity, and having another person breathe down your neck, telling you to do it over and over. Not cool. Yoga is one of those things that if a person is going to love it and believe in it, he is going to do it himself.
However, encouragement to start can be a great thing. Invite your partner to a class that seems most inviting- perhaps it’s a beginner’s class, or a class just for a specific gender. Few things can be more intimidating that walking into an advanced class if you’ve never practiced before, or stumbling into a room full of just women when you’re a 6 foot tall man. There are so many different styles and levels out there- and the first one you try out is often the most important. So especially if you’re partner isn’t crazy about the idea of trying yoga, choose wisely. It might also be a good idea to introduce new member specials that your local studio might be offering. Many places have cheap deals for first time practitioners. Explore your options!
In the end, some people just aren’t going to buy that yoga is for everyone. No matter how many times they go to class, how many teachers they try out, it just won’t click for them, and that’s okay. While sharing such an amazing passion like yoga with your loved ones sounds like the greatest thing in the world, if it doesn’t work out, it shouldn’t make your dedication for the practice any less. I was once in a relationship where my partner just couldn’t get into it. I would bring him to classes often, introduce him to different styles and teachers (even to myself!) and still, nothing. I tried so hard to get him to enjoy it, and (in this lifetime) it just wasn’t going to happen. It made me really angry, and even distracted myself from my own practice, which really isn’t okay. Let your practice be your practice, uninfluenced by anyone else.