I just read for the first time that Gandhi was once a high-paid lawyer. But he chose to devote his life to racial equality, after being thrown out of a train because of his race. He left the grind- thus, the money – to instead replace it with his purpose: peace and compassion. The same things the man [or woman] you married all those years ago possesses, or possessed past tense when you first met.
“Come to yoga with me?” you say on your way out the door to your Saturday morning flow class. “It will only take one hour and it will be fun to do together,” you plead.
“Nah” you hear as the home office door creaks open. “Gandhi probably did not have a family to support or two kids in private school.” (You knew your earlier jab over breakfast would result in a clever retort later.)
So therein the question, “How can you convince your spouse that yoga is not just a practice for flexible people, who both have bendy bodies and bendy amounts of time? Or who have world peace as their ultimate agenda?
Here are five tips you can use to help convince your spouse that yoga is good for your marriage and creates family unity.
1. Stress Reduction – When the stress is reduced, so is the exasperated tone used when Johnnie doesn’t have his socks picked up off the floor! Or, the boss is chomping at the bit because of a tight deadline.
2. Good example for the kids – Despite the conveniences of the modern world, kids don’t necessarily have it as easy as we might think. With obesity on the rise, increasing school workloads and other demands of extracurricular activities, many children are unhealthy and stressed out as a result too. By you and/or your spouse doing yoga, you encourage a healthy lifestyle in the whole family! Maybe one day the kids will join you. Go to http://yoga.org.nz/ for home-based videos you can all do together.
3. Great spousal connection – Shared activities are the backbone of many marriages. Partner Yoga is becoming more and more popular not just for date night or Valentine’s Day but also as a weekly practice. CorePower Yoga (www.corepoweryoga.com) has many different partner offerings around the country. Contact your local yoga center for their offerings. Also, many yoga instructors will offer private classes to couples.
4. Complements their primary sport – Yoga for skiers. Yoga for climbers. Yoga for cyclists. It seems like there is a “Yoga for ” everywhere. A good way to know the sequence best for your sport is the local gym where conditioning for the season takes place. Most gyms have yoga as part of their seasonal sport offerings.
5. Complements the family’s spiritual or religious beliefs – Despite the position of some extreme conservative religious zealots, there are many churches that are embracing yoga as a way of recovery and healing. See Holy Yoga for more information about how churches and congregations are integrating yoga into their offerings, and ask your own pastor if there is a class at your church or community center that they can suggest.
As you drive to the studio, while you’re puzzled by your spouse’s earlier resistance, mull over the suggestions above and see if you can decide on the next best time to deliver your case. Soon, you’ll see those wonderful Gandi’esque characteristics your spouse once possessed inherently reappear. With a steady yoga routine, you’ll see a blissed out spouse daily instead of just occasionally or on weekends.
Want the kids to join?
-Teenagers love having the right gear. With a proper mat (check out Lululemon) and clothing (zella.com or prana.com), your kids will be encouraged to do more than just look the part. The sweat-resistant mats make hot temperatures more accessible and less prone to wear and tear. And, no slip and slides.
-Kids 5-8 love themes. Find a kid’s yoga class (offered at most studios weekly after school) that integrates educational themes into the class and keeps them short. Teachers who teach lesson plans from nationally renowned programs like Next Generation Yoga offer interesting and fun classes.
-Author’s book pick: Check out “Storytime Yoga,” Sydney Solis. This is a great way to position yoga to the wee-est of the tots.
Photo: a4gpa via Flickr