Yoga Wedding

There is probably never a more likely place to practice yoga than in a relationship. In fact the root of the word in sanskrit, ‘yuj’ essentially means to yoke or to bring together.  Not much is said however in yogic texts about the yoga of relationship.

A wise yogi once said: “A paradox of life is that one is fundamentally alone, yet one cannot exist outside of relationship”

In a hatha yoga practice there is a feeling, a desire perhaps to feel more complete, more whole as a being and I dare say the dance of relationship between two people is spurred by a similar energy.  Through the eyes of the other we look to continue to remember our connection through what it is to love and be loved.  Those feelings of enthusiasm as the relationship gets underway, is often mixed with anxiousness and a little fear.

Recently I had the extreme pleasure to facilitate a ‘special’ hatha yoga class for two friends on a beautiful sunny morning in Waimea on their wedding day. We did a little talk story by way of our practice.   We started off individually practicing our asana, then moved to a double yoga theme (see pictures above) and ended before savasana with some Thai-yoga massage.  We start off practicing – alone- then recognize the other and dance the dance of balance and communication  and  at some point recognize the two as one, separate, yet together.

The following readings were used during our relaxation phase, savasana:

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for,
And if you dare to dream of meeting your hearts longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love
for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your sorrow,
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or
have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,
without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own;
If you can dance with wildness and let ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic,
or to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself;
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day,
and if you can source your life from God’s presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout at the silver moon, “Yes!”
I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone,
and do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you are and how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand at the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself,
and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

-Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Indian Elder

The second reading from the Sufi avatar- Hafiz

I Want Both of Us

To start talking about this great love

As if you, I and the Sun were all married
And living in a tiny room,
Helping each other to cook,
Do the wash,
Weave and sew
Care for our beautiful
Animals.

We all leave each morning
To labor on the earth’s field.
No one does not lift a great pack.

I want both of us to start singing like two
Traveling minstrels
About this extraordinary existence
We share,

As if
You, I, and God were all married

And living in
A tiny
Room.

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Posted by | Paul Reynolds
Paul has been a yoga teacher on the Island of Kauai for many years and is the facilitator of the weekly Living the Question Blog - a repository of wisdom and inspiration. Paul also produces and hosts Le Guru is You Radio Show, showcasing everyday gurus.

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