Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. What you seek is seeking you. ~ Rumi
All our relationships are a reflection of our relationship with ourselves. Through practicing yoga, we get to know ourselves on a deeper level. There is a saying that goes ‘how you do one thing is how you do everything’. When we are on the mat, it is an exploration not just of our bodies, but also of how we tend to treat ourselves and what our default ways of being are. For example, if during asana practice, we find ourselves getting impatient with ourselves or we find that there is a strong inner critic judging our practice, chances are that this critic exists in other areas of our lives as well. And if we are critical of ourselves, it will in some form or another, spill over into our relationships.
So how we do yoga, can give us insight or wake us up to patterns of how we do relationships. The beauty of yoga is that it does give us an opportunity for changing these patterns, first through the mere awareness of them, and then through active practice.
Yoga is all about bringing balance to the body and the mind, and in his book ‘Light on Yoga’, BKS Iyengar, one of the modern yoga legends, writes that the best yoga practice is one in which we can become conscious of our patterns and learn to work with them.
For example, he says, if our inclination or tendency is to push ourselves hard, then during our practice, we should go a little easier, and if our natural inclination is to take things easy, then we should try pushing harder. In this way you start to create change on a physical level which ultimately creates new patterns in the brain and helps you break through and experience new ways of being.
All our relationships are a reflection of our relationship with ourselves.
On a more subtle level, practicing yoga opens us up to deeper parts of our being and we can get acquainted with the workings of our ego, vs our true self. Our ego is what causes us to create unhealthy patterns in relationships. When our spiritual connection to our inner selves is not strong, we function more from our egos. And when we live from our egos, we create dependency on others, for example our partners, to make us happy. By externalizing our source of happiness, we create unrealistic expectations of our partners and might come to believe that we need them to feel complete. The truth is, happiness and is an inside job. A healthy, joyful and fulfilling relationship is one in which two people are whole and complete unto themselves, and one in which both parties take responsibility for their own lives and happiness.
You can find joy, connection and bliss in your relationships. And this will happen for you when you find that inner source which provides all these things. When you connect to that internal source, your outer world will reflect all the beauty within you. And that is what yoga is all about.