By: Debbi Levy, Certified Yoga Instructor and Reiki practitioner, Transformation Yoga
On May 4, 2014, I went on a blind date at the suggestion of a sweet friend. My new date had initially asked me out for a drink on a Sunday evening, but but I responded that following my Sunday evening Yoga class I would be famished. Fast forward to Houston’s with yummy salmon, my blind date and I began the initial “investigation” of our common ground.
We knew several of the same people, shared a Jewish background, and lived somewhat in the same vicinity. “What is your sign?” “Capricorn” Then me, “Rats” “Do you practice Yoga?” I asked. His response was as I had expected. “Nope.” He might have mumbled something about real exercise but I think I’ve blocked it. You can be certain I didn’t then pursue “Which are your favorite crystals?” Or “Which chakras are you working on getting free-flowing?” To illustrate our lifestyle differences further, he was drinking Scotch and I was drinking red wine for its health benefits (O.K. that’s not true I just like it). So the night wore on, and we made a second date. Oh, we laughed a lot and were the last to leave restaurant.
It seems that laughter and a good sense of humor can advance a relationship quickly. But after ten dinners and several lunches, it’s time to dig deeper. This is when I casually thought about bringing my new boyfriend to Yoga. I’m analytical, so here’s my formula:
Shared activity Anxiety about his contentment during my class
Benefits his health He’ll see the fully vulnerable me
Hold hands in shavasana He will try to do too much to impress me which
Fun to watch new person OM Could take away from his first experience
More to talk about Buddies will make fun of him
opportunity for me to pay
forward the gift of yoga
The Pro’s won. The entire human race deserves the gift of a Yoga practice and I can give up a pinch of just me on my mat until he is confident in a class setting. In my corner, I must confess that he is a member of the Jewish Community Center where the class would take place. By the way, if this appeals to you as well, email me and we’ll see about getting you a guest pass!
Once you make the decision to bring your boyfriend to Yoga, it’s not always as easy as we Yogi’s might think to get him there. Unnecessary stereotypes can block your path. However, if you can overcome your prospective new Yogi thinking he is destined for only veggie burgers after his class or that he has wear designer Yoga clothes, you’ll be able to prove your case.
Once we got started, taking my boyfriend to Yoga allowed the two of us to view each other in a more authentic way. We learned about each others physical challenges and physical gifts. We learned about the context of each others breath, how to know when our partner was relaxed or far from it. We learned how to just lie next to each other in contentment. We gained a language between us with no spoken words. Most importantly, we learned how to just “be” next to one another without the duty or obligation of entertaining one another. Finally, we learned one of the eight limbs of Yoga, our physical practice, was just one way we could share our world. As our relationship progressed, we worked to practice the other limbs through kindness, charity, focusing on purposeful lives, and limiting distractions that kept us from finding gratitude.
May 4, 2017 is coming around the bend. It will be the third anniversary of our first date, and my husband, Barry Rothschild, and I, are looking forward to our celebration. I’m hoping for the salmon because I’m always hungry after our Sunday class.
Side note- I used the scenario of a boyfriend because it’s been my experience. However, stereotypes like yoga chicks and boyfriends can be compartmentalizing for Yoga and life in general. I want to add that the people I love are, straight, gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual. What’s the bottom line? Take the people you love to Yoga and you will enrich your life and theirs! Please share your experience with me at Debbiklevy@gmail.com or look for me on my website www.Transformationyogatexas.com