“Dissolve boundaries that create separation while still staying true to yourself -- the most basic challenge of any relationship.” ~ Tara Guber
A few inserts from my Final Grad School Paper: Partner Yoga Therapeutics for Cultivating a Deeper Connection within Couples Therapy (Yapp, K., 2017)
Why do couples seek Couples Therapy? Couples who are attending couples therapy are probably unaware of their unconscious habits that have affected their personality which in return affects their relationship. Couples may lack the skills with finding their desired “love” they may need help with communication skills, connecting, intimacy, asking for help, emotional expression and eye contact (Brothers, 2001). Many relationships end in a place of projections where one or both partners don’t have the capacity to be vulnerable and share their wounds. Individuals tend to dive into relationships with baggage they are unable to unload and without the necessary tools to remove the baggage.
Couples therapy is a tool that helps increase relationship quality and stability. In couples therapy couples are encouraged to grow individually while being able to look at each other in a different light (Fishbane, 2013), the psychotherapist seeks to assist each partner in managing negative communication patterns, finding new ways to problem solve, regulating emotions and overall, deepening the emotional connection within the relationship. More often than not, relationship distress stems from lack of communication or dysfunctional patterns of communication (Owen & Quirk, 2014) as well as old habits and past wounds that have not been fully healed.
Fritz Perls, co-founder of Gestalt Therapy says, “lose you mind and come to your senses” (2006). Partner Yoga gets you out of your head and into your heart. Partner Yoga teacher Tara Guber states it perfectly when she says, “Something different happens when two people connect the mind, heart and spirit in postures. Partner Yoga teaches us to ask for what we want. It requires us to communicate our hopes and desires as well as our concerns, anxieties and fears. This practice breaks down walls through physical connection, opens doors to emotional connection, clears the channels of energetic connection, and merges you with the transcendent spirit. This practice requires that you have constant awareness of your partner. In the process of moving through the postures with your partner one can actually overcome fear, form trust, increase communication and deepen intimacy.” (Guber & Judith, 2006).
In her book Contact Yoga: The seven points of connection and relationship, Tara introduces seven points of contact within the practice of Partner Yoga (trust, passion, commitment, love, communication, vision and union). For the purpose of this paper I will focus on 3 points: trust, communication and union or connection.
Partner Yoga provides a fun and safe place for couples to grow in trust, communication and connection. Couples dealing with these issues may benefit from this alternative therapy by learning how to build and integrate trust in a playful way, understanding the importance of clear communication and forming a union with each other while still maintaining their sense of individuality.
Partner Yoga is more than just a simple yoga practice. When you bring your individual practice together with another you begin to fall in sync with each other, the breath flows together and then your body and movement begin to flow together. This practice can lead to new doors opening for your relationship and begin to create a special bond between you and your partner. In Partner Yoga you learn the meaning of giving and receiving and an understanding that sometimes you need to let go of control in order for the partner pose to stand strong. Every lesson you learn on the mat will begin to translate into your life off the mat. You will being to feel your sense of connection, trust and communication with yourself, your partner and with the world you live in (Fondin, 2015).
Partner Yoga is a creative flow between two people, guided by communication. Without communication there can be no flow, without communication there can be no relationship.
Partner Yoga can be used as an alternative form of therapy alongside other therapeutic methods including: EFT, Core Energetics, Insight Dialogue, Gestalt Therapy, Gottman’s Couples Therapy and many other forms of Couples Therapy methods. Partner Yoga combined with dialogue has the ability to enhance mindfulness, connection, communication and build trust in and out of the therapy room. Partner Yoga combined with traditional therapy methods opens new revolutionary ideas to expand and grow our work as psychotherapists.
If you would like to read more of my research on Yoga Therapy for Couples please feel free to contact me and I will forward a copy of my research paper.
If you are a couple and seeking to deepen your relationship, build trust and find new ways of communication please JOIN ME for our 5 week Yoga Therapy for Couples Workshop in MARCH 2018. More information can be found on my website KristaYapp.com under Groups & Workshops.
“A new form of yoga is emerging to address our modern needs by becoming the conduit for connection, activating and inspiring relationship of one person to another. This act of contact yoga has the potential to heal and transform individuals, couples, friends and lovers.”