The benefits of Couples Yoga According to Meghan Markle
Everyone is Harry and Meghan obsessed these days, whether they want to be or not! And with good reason, they’re young, attractive, royal AND getting married. What’s not to like? Even more exciting for yoga fans is that, according to ‘inside sources’, Meghan Markle has been teaching her fiancé some yoga poses to help him de-stress – making them into a ‘yoga couple’.
While we don’t have evidence of the couple practising yoga together, it’s no secret that Meghan is devoted to her yoga practice. Her mother, Doria Ragland, is an LA-based yoga teacher, who started to teach her daughter yoga from the tender age of 7 and, as she says, the ‘practice is in my blood’.
In an interview with Canada’s Best Health magazine in 2015, Meghan revealed that ‘there are so many benefits that come with the practice of yoga…increased flexibility and muscle strength, greater happiness, increased mental focus, a greater ability to relax, decreased anxiety and better sleep.’
So, as she realises the benefits of her yoga practice, it’s only natural that she would want to share it with her royal husband-to-be.
So why would you practice yoga together as a couple and what are the benefits?
The fact is that having any past-time in common is healthy for couples. It gives them a way to spend time together that doesn’t involve the daily round of chores, errands and responsibilities that comes with living together.
Although yoga is traditionally an individual discipline, allowing you to get in touch with your inner self, it can also work with a partner. Yoga is a wonderful thing to do together as it both keeps you fit and allows you to deepen your relationship.
If you practice yoga and your partner doesn’t, then perhaps you could find time this Christmas to introduce a gentle introductory session, framing it as a way to enjoy time together, rather than a way of forcing them to get into it just because you are.
There are plenty of basic yoga poses which work well practised in pairs, such as sitting with feet pressed together in staff pose, or sat back to back in cross-legged pose. Starting with the basics will encourage your partner to try more, rather than putting them off with too much, too soon.
A Way to De-Stress
In the busy lives that we lead, making time to do yoga together is a way of having quality time as a couple.
According to psychotherapist and yoga teacher, Julia Lehrman, it also encourages us to do all the things that make us stronger as a couple, such as listening to each other, engaging in physical touch and lifting each other up – both psychologically and physically!
According to those ‘inside sources’ at the palace, Meghan ‘has been helping Harry learn a few basic moves and experiment with some positions.’
This sounds like a great thing for Meghan to do with Harry, as they prepare to come together as man and wife, they are coming together through yoga too – after all, yoga does mean ‘union’. And as Julia Lehrman says, ‘Aim to create more unity rather than separateness.’
Couples Yoga – Dos and Don’ts
However, as lovely as it is to be a yoga couple there are a few handy guidelines to stick to in order to avoid adding conflict to the relationship.
- Do – Find a time that suits both of you, when there aren’t too many distractions or external pressures. This may be harder for couples with children, but that’s what grandparents are for, right?
- Do – Be encouraging and supportive and come up with a practice that suits both of you. So, if your partner has never done yoga before it might be a bit adventurous to throw some acro-yoga into the mix.
- Do – take turns to look at each other in harder poses and give constructive feedback to improve each other’s poses.
- Don’t – make the practice a stressful affair by trying to cram it in when there really isn’t time. This will end up with it being a source of stress rather than a way to spend quality time together.
- Don’t – get too competitive. A little competition isn’t always a bad thing as it can push us out of the comfort zone that we can get into when we practice on our own. However, making your other half feel inadequate as you float into bridge pose isn’t the aim.
- Don’t – get too critical. While it’s useful to give constructive feedback, especially in poses where you can’t see your own body, such as headstand, it’s important to find a balance between positive and negative.
Couples Yoga Workshops
Finally, if you really think that doing couples yoga at home really wouldn’t work, or you’re not sure where to start, why not give your other half the gift of a couples yoga workshop for Christmas?
There are a whole range of workshops and lessons out there, from acro-yoga, which involves a huge amount of trust and a certain amount of experience, to pregnancy partner yoga, which is a way to bond as a couple in preparation for the birth of a child.
That way, you solve what to get them for Christmas, as well as getting to do yoga together, just like Harry and Meghan.