How Tree Pose can secure your relationship

Ever feel like your yoga practice pays dividends in your life — particularly your love life?

Well, now science is here to back up your thinking. From the NY Times:

So for the new study, which was published last month in Psychological Science, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Waterloo in Canada decided to examine stability, turbulence and love.

They focused on stability because it is a term that has both literal and abstract meanings. Our bodies can be physically stable or they can be wobbly, and so can our intimate relationships.

And here’s the takeaway — you can click the link to get details on the study, including the one- and two-legged volunteer effort — from it:

Overwhelmingly, those volunteers who wobbled on one leg rated their relationships as more unstable and less likely to last than did the people who stood on both feet.

Their notes to loved ones also tended to be more querulous, centering on unshared housework rather than shared embraces.

Of course, the study does not show that an unstable body creates an unstable love life, says Amanda Forest, a professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, who led the study, only that when people feel physically unstable they are more likely to perceive their romantic relationship as similarly turbulent.

The study also was not designed to explain how bodily instability influences feelings about loved ones, although overlapping neural responses almost certainly are involved, Dr. Forest says, a possibility that she and her colleagues hope to study in the future.

The conclusion we can draw: Lots of practice being stable means you won’t ever have to wobble while you think about just how good things are with your better (or, if you’re feeling wobbly, worse) half. And I’m reminded of those super long headstands Pattabhi Jois made his Western students perform, after witnessing their re-couplings when he came back to the U.S. for a second visit.

I will give the Times kudos for its ender: “[D]espite the stories we told ourselves as children, Weeble marriages are all doomed.”

Posted by Steve


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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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