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How Yoga Can Improve Your Relationships by Aimee Yamamori

February is a month to celebrate the ones we love, and relationships of all shapes and sizes. But did you know that your yoga practice might actually be improving those relationships over time as well? And that includes one of the most important relationships in your life--one with yourself!

A recent scholarly article in the Journal of Holistic Nursing found real results.  A study was conducted to see just how yoga can affect relationships. To start, they found that aspects of yoga are associated with benefits to one’s social and spiritual health, and increased an individual’s social interactions. Participants in the study who took yoga reported feeling more patient and kind, and more self-aware. They met more new people in and out of class, and the felt a sense of belonging.  

Yoga allows us to come to know and love ourselves and find self-acceptance.  When you are self-loving, you are much better suited to start positive and real relationships with others.  

Yoga has also scientifically been proven to reduce stress and calm the nervous system, which also helps improve sleep.  And let’s face it--a calm, rested person is just easier to be around! You feel better, and you’re much more likely to treat others with more kindness in turn.  

Yoga also teaches us to live in the moment--such a special skill in our fast-moving, smartphone-addicted times.  When you practice yoga, you are forced, again and again, to come back to the present. And when you are fully present, you are find more joy and pleasure in what you are doing and who you are with.  

Yoga brings awareness that you are part of a community.  A group of like-minded people who are growing and breathing together.  You have similar goals and motivate each other when needed. You share stories.  All of this is carried off the mat and out into the world even after class is ended.  You feel more connected, more grounded to the place around you.

“The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.  And if you can find someone who loves the you you love, well that’s just fabulous.” -Unknown

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