27 Dec Men and The Mat
Let’s have a little chat about relationships. They seem to be a common conversation theme lately – but really, when aren’t we talking about relationships? Everything in life is a relationship. And those relationships are constantly evolving. For us to say something is NEVER going to happen is such a fallacy because things change every second of every day. The only constant is change.
Anyway. I digress. Where was I going with the relationship thing?… Ah, yes. Mike – my loving, wonderful, hilarious husband. Who also happens to be a kick-ass yogi. Yoga girls ask me frequently, “How cool that you guys do yoga together! Did you guys meet in class?” knowing that if I answer yes, it will give hope to all of the single vinyasa-loving beauties that they too will meet a man on the mat.
And the unfortunate truth is no – Mike and I didn’t meet in yoga. How we met is another post. And in fact, neither of us did yoga when we met. We ran, rode bikes, went to the gym – Mike did meditate but ardha chandrasana was not yet in our vocabulary.
I’ll hear from girls: “My boyfriend will never do yoga with me – how did Mike get into it?” This is where we apply what I call the “create space” principle of relationships. Men do not like to be controlled or pushed. Truth be told, women don’t either.
Back in the beginning, I tried to get Mike to come to classes. I would pay for him, get him a nice little spot in the room, and he would semi-begrudgingly show up – but it never was really a “wow” experience for him. And maybe that’s cool for you, if you just want him to go with you every once in a while for kicks. But if you want them fully involved, not just coming with you to make you happy, but rather coming to yoga because they want to come… you have to play a different game.
For this game, men have to choose to come to yoga. Well, unless they have a guy friend who goes to yoga, in which case, let them do the work for you and have them get your man on the mat.
A few years into my yoga life, I started practicing a crazy hot vinyasa fusion style with lots of handstands against the wall – like hundreds of handstands. And the next day my arms would be sore. Mike would look at me incredulously – “you’re sore from yoga?!”
“Yep.” And I loved what I was learning in this class, so I’d come home and show him my side-crow moves and other little tidbits I’d picked up. All the while keeping it MY THING and not asking Mike to go or trying to get him to come with me. This went on for a few months and finally one day, he decided that he needed to see this crazy yoga class for himself. One sweaty handstand in, he was hooked.
That was seven years ago and he hasn’t looked back since. I didn’t get Mike into yoga. I opened some channels. Mike got Mike into yoga.
And, even better, now he is a certified yoga teacher and teaches weekly classes that he loves. I couldn’t be more excited for him. He loves yoga because he chose it and he is totally passionate about sharing it with others. This might work for you and your guy, or it might not. But giving people space to choose is never a bad idea. It always wins over pushing.
Make your relationship easier. Create space. Allow people to walk into that space. That way we all grow together.