Deepening Your Relationship: Strengthening Bonds and Communication with Yoga Therapy for Couples

Origins of a Transformative Approach

In 1987, when I embarked on my Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy journey, it was solely a one-on-one endeavor. However, a pivotal moment in the early nineties changed the course of my practice. Two of my yoga students, Janet and Brett, who were already taking individual sessions with me, suggested exploring the Phoenix Rising process as a couple. Embracing their idea, we ventured into the realm of "couples' sessions."

This later grew into workshops for couples and my current offering of a residential retreat on ‘Deepening Your Relationships” for couples to connect, engage embodied experiences together, practice full body presence and deep listening alongside taking in some age old wisdom and practices to enhance relationships.

Benefits of Partnered Exploration

Janet and Brett's experience paved the way for a new dimension in yoga therapy. As they navigated physical and emotional territories together, their relationship deepened significantly. They became acutely aware of their differences, leveraging them as a source of strength. Unspoken issues surfaced and were skillfully resolved using their bodies as guides.

Expanding Horizons in Couple Therapy

Over the years, my work with couples expanded to encompass diverse pairings, including relatives sharing a home and business partners. An approach emerged, characterized by safety, intimacy, and relaxation. Partner exercises emphasizing physical presence, touch, and partner yoga became central. Dialogue processes evolved to incorporate interactions not just with me as the therapist but also between the partners themselves.

A Harmonious Blend: Yoga and Psychotherapy

Delving deeper into the world of couples therapy, I discovered the work of Dr. Sue Johnson and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. It became evident that Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy seamlessly complemented this approach, offering couples the awareness essential for engaging in emotionally engaged "conversations" safely, that could redefine their relationship.

A Journey of Transformation

Embodied partner experiences with appropriate dialogue offer a profound path to self-discovery, connection, and healing. 

Through joint physical and emotional exploration, couples not only strengthen their bonds but also embrace their differences and resolve longstanding issues. This approach fosters personal growth, authenticity, and more profound relationships. As we continue to explore the synergies between yoga therapy and couples therapy, the potential for transformation and healing within relationships remains boundless.

Michael Lee, MA, is a master educator and yogi who founded Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy in 1985 after many years of deep yoga practice. He is the author of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy and Turn Stress Into Bliss.

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