Embracing Our Vulnerability Through Partner Yoga

In a recent self-care workshop I facilitated, we sat back to back with a partner and contemplated a particular question. We then took time to listen with our full attention—to our own hearts, and to our partners.

Although this practice took only about five minutes, I made a connection with my partner that I will never forget. It reminded me once again of how much we all want to see and be seen, to reveal the deepest and often hidden parts of ourselves and have them received by another. I saw myself in what she shared and knew that we were the same, not different. I felt so honored by this young woman who was willing to reveal these tender parts of herself.

I know that it takes courage and trust to reveal these deeper parts of ourselves—and I also know, from my own experience, the liberation that comes from taking the risk to do so.

I see more clearly than ever that, when we are willing to share our vulnerability, we bring what is hidden into the light, and our lives change. We become more of who we really are, which is why we are here—to do, be, and share our true selves.

I am reminded of these words from the Gospel of Thomas, which I heard many years ago and have never forgotten: ”If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

To me, this speaks to the importance of discovering and revealing the deepest parts of our being, which is the greatest gift of partner yoga. We come to know ourselves through each other, through courageously revealing what we discover. The result is joy, the deep joy of living in our true nature.

I continue to be fascinated by the power of vulnerability—how it connects us to our heart and is the bridge between our human and spiritual natures. In my own experience of sharing partner yoga practices over many years, I see the irony in how we all think we need to show up with everything figured out already—and yet it is through our vulnerability that we fall in love with each other.

It’s easy to imagine that partner yoga is simply about deepening into postures. Yes, that is a wonderful benefit, but the practice is really so much more than the physical forms. Partner yoga is an opportunity to experience our shared humanity, to practice deep listening, and to expand into more of who we truly are.

Each time we are willing to open and share ourselves authentically, we are richly rewarded.

Find out about upcoming programs with Elysabeth Williamson at Kripalu.

This article originally appeared on Elysabeth's blog.

Elysabeth Williamson, E-RYT 500, internationally recognized as the foremost authority on partner yoga, is author of The Pleasures and Principles of Partner Yoga.

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