For the vast majority of attached Yoga types, a non-practicing spouse is a guy. I must be one of maybe, oh I don’t know…nine…male Ashtangis on this planet who has a non-practicing female partner. My stories of the way we interplay regarding Yoga would not resonate with yoginis who grapple with non-practicing men. I don’t know for sure, but I imagine a lot of guys roll their eyes dismissively while their yogic girlfriends and wives effervesce about how ‘deep and meaningful’ their practice is and what chanting has done for them lately.
At the end of the day, I’m still a guy and she’s a girl. Which means that she is wildly enthusiastic and encouraging about (my practicing) Yoga…and I’m frustrated as all hell that she’s never practiced a single asana.
I remember three or four years ago, she came back from an afternoon of browsing at Indigo with a ‘Yoga book’ for me. ‘I’ve bought a Yoga book for you!’ She announced cheerfully. I don’t remember my reaction, but I paint a picture of myself: Warily, I might have gazed at her, I’m biting my lower lip, bracing myself what is surely about to underwhelm me. She pulls out the book – it’s pervasive white cover-thin orange border trademark identifies it across the room. I’m not good at diplomacy (ironic that I was trained to work in the foreign service). I let out an involuntary sigh. I was obviously pissed off and she read me like the book she was holding. I laugh (and cringe) now thinking about it. She was as stunned and hurt at my complete ingratitude as I was at her complete misapprehension of ‘what I was all about‘. In recollecting it all now, I realize now that was I a bit of a pr*ck – I even remember inquiring as to whether she’d kept the receipt. I feel bad about it now. She meant well. She always does.
I should add that I’m happily married and contented. Indeed, I am well-pleased at how things have turned out in my life – including my choice of a lifelong partner. But my spouse (and I guess this is often true of many others) reflects to a degree who I was when I met her, rather than who I am now. For example, I married a vegetarian largely because I myself was one. (Incidentally, I now realise that vegetarianism was the beginning of my practice. Long before I even knew or understood that I would take up Yoga so thoroughly, it was the kernel of an embryonic practice).
Since then, Yoga has thorougly enveloped my life and now shapes my thoughts in a profoundly comprehensive way. I seem to view all things through the yogic lense. And in this increasingly fundamental aspect of my life, her absence is blaringly conspicious. I hold my hand up and readily admit that I wish she practiced (I’m bound to – after all, If I think it holds the road to salvation for everyone, naturally I’d want her to have a piece).
I bet she would practice. I need to find a way to make it easier for her to join me.
This post is for a kindred soul.