We are constantly relating to our environment and surroundings as a means of understanding ourselves. We relate to our dogs, our friends, our bosses and especially our lovers as a way of seeing ourselves or adding greater meaning to our dynamic personalities. When we are relating to our boss, we may see the side of us that is anxious, hard-working and tenacious. When relating to our dog, we may see a side that is care-free and adventurous.
When we are on retreat with a lover, we will ideally share intimate moments together. However, we are continuously reminded of the person we are in relation to our partner. We are a husband, a wife, a provider, the decision maker, the adventurous one and so on. We are, to some degree, limited by a mirrored reflection, showing us only what we know of who we are relative to our partner’s perception of us and how we relate to our partner.
Yoga retreats are rich with opportunities to shift the way we experience our inner and outer universe. We are engaged with new people, places and practices such as yoga, mindfulness, meditation and adventure. All of these things can aid in this process, which is best realized when we have a fresh perspective and openness to explore ourselves. It can be altered by having a partner present who prevents us from relating to ourselves and our surroundings in a new way.
Some relationships are more evolved than others, so for those of us who have a strong practice in mindfulness and interdependence within a relationship, participating as a couple on a retreat can be rewarding. However, it is most oftentimes a powerful and transformational experience to go it alone, leaving all the old ways of defining yourself through a relationship behind and being entirely open to the possibilities within you.