Mr & Mrs
Couples who Savasana together, stay together, says Victoria Jackson, as she shares her yoga practice at home with her husband
My husband hasn’t been to a yoga class in ages. This isn’t because he isn’t interested and doesn’t practice (and it’s actually nothing to do with any local lockdown!). It’s simply that he’s happy doing yoga on his own at home and he never seems to need any inspiration from elsewhere. No teacher, no online tutorials, he doesn’t even read my column in OM!
Sometimes we practice at the same time. We’ll be side by side, sharing the space, but each doing our own thing. Our practices look pretty different and it sometimes feels a bit like Yoga Twister as we try to make our shapes fit together in a relatively small space. I suppose it encourages creativity in my transitions between poses as I try not to bump into him — or we find ourselves up close in a way that’s only really comfortable if you’re a married couple! This kind of thing usually gives us the giggles when it goes wrong and one of us accidentally unbalances the other. Perhaps this is our opportunity to practice yoga virtues like compassion and not get too serious or attached to the perfect outcomes of our individual practices. The shared experience is more precious than nailing any particular posture.
A shared yoga experience is one thing, but sharing yoga props is quite another and I think my husband knows it would be a divorcable offence to use my yoga mat. For the sake of marital harmony I’ve just bought him his own props so we don’t fight like children with their favourite toys. Now he has a set of fancy cork blocks for himself, it’s reduced the likelihood of un-yogic selfish squabbling.
So it’s all peace and harmony now...until my husband reaches his finishing poses. He’s winding down and getting quiet, ready for a comfortable and calming Savasana. And me? Well, I take a bit longer and I’m usually just getting to the most energetic part of my practice, working through inversions and hand balances. Not only do I have a strong Ujjayi breath going (or ‘huffing’ as my husband puts it), I’m also more likely to fall out of these postures with a thump and maybe a squeal of surprise. It’s not really conducive to his meditative moments. I’ve had to learn to pause in my practice to give him his quiet space. I’m thinking about getting a t-shirt printed up: ‘Couples who Savasana together, stay together’.
Victoria Jackson lives and teaches in Oxford. She is registered with Yoga Alliance Professionals as a Vinyasa yoga teacher.