What your yoga practice says about your love life

To a yogi, chakras—or energy centers in the body—matter, and if they're effed up because of your effed-up love life, that can manifest itself physically.

yoga pose heart opener

During a recent yoga class, the instructor watched me struggle into a hip-opening pose like last season’s skinny jeans. My hips were tight. Really tight.

“Wow,” she laughed. “You must have some past lovers caught up in there.”

Wait, what? I told myself to file this under “Shit yoga teachers say.”

But still, I found it intriguing—and hilarious. Not that it could have been true. (Cue throat clearing and staring at the floor.)

So, what the heck did she mean? Turns out my Jivamukti-trained instructor, Danielle Tafeen, who also teaches at Yoga Vida and Sacred Sounds, was talking ’bout chakras.

To a yogi, chakras—or energy centers in the body—matter, and if they’re effed up because of your effed-up love life, that can affect y0u physically. “The physical body is a manifestation of your subtle body, where the chakras are,” says Tafeen.

But its the same in the other direction. You can use yoga to open up those blocked chakras and release that I’ve-been-burned-by-love energy, she says.

So what does your yoga practice says about your love life? Tafeen tells us three tell-tale issues and how to work them out the mat. (Just maybe don’t give yourself a deadline of February 14.)

Danielle Tafeen (Photo: Daniel Francisco)
The hips don't lie, says Danielle Tafeen (Photo: Daniel Francisco)

Problem The key to opening your hips was lost, forever.
Chakra clog Sacral. This chakra is about your connection to people, and is your “sexual center,” says Tafeen. So, your college years probably live here.
Solution Deliver yourself some serious pigeon pose (to the tune of Purple Rain, if possible), and feel all those blurry, unsatisfying nights melt away.

Problem Your pre-practice green juice gives you indigestion, cutting short your time on the mat.
Chakra clog Solar Plexus. Welcome to your ego center. It’s where the really nice guys or girls you never called back hang out, eating Ben & Jerry’s.
Solution Wring out your ego in a seated spinal twist or any other twisty pose.

Problem Your shoulders are permanently round, no matter how many times you salute the sun.
Chakra clog Heart. The jerks who broke up with you via text message live here, and they make you close yourself off to love. Come on, Madonna’s begging you: Open your heart to…someone!
Solution Push up into a bridge or wheel. “Make sure the back bend comes from right behind your heart,” says Tafeen, not from your lower back. It’ll be like shouting, “I’m finally ready!”

And heck, if these tips don’t do the trick, there’s always Medidating. —Lisa Elaine Held

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