Yoga of Communication
Yoga is the buzzword for a healthy body today for fitness freaks and for healthy spirit in the past for diviners. Could it possibly be used as a mantra for healthy relationships as well?
The word yoga means wholesome connection. For a spiritualist, yoga is connecting oneself to God by sacrificing ones focus, time and energy in meditating on God. The same elements when used in communication become the yoga for connecting two individuals.
Yoga of communication is essentially a combination of 3 limbs, viz., the yoga of interaction, yoga of participation and the yoga of non-intervention.
The yoga of interaction is practiced by pulling the mind away from personal needs, interests and concerns to focusing on the needs, interests and concerns of the one we want to connect with. Deep connections are forged when one learns the art of empathetically listening without diagnosing. If the deep-seated addiction to conclude before listening is sacrificed healthy interactions will begin.
Why was Rama loved so much? Just because He practiced the yoga of interaction perfectly! When a citizen achieve some success, Rama celebrated with the family. And when someone went through a loss, Rama cried more than the family members. Not that He actually offered solutions to their problems every time, but just by empathizing with their situation, He won their hearts. Rama knew that not every problem is meant to be solved, some are meant to be tolerated. Tolerating a problem becomes easy when there is adequate empathy available close by.
The yoga of participation is practiced by appreciating the opinion of others and when need be, sacrificing personal opinion in the fire of cooperation. Being a superman is about being right and having the solutions to all problems. Being a Hanuman is about valuing others opinions and abilities above your own.
When Hanuman met Sita in Lanka and was asked for his introducton. He replied he was the most insignificant of the monkeys in Sugriva’s army and therefore chosen to be a messenger. He increased Sita’s confidence by stating that if the most insignificant monkey could jump over the ocean and create havoc in the city of Lanka alone, then naturally all the mightier heroes put together will surely be able to rescue her and reconnect her to Rama. If this were the confidence he had in his friends privately, then naturally the confidence he had in them publically would be much greater. He appreciated and valued others knowing that people are happy to participate in a relationship to the extent they feel valued and wanted.
The yoga of non-intervention is by maintaining a healthy distance from those you want to connect with. One prefers seats in a plane with more leg space. Similarly one prefers space to be oneself. In the name of relationships, many a times, we squeeze the space out of people’s lives and force them to be a replica of ourselves. The yoga of non-intervention helps us appreciate and accept people the way they are while simultaneously allowing us to remain at peace in the way we are.
Each of the five Pandavas had their individual likes and dislikes. Arjuna never forced Bhima to learn archery. Yudhistir never criticized any of his brothers for not being as truthful as he was. Nakul never compared his looks with others. Sahadeva never discussed his superiority in knowledge of conversing with animals. And none of them were dissatisfied with their eating capacity by comparing with Bhima. By practicing the yoga of non-intervention, they remained deeply bonded and used their differences to strengthen the unity from multiple dimensions.
When communication becomes yoga, relationships breathe a sigh of relief!