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Yoga (not just) for Lovers

Is it possible to remain friends with your ex? Yes it is, and even go out on a Valentine’s Day date no less! yoga+ student Rica shares how an ex-couple experienced a yoga class for couples. 

2014.02.01 yoga for lovers

We were together for seven years and never had a Valentine’s Day date. After six years of being just friends, I somehow managed to convince my ex to join me on a Valentine’s Day date. Of sorts. We attended yoga+’s Valentine’s Day partner yoga class to be exact. With the majority of the class composed of married, engaged, or exclusively seeing each other couples, I wondered, how awkward is this going to be?

Knowing that Yoga for Lovers was going to be led by Dona and David Esteban, somehow reassured me that at least there will be a lot to learn in class.

We loosened up with silly and playful exercises where we walked around the room, in varying speeds, and then stopping to ask the person nearest us what their favorite color was, what food they like to eat the most, and who was their first kiss.

How you relate to others is a result of how you treat yourself.

We started the workshop proper by sitting still, breathing, and observing without agenda. First we sat by ourselves, and then we sat facing each other. Several sensations and feelings about myself and him arose. I noticed that after all these years and all our history, we can still be comfortable with each other. One has to admit though that being in a “Yoga for Lovers” class did add some tiny amount of tension in the beginning.

The short yin yoga sequence focusing on the kidney meridian that followed shortly after released whatever tension I was feeling. Good thing too because the next exercise was to give our partners a Thai massage.

When I was the one giving the massage, I noticed some patterns and thoughts resurfacing as I remembered how this was my role before in our old relationship – I considered myself the giver. As the memories of being spent, of being the one who had to “work for the relationship” resurface, I wondered why these things still bother me after all these years. After the massage, he said, your hands are sweating. They feel too warm.

When it was his turn to give me a massage, it felt not quite comfortable for me as this was something that I have not considered before – that I should also learn to receive care. As I allowed myself to be comfortable in receiving the massage from him, I realized that taking my partner’s offering to care for me was also a form of giving.


It ends the same way it starts – with the breath. I breathed in, breathed out, felt that my hands have lost the tension that was there before.

Relaxed and with the feeling of long delayed closure, we left the studio and celebrated how we have remained friends after everything over steaming bowls of ramen. If anything, we both still shared several things in common most especially good company and good food.

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