It’s not that Neil doesn’t have the desire to go to yoga class. He does. But first he had a big book deadline, then we were packing up and relocating for his sabbatical. And then another big book deadline. And Lucien starting school. And a new apartment to set up. And out of town work trips. And an academic journal to edit. And on and on; so much getting in between Neil and his yoga practice.
Then there’s one more impediment: me.
This is awful to say but I fear that the real reason Neil has stopped going to yoga class is simple; I have stopped making him go.
I don’t mean forcing him out the door (though there have been Sunday mornings when it felt like that), but finding an appropriate class and teacher, carving out time in his schedule, taking care of our son during his class time. Even going out and buying him shorts and a T-shirt so he’d have something to wear to yoga class.
Is it my responsibility to schedule my husband’s yoga time?
Part of me, the selfish part, says no, of course not. Isn’t that his job? But the yogi in me says, maybe.
After all, I want Neil to practice yoga for all the right reasons. Because I love him and care about his health; because he works so hard both in the office and at home and needs and deserves a weekly break; because a more relaxed and rested husband means a happier family. The truth is Neil probably wouldn’t do yoga if I didn’t encourage (read: “make”) him.
And what about the many, many times Neil has made it possible for me to practice?
Still, lately, when it’s come down to it, I’ve been hoarding that yoga class time for myself. With all the changes in our life recently, I’ve had a hard time reestablishing my home practice and have relied on my one or two yoga classes a week for my practice. It’s been hard to want to halve that in order to make sure Neil practices, too.
But the other day on a Sunday afternoon, Neil and Lucien were out and I finally took out my mat, my blankets, my chair, my yoga props and spent a glorious hour plus on the living room floor returning to my practice.
As I sat in meditation at the end of my home session, I couldn’t help but think about my next project: Getting Neil back to yoga class.
Does your partner practice? Do you feel a responsibility for getting her or him to class?
Jessica Berger Gross is the author of enLIGHTened: How I Lost 40 Pounds with a Yoga Mat, Fresh Pineapples, and a Beagle Pointer (Skyhorse), out in paperback now. She’s spending the year in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and five-year-old son. “Like” her author page on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter. Visit her at www.jessicabergergross.com.