Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone who speaks a different language? It can take a lot of energy, nuances can be missed and intention can be misunderstood – making communication difficult or non-existent. In Gary Chapman’s Book, The Five Love Languages, he presents the idea that we all “speak” and “hear” love differently, just like languages.
It makes sense doesn’t it? Your sweetie holds your hand (physical touch), trying to set a romantic mood, but what would really turn you on is if he unloaded the dishwasher (acts of service). Your sister sings your praises (words of affirmation), but what you would really enjoy is day together getting pedicures (quality time). These loved ones are all speaking love in one way or another, but if it’s not your language, it might get lost in translation.
This concept hit home for me several years ago when I first read the book. It helped me to understand my love languages (acts of service and words of affirmation), what I speak and what I hear most clearly and the love languages of my friends and family. It helped me to see that even though my loved ones weren’t speaking my language, they were expressing love in theirs. The piles of presents for my kids from grandma at Christmas were not just an exercise in retail excess, but each one was an sign of her love language, gifts.
The concept rings true at the yoga studio, a place bursting at the seams with love. I think that’s one of the reasons we are a home away, there’s a lot of love here in a lot of different languages. Every day, I see the different languages in action between the teachers and students.
- Physical Touch – a warm hug when arriving at the studio, confident touch when adjusting a pose or the loving touch of a savasana adjustment.
- Words of Affirmation – encouraging direction during class, recommendation of your favorite teacher or acknowlegement of a well-planned sequence.
- Quality Time – arriving to class a few minutes early, being completely present during class or staying after to talk about what you’ve discovered during practice.
- Gifts – delivering a tissue to an allergy afflicted yogi, the surprise of a perfectly warm chai tea latte or a discount on purchases.
- Acts of Service – providing personal modifications, putting away the props for a fellow student or researching a personal challenge.
So, what’s your love language? There’s no right or wrong answer. Take a minute to think about what fills you up and warms your heart. But, also take some time to think about how you can speak love to the people in your life more poignantly.
Enjoy the Journey!
(This blog was originally posted on yoginiinprogress.blogspot.com.)
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