Navy couple connects, strengthens bond through yoga

Photo courtesy of Rosie Torres
Photo courtesy of Rosie Torres

Navy couple connects, strengthens bond through yoga

by Rosie Torres
Stripes Okinawa

I am no stranger to Navy life. I am a Navy spouse, was prior enlisted and have been an ombudsman of my husband Miguel’s command for the last four years. On top of that, I am currently halfway through earning my doctoral degree in psychology. Navy life is busy and as a couple, my husband and I have grown up together and learned through our changes as we continue to grow.

For us, acro yoga, or partner yoga, has been beneficial both on individual and collective levels in our relationship and outside of it. I cannot emphasize the psychological and physiological benefits of yoga enough. Not only have we strengthened our initial partnership but also learned to be more mindful and in control of our emotions, thoughts and behaviors. These positive effects are also reflected in our daily lives and interactions at home and in the workplace.

Our introduction to partner yoga was back in 2013 when we were stationed at Misawa Air Base. Like most sailors, my spouse's work schedule varies, and we attempted to practice at home, the gym, or outside whenever time permitted. Our children, then ages seven and five, would get a kick out of watching us practice partner yoga as it involved many fall outs due to trial and error. The laughs were a bonus and for the children, it was a great example of physical fitness and bonding.

In the fall of 2016, we PCSd to CFAS Sasebo, our current home until we PCS again to Yokosuka Naval Base this fall. At Sasebo, we took advantage of the travel opportunities and had almost forgotten how much enjoyment acro yoga brought us.

As COVID-19 approached and the subsequent lockdown happened, we dove back into our partner workouts at home. We had come along way over the years as we reflected on some of the photos we took of our past poses. During this time, we used our short runs along the trails of the beautiful Huis Ten Bousch park near Sasebo, we made stops to grab quick snapshots of yoga poses together. We were proud of the progress we’d made since starting in 2013.

In May, we even participated in a community group online yoga challenge where we recorded simple beginner partner yoga poses/stretches to share with others who had never tried acro yoga. Although the practice is something we enjoy on our own, we were happy to have shared our experiences with other spouses in our community.

Through partner/acro yoga we have strengthened our relationship through better communication, trust, patience, and support. All of these concepts are quickly put into use with each pose and practice.

Too often, we get complacent with our roles within a military career and that of a supportive spouse. By engaging in this practice, it has allowed us to keep our initial foundational focus of us at the forefront. It has brought comfort and strength to many areas of our personal and professional roles in life thus far. The gains in communication and support has taken us a long time to achieve, but the benefit of acro yoga has stayed with us throughout our marriage.

Rosie Torres and her husband, Miguel, are originally from San Antonio, Texas. Torres served in the Navy and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Psychology. The Torres Family will PCS to Yokosuka Naval Base in the fall.

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