Have you ever felt like you're talking to a friend or loved one, but there's this unspoken distance between you? It's not about the words; it's like trying to dance Lindy Hop while the other person is doing Kizomba. It's as if you're not speaking the same language, not in words, but on a deeper level.
Aligning with someone else's rhythm is an art and sometimes it is easier, sometimes more challenging. Here's a simple yet profound exercise to find a common rhythm: back-to-back breathing - a technique I learned in bodywork and movement trainings. It's a fascinating practice as it feels different with each person. Another aspect of this art is letting go of expectations and meeting the other person from an open and neutral space, but that's a topic for another time.
Sit back to back with your partner, leaning onto each other. Pay attention to your breath, noticing each inhale and exhale. Spend some time doing that - noticing your breath.
Shift your focus to the point where your backs touch. Breathe deeply, expanding the surface in contact. Take a minute or two here.
Become aware of your partner's breath - be playful, attentive, and curious. Notice its depth, speed, and rhythm without imposing. Allow your partner to breathe as they are.
While maintaining focus on your partner's breath, gently work towards synchronizing your breath. Don't rush; the ultimate goal is the process itself. It's a conversation of breath - allow, don't force.
When you feel your breaths are in sync, stay in that moment. Lean onto each other a bit more, add subtle movements like swaying. Remember, - the goal is the process. Take your time and give each other time.
After a few minutes of back-to-back breathing (do it as long as it is comfortable), gradually create distance between your bodies, separating your backs. Bring your awareness back to your own breath. Now take a moment for yourself. Notice how do you feel when your bodies separate. It may be quite interesting to explore, too.
When to practice it?
Anytime, really. But if I may suggest - try it before an important, somewhat weighty conversation with your partner. This practice can help you both "get on the same wave". And riding the same wave helps to see and hear each other, fostering a shared understanding. After all, the ultimate goal to understand each other, not proving a point, isn't it?