No matter how long you’ve been with your partner, it can be all too easy to slide into a nightly routine of dinner, TV and bed. If this leaves you longing for more, then a couples yoga practice may be just the thing to bring back the intimacy and fun to your relationship.
Couples yoga is about giving and receiving. It prompts a sense of fun and play that can bring freshness to a relationship. This form of yoga builds trust as you hold, support and balance your bodies in unison.
Working together through the postures, you rely on one another for alignment and focus, creating a level of deep connection and communication, both verbally and physically.
As you build your couples yoga practice over time, the sense of accomplishing something together can bring joy and fulfillment to your relationship, creating memories of a deeply shared experience.
The very word ‘yoga’ means ‘to yoke’ or ‘to join.’ What better way to celebrate the season of love than to give this practice a try?
Here are five partner poses to get you started.
Start by facing your partner in a standing position, feet hip width apart or slightly wider. Extend both arms overhead and hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back flat, until your hands meet your partner’s hands. If you have the flexibility, slowly continue to fold forward toward each other to bring elbows, forearms and hands resting against each other.
Rest equal weight against one another and look into your partner’s eyes, breathing together. Hold for 5-7 breaths and slowly walk toward each other, bringing the torso up and releasing the arms down.
Begin in a cross-legged seated position, back to back with your partner. Get as close as is comfortable, resting against each other. Inhale and reach the arms overhead.
As you exhale, one partner exhales to the right, bringing right hand to the inside of partner’s left knee. The other partner will mirror, exhaling to the left and bringing the left hand to the inside of the partner’s right knee.
Trust your partner to hold you steady as you work to deepen the twist with each exhale by using the leverage of your hand on their knee. Hold for 3-5 breaths and then repeat on the opposite side.
Partner Forward Fold
Begin seated facing each other. Extend legs out into a wide V-shape, knees up, soles of the feet touching.
Extend arms up and toward each other. Clasp forearms, the partner folding forward will place hands palm down on their partner’s inner forearms, and the partner remaining seated will support with palms facing up under their partner’s forearms.
Exhale as one partner slowly folds forward from the hips and the other partner sits back, keeping the spine and arms straight. Listen for your partner’s cues so you don’t fold him or her too far – just to a comfortable tension and stretch through the back.
Hold for 5-7 breaths, allowing yourself to soften into the pose, then switch sides, reversing the arm grip as the other partner folds forward.
Breathing together in sync can be a very intimate experience. Sit back to back with your partner, as close to as is comfortable, in a cross-legged position. Allow your partner to support you as you lean into one another. If flexibility is an issue, simply extend your legs forward with your backs touching.
Reach your hands behind you to rest on your partner’s hips or thighs, or clasp one another’s hands. Begin taking slow, deep breaths and work towards synchronizing your inhales and exhales. Continue for 3-5 minutes.
This pose can be challenging, and should only be attempted if both partners have established full-body strength and balance. It calls for the strongest sense of trust and communication between partners.
Here, one partner acts as the ‘base’ and lies on their back, knees bent and legs towards the ceiling. The other partner takes the role of ‘flyer’ and stands in front of the base partner, clasping their hands and leaning into their feet. The base partner adjusts their feet into the flyer’s hip crease, turning the toes slightly out.
The base partner keeps strong and steady arms as the flyer leans their weight into the base partner’s feet. Then the base partner slowly extends their legs and the flyer takes flight.
Partners can keep the hands clasped. If the flyer feels stable and comfortable, they can extend their arms forward next to the ears in a ‘superman’ posture.