Partner yoga is a fun and exciting way to connect with friends or lovers. Try out these four poses to deepen your practice—and your relationships!
Partner Seated Meditation
This is the perfect way to relax and connect with your partner before your practice!
Getting in the pose: Sit back to back in a comfortable cross-legged position with your hands on your laps or on your knees. Be mindful and aware of your partner’s presence. Feel where your backs and hips make contact with one another’s. Notice the rhythm of your partner’s breath, as their back expands on their inhalations, and contracts on their exhalations. If you wish, gently synchronize your breaths, so that you are inhaling as your partner exhales.
Extension: For a gentle warm-up exercise, try a partner twist. On an exhalation bring your right hand to your partner’s left knee, and your left hand to your own right knee, using each other as support for a gentle twist. Come back to center on an inhalation, and as you exhale again twist to the other side. Do 5 of these twists together.
Double Standing Forward Bend
It will be hard to do forward bends on your own after experiencing the deep stretch that this posture gives you!
Getting in the pose: Stand back to back leaving about 6 inches in between you and your partner’s heels. Inhale and stretch your arms over your head, lengthening the spine. Exhale and fold forward from the hips, allowing your hands to reach behind your towards your partner’s. Continue to walk your hands along your partner’s arms until you reach their shoulders or the extent of your flexibility. On your inhalations, lengthen the spine. On your exhalations, allow your hands to move further along your partner’s arms. Stay here for five deep breaths or longer!
Modification: One or both of you can keep your knees slightly bent in this posture if the stretch is too intense with straight legs.
Partner Forward Bend and Warrior 3
Doing yoga poses with a partner can provide you both with extra support, and allow you to perform postures you may not be able to do by yourself!
Getting in the pose: Stand facing your partner about 3 steps away from each other. Together, inhale and lift your arms over your head, exhale and reach your arms forward towards one another. Take hold of your partner’s forearms or wrists and slowly shift your hands closer to their shoulders as you move your torsos toward the floor. When you are both feeling a stretch in the back of your legs and across the spine, hold for 5 deep breaths.
Extension: Bring both of your torsos so they’re parallel to the ground and you have a firm grip on your partner’s upper arms or shoulders. On your next inhalation, lift your right legs and extend them behind you so that they’re parallel to the floor. Hold this partner warrior 3 pose for 5 deep breaths, and then practice on the other side.
Couples Boat Pose
This is a fun balancing pose to try out with your partner. Once you’ve mastered it, it will feel effortless!
Getting in the pose: Sit on the floor facing each other with your knees bent, and your feet pressed into the floor. Leave about 6 inches between you and your partner’s toes. Reach in front of you and hold on to each other’s hands or forearms, depending on your proportions. Once you feel stable, lift your feet, press them into your partner’s, and slowly begin to straighten your legs until they’re completely straight. Try to keep your spine straight and your core engaged. Hold for 5 deep breaths if you can!
Modification: Feel free to keep your knees bent if the stretch on your hamstrings is too intense when you try to straighten your legs.
As you practice these postures, make sure you communicate openly and clearly with each other about your needs and limits.