In the most basic sense, partner yoga is two people exercising together in a form of yoga poses. It brings about a relationship of touch and trust between two people. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a form of exercise just for couples but can be done between child and parent, friends and even complete strangers.
Types of Partner Yoga
Two types of partner yoga exist: shared and supported. In shared positions, each partner assumes a yoga pose and is supported by the other. In supported poses, one partner assumes the pose while being supported by the other.
Benefits of Partner Yoga
- Increased intimacy and communication between two people
- Re-establishment of bonds in a relationship. Many partner yoga positions require a sense of faith in the partner to support them in the position
- Lessons about an exerciser’s body in relation to anothers
Examples of Partner Yoga
There are many types of partner yoga positions. Below are samples.
Double Straddle: A good position for couples. It allows them to gaze in each others eyes in loving intimacy. It also opens the legs and pelvis together and allows hearts to face each other.
It involves sitting together facing each other. Each partners’ legs will be open in a straddle position. Feet will be pressed together. By holding arms or hands together and pressing knees to the floor, the couple will lengthen their spines. They should then try to stretch further and inch together and attempt to grab each others legs instead of arms and hands. This position should be held for 30 – 60 seconds.
Heart Opener: This position is good for parent and child partners. The first partner sits upright with legs extended before her. With backs touching, the second partner kneels behind the first. The second partner then bends forward until her head touches the ground. Each partner stretches their arms together until they can touch hands with each other. Gently, the second partner guides her partner’s arms to the floor. This position should be held for a minute or two, then roles are reversed and the position is repeated.
Lifted Cobra: This position is a good one for friends because it requires a feeling of trust in your partner that she will support you and not let you fall.
The first partner lies on her back with feet in the air. Standing in front of the first, the second partner places her knees on her partner’s feet. The second partner then leans forward to support herself on her partner’s feet. The first partner bends her knees to support her partner’s weight and both partners touch palms with the other. Placing her feet against her partner’s hips, the first partner extends her legs and lifts her partner into the air. With both partners pressing their hands together, the second partner straightens her legs and arches her back. This position should be held for 10 – 30 seconds.
These positions require a sense of cooperation and trust. By opening up communication, they can help improve or strengthen the bonds between two people, or become an icebreaker to get to know someone new.