Share your yoga practice with a partner: a romantic partner, a best friend, a sibling, anyone you love spending time with and don’t mind getting very close to. It’s a fun way to connect and let loose together.
Do you need to be seasoned yogis? Does it matter if neither of you have ever tried yoga or if one of you is a beginner while the other is advanced? Not one bit. This is a fun way to try yoga for the first time or to introduce it to a loved one. Many of the poses are fairly simple to do and there are some challenging ones that you can work your way up to. The latter will require practice and experience.
Benefit from a stronger mind and body connection and deeper trust all while having some laughs and working through some physical and mental challenges as you try new things together.
Follow these principles when you practise with a partner:
- Communicate with your partner. Use eye contact, hand squeezes and verbal cues freely to let each other know how you feel, when to give more and when to ease off.
- Be patient with one another and respect each other’s needs and wishes.
- Think positive, open your mind and your heart.
- Check any competitive feelings at the door.
Here are a few simple examples you can try. All you need is a partner and a couple of yoga mats or a comfortable surface that’s not too slippery.
Seated forward fold
- Sit facing your partner, legs extended with the soles of your feet touching.
- Clasp each other’s forearms.
- Together, take a deep breath in, then as you exhale, partner one leans back slowly gently pulling partner two forward into a seated fold. Hold the position for a couple of breaths and then repeat in the opposite direction.
- Check in with your partner to make sure they feel a stretch and just the right amount.
- Stand side by side in mountain pose, the side of your shoulder and foot touching your partner’s.
- Wrap the inside arm, the arm closest to one another, around each other’s waists.
- Turn the outside leg, the one furthest from one another, outward. Bend your knee and place the sole of your foot on your inner ankle, calf or thigh.
- Place your outside hand against your partners outside hand in prayer.
- Hold for five breaths as you balance together. You can challenge your balance further by trying to close your eyes.
- Sit cross legged facing each other.
- Inhale to lengthen spine. Exhale to twist toward your right (away from each other).
- Extend your left arm toward the right to clasp your partner’s left hand.
- Wrap your right arm around your back and try to clasp your partner’s right hand.
- On each inhale, lift your chest. On each exhale, use your arms to gently deepen your twist.
- Practice for five breaths on each side.
Look for partner yoga workshops at your local yoga studio. These classes may not be on any studio’s weekly timetable but may be offered as a special workshop or class. So if you don’t see it on their timetable or website, call and ask. If they don’t offer it, they may be able to refer you to someone who does.
Katya Mohsen is a personal trainer with more than 10 years of experience in fitness and sports training. Catch her practical fitness advice Thursdays on Slice.ca.