How couples yoga helps strengthen your relationship with your partner (With photos)

Through these seven asanas, yoga expert Sunaina Rekhi shows you how you can connect with your partner

Couple sitting cross legged with backs touching, doing partner yoga

Partner yoga or couples yoga is an opportunity for you to strengthen your relationship with your partner. You and your partner can improve the bond your share by working together on simple asanas. As you practise these exercises, you will become gentler with yourselves and with each other by guiding and supporting one another through each asana.

Practising yoga with your partner can help build trust and boost intimacy between the two of you. Regular practice of couples yoga will help you find deep love for yourself and your partner. Not only will each of you feel centred, relaxed and confident about yourselves, but you will also begin to relate better with each other — you will find yourself being more loving, tolerant, and accepting towards your beloved.

Before you begin each session, say, “Thank you,” in advance to your partner for the spiritual experience in which you both will participate. Expressing gratitude shows your loved one that you have confidence in their ability to embark on this journey.

7 couples yoga asanas to strengthen your relationship

Start by breathe slowly and deeply. Bring your attention to the present moment. Connect with your body and notice that your partner is with you too — in body, mind, and spirit. Now you can begin practising the couples asanas. Remember to have fun doing it while giving it your all.

1. Twin Trees

Start by standing a few feet apart from your partner, facing the front.

Next, move your palms toward each other, with the arms in a T-shape, or draw your elbows and palms together in the shape of a cactus.

Start to shift your weight onto your right foot and draw the left leg into tree pose by bending the knee and bringing the left foot to the right ankle, calf or inner thigh.

Your partner will shift the weight onto his or her left foot and bring the right foot to the left ankle, calf or inner thigh.

Help to balance each other for five breaths. Then release each other, turn around to face the back and repeat on the opposite side.

Couple demonstrating the Twin Trees yoga pose
Partner Yoga: The Twin Trees Pose

2. Couples Down Dog/ Back Bend

Start this pose with your partner in downward facing dog.

Then take your partner deeper in their stretch, by placing your feet in between his or her hands and lowering yourself onto his or her back.

Stretch your arms overhead and give yourself a backbend in this position.

Stay for several breaths and then swap places.

Couple doing the Down dog or back bend yoga pose
Partner Yoga: The Down Dog / Back Bend pose

3. Chair Pose with Partner

Start by facing each other, standing with feet hip-width apart.

Inhale as you extend your arms out to your partner.

Holding each others hands, begin to bend your knees and squat. Make sure that the knees do not cross your feet.

Try to take your thighs as parallel to the floor as possible. In this pose, the taller partner will have to provide more support to the shorter one.

Stay in this pose for five breaths.

Couple doing the chair pose / Yoga
Partner Yoga: The Chair Pose

4. Partner Twist

Begin in a seated position, with your legs crossed and your spines touching each other.

Inhale and raise your arms over your head, holding each other’s hands or wrists, and start to lengthen the spine.

Exhale and twist to the right. As you do so, bring your right hand on your partner’s left knee and your left hand on your right knee or thigh. Your partner should mirror the movement.

Hold this pose for five breaths. Then exhale, untwist and repeat on the opposite side.

Not only does the twist assist in cleansing and detoxifying the body, but it also gives you a chance to initiate playfulness with your partner.

Couple doing the partner twist pose of yoga
Partner Yoga: The Partner Twist pose

5. Partner Forward Fold

To begin, sit opposite each other, with both your legs extended in a V-shape.

Bring the soles of your feet together. Then extend your arms toward each other and hold your partner’s wrist or forearm. Inhale as you lengthen your spine and exhale as you start to bend forward, with your heart moving towards your partner rather than downward to the floor.

Hold for five breaths.

Couple doing the partner forward fold pose of yoga
Partner Yoga: The Partner Forward Fold pose

6. Partner Breathing

Sit crossed legged, with your back resting against your partner’s, and your spines touching each other’s. Your hands should rest on your thighs.

Allow yourself to feel and connect with your partner through inhalations and exhalations.

Start to breathe alternately with your partner, so that as you inhale, he or she exhales; conversely, as she or he inhales, you exhale. Repeat for three minutes.

This exercise helps you to connect with your partner, to be aware of your breathing, and to open your heart.

Couple sitting in the partner breathing pose of yoga
Partner Yoga: The Partner Breathing pose

7. Boat Pose

Begin by sitting on opposite sides of the mat, keeping the legs together. Hold your partner’s hands outside your hips.

Keeping your spine straight, raise your legs and touch your sole to your partner’s. Try to find balance as you straighten your legs up to the sky.

You can start practising this pose by straightening only one leg at a time, till you find the balance.

Stay in this pose for five breaths, consciously gazing into your partner’s eyes.

To get out of the pose, slowly lower your legs and let your hands go.

Couple doing the boat pose of yoga
Partner Yoga: The Boat pose

This was first published in the October 2015 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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