Partner yoga or couple yoga is an opportunity for you to strengthen your relationship with your partner. You and your other half can improve your bond by working together on simple asanas. As you practise these exercises, you become gentler with yourselves and each other by guiding and supporting one another through each asana.
Regular practice of couple yoga will help you find deep love for yourself and your partner. Not only will you feel better about yourself and your life, but you will begin to behave differently towards each other as well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This was first published in the October 2015 issue of Complete Wellbeing.