Looking for a new healthy and exciting activity for you and your partner? Yoga is a great exercise that not only challenges you and your partner but can also deepen your overall relationship satisfaction. Feel one with each other.
Sounds great, right?
Benefits of Couples Yoga
First off, couples yoga can help increase your communication with your partner and thus increase motivation and inspiration. When you do certain poses, communication and connection is key. Couples yoga is also a great way for you to individually strengthen your muscles/core and overall yoga game. In addition, couples yoga strengthens trust in your relationship with each other. Best of all, it’s a great way to get to know each other on a more physical level through balance, movement and touch. In return, this can directly reduce anxiety and stress.
Furthermore, Julia Lehrman, a certified yoga instructor who teaches in both San Francisco and New York City explains that, “A couples yoga experience can serve as a kind of mini ‘retreat’ or ‘workshop’ to strengthen a relationship. Rather than just going to a class and practicing next to each other, couples yoga requires couples to really pay attention to each other in the moment and work together toward common goals.”
Anyone can participate in yoga, no matter your overall skill level. The below poses range from beginner to advance, but don’t be afraid to try all of them out!
1. Triple Hill Pose
This is a good warm up pose as it stretches out the shoulders and hamstrings. Start by standing up and facing your partner, about a foot apart. Next, raise your hands over your head, straight in the air and shoulder-width apart. Reach and press your palms and hands together. With your palms touching, you and your partner can slowly walk backwards until your foreheads are touching and your waists create a 90 degree angle from the floor. Be sure to keep your abs tighten, as they will help create a stretch in your shoulders and body overall. If you feel uncomfortable staring straight into your partner’s eyes, tuck your chin into your chest. Keep in this position for 5-7 seconds.
When ready to leave the stretch, both slowly walk your feet towards each other and come into a standing position. Take your outstretched hands and lower them back down so they end up at your sides.
2. Standing Trust Pose
Stand facing one another about 6 inches apart. Begin by clasping each other's hands one on top of the other's. Slowly begin leaning back, counter balancing each other's weight. Keep your torso strong and back straight while holding this pose for 5-10 breaths Smile at each other and then come out by walking your feet apart from one another.
3. Partner Boat Pose
As one of the more challenging poses, begin by sitting down, facing each other, knees bent and toes touching each other. Grab both of your partner’s wrists. Next, have the soles of your feet press together and slowly lean back, with your legs slowly stretched out and balance on your bottom/tailbone area. Your spine should be straight and chest lifted. Once in the boat pose, breathe for 5 to 10 seconds and then release and return back to the starting position.
4. Partner Dancer Pose
Start by standing and facing each other. Reach out and hold each other’s right hand. Bend the left knee, raise it behind you and grab either your ankle or middle of your foot with your left hand. Next, raise your right hands, which should still be together, to balance and hold the dancer pose for 5-10 seconds. Release both the left and right hands and return to the starting point. Alternate sides.
5. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Start by sitting back-to-back, cross legged. Next, breathe in and slowly raise your arms up. Exhale and twist to your right. Bring your arms down and grab with your right hand your partner’s left knee/thigh. Keep your left arm straight out in front of you and resting on your free knee. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Repeat and with each exhale, try to twist a bit deeper and alternate sides.
6. Flying Your Partner Pose
This is a beginner acro yoga pose where one partner is hoisted by the other on his/her feet. One partner lays flat on his/her back, bends at the waist and knees to place the soles of the feet on the other partner's midline. Feet are parallel and should be about where the hinge at the hip happens. The flying partner keeps a shape of locust throughout and stands about 6 - 10 inches from the base's hips. To callibrate, the base partner bends her knees and takes the weight of the flyer a few times first. (see image) Partners touch hands, and the base gently moves the flyer back to standing. Eventually the base partner brings in her knees and lifts the flying partner into the air ending with her legs at a 90 degree, column shape for the flyer to perch on. Their hands are connected and arms create another solid column. The base brings the flyer down by bending at the knees and lowering the flyer down to where he/she started.
Now that you know 6 poses, go, grab your partner and get your yoga on!Photos by @shiniyogi and @yogogirls
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