Studies show that yoga can be a wonderful escape from the stressors of daily life, while increasing your flexibility and strength. Additional benefits can be found when incorporating these calming and toning practices with a loved one. Julia Lehrman, a licensed psychotherapist and certified yoga instructor, says 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.”
Here are 5 benefits from learning and executing yoga moves with your S.O
Physical and emotional support - Yoga poses create a strong connection between you and your partner. Since the two of you work off of each others efforts to maintain balance, alignment and focus it can be extremely therapeutic for the both of you.
Power of touch - Human touch is so powerful. With yoga, we use the touch that we receive to increase awareness to your partner while allowing energy to flow through greater depths of mind, body and soul. To read more on human touch click here.
Learn to trust - Yoga is all about balance and alignment. By doing this you are actually putting your trust in the person doing yoga with you. This practice allows you to open up and let go which can help create that childlike approach to life.
Creates shared memories - Moments such as these are precious, today more than ever. When was the last time you were able to spend such moments with your partner, focused on building a connection through shared energy? This practice can be major to your relationship and personal life.
Create intimacy - Touch. Once again I'd like to briefly mention the power of human touch. Touch is what creates a spark. When your S.O touches you gently, when you can feel his or her soft breath, when you work together to create balance and harmony within. This kind of intimacy is difficult to achieve because you both need focus, trust and lots of practice. Creating intimacy is a skill and partner yoga is a great place to start.
Here are 4 different beginner poses you can try with anyone.
(Images taken from omandthecityblog.com)
Child's Pose/ Back bend - One partner finds a wide-legged child's pose. The other partner will gently roll themselves onto their partner's back either keeping legs straight out in front or bringing them to virasana/hero pose for a quad stretch. Synchronize with your partner's breath to inspire a solid connection. Imagine your body is melting like liquid onto your partner and then into the ground.
Double Boat Pose - Sit facing one another. Bend your knees, press soles of feet together, and grasp each other's hands or forearms. Keeping feet together, slowly lean back, while lengthening legs and reaching feet upward to a boat pose. Make sure to breathe here and engage your core!
Down Dog/ Child's Pose - Who doesn't love a good massage? Let one partner find a wide-legged child's pose with arms reaching out at shoulder-width distance. The other partner will stand facing partner and allow their ankles to be grasped. Standing partner will walk the feet back slightly until partner's elbows lift off the ground for a nice stretch in the arms. Standing partner will hinge forward assuming a down dog position, and place hands onto the fleshy area of their partner's hips. Press weight forward into the hands, and start to knead out partner's squishy hip area. Feels oh so good for the partner in child's pose, while also getting a nice hamstring stretch for the standing partner.
Wide Leg Forward Bend - Stand a couple feet away from your partner with backs facing each other. Straddle feet slightly wider than mat's width distance. Make sure your feet are parallel with toes pointing forward. Reach up and lengthen on an inhale, and exhale fold forward with a flat back. Find your partner's hands/forearms between your legs and once you're secured, let your weight shift towards the balls of your feet.