Partner Yoga: 5 Poses To Strengthen Your Body -- And Relationship

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PARTNER YOGA
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Yoga is no longer considered a solitary practice. The popularity of partner or couples yoga is on the rise, whether it is simply stretching side by side or aiding each other in a variety of poses.

Doing yoga with your partner is one way of practicing communication with each other, since you have to be attentive to your partner's body in each pose you do together. For many couples, it's a way of deepening the connection between two people and being present with each other.

Advanced practitioners of partner yoga have made it look like an art form, which can be intimidating for newcomers. It is best to keep in mind that the practice of yoga requires great patience and acceptance of the body's limitations. This sequence is perfect for beginners where one partner may have a bit of background in yoga.

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1. Side-By-Side Sun Salutations: Ease into the practice by going through the basic sun salutation while standing side-by-side. The goal in this sequence is to try to move and breathe in sync with your partner.

2. Double Forward Bend: Facing each other, sit on the floor and reach towards your toes in a forward bend. Press the soles of your feet into your partner's and clasp hands to take the intensity to a new level.

3. Seated Twist: In this pose, both partners sit in a cross-legged seated position facing each other. Inhale and lengthen your spine up and away from your tailbone. Exhale and each partner twists to the right, both of you reaching your right arm behind your back and holding your partner's left hand and repeating on the other side. Deepen this pose by gently pulling on your hands.

4. Down Dog/Back Bend: One partner gets into downward-facing dog pose. The other partner, position your feet on either side of the down-dogging partner's hands and use your hands to lower yourself onto your partner's back. Then, stretch your arms overhead, letting your weight rest upon your partner's back. Stay for a few breaths, and then trade places.

5. Forward & Back Bends: One partner gets into a forward bend, and the other gently sits on his or her lower back and slowly reclines into a backbend. Then, take your arms up and out and stretch them above your head. To add in a shoulder opener, your seated partner can reach for your wrists and pull them forward. Stay in this pose for a few breaths, and then trade places.

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