If you're married or are in a long-term relationship, finding creative ways to connect with your other half and deepen your partnership can be tough.
Partner yoga accomponied with communication is a great way to create a foundation for openness, confidence, and understanding with each other. The most important thing about partner yoga is, being open and honest with each other and keeping it lighthearted and fun.
These 4 couples' yoga poses are meant to help strengthen the bond between partners. Focus on your breath and take your time. Make sure you and your partner are talking to each other through each pose to ensure you're in the correct position and are both feeling the proper stretch.
Make eye contact with one another and watch the intimacy deepen as you develop your practice together.
Seated Centering & Grounding Pose
Grounding and centering are a great way to start any yoga practice. It allows you to connect with your spiritual and physical environment and prepare your mind for the practice you’re about to begin. Mindset and meditation are important aspects of a successful yoga practice.
How to do it: Sit cross-legged, facing your partner with your hands on each other’s knees. If sitting cross-legged is uncomfortable, sit up on a folded towel or pillow for more support. Look into your partner’s eyes, taking a few moments to truly see the other person. Take 10 deep breaths in and out and allow for a deeper connection without words. We can get so busy in our daily lives that we forget the importance of truly seeing each other for who we are.
2. Seated Cat/Cow
Cat cows are two yoga poses that are usually paired together. It is a great stretch for the hip, core, and back muscles. Seated cat cows also help with expanding the lungs and chest, so be sure to focus on breathing during this position.
How to do it: Remain seated and reach for each other’s forearms. Maintain a firm grip as you release your shoulders down and back. On the inhale, lift your chest up to the ceiling, allowing for a slight arch in your upper middle back. As you exhale, draw your chin into your chest, rounding through your upper middle back and spreading your shoulder blades wide apart. Continue the same movement for a few cycles of breath, and as you warm up your spine, you may lift your gaze up to the ceiling as you inhale and allow your gaze to fall to your belly button as you exhale. Do 10 to 12 rounds, developing trust while using the support of your partner to find a sense of spaciousness in your chest and upper back.
3. Back to Back Chair Pose
This is a great pose for beginner yogis because you can use each other for support. Chair pose is a great way to strengthen the muscles in your thighs and feet while increasing ankle mobility. For more advanced yogis, use each other to deepen your stretch.
How to do it: Stand back-to-back with your arms relaxed by your sides. Press your backs firmly together as you walk your feet hip-width apart and then slightly away from your partner’s. Slowly bend your knees and lower down as if you are sitting on a chair. Once you reach a 90-degree angle in your knees, pause and take five to six steady breaths. Be sure to lift the crown of your head and maintain length in your spine, pressing down evenly through both feet. To transition out, press into each other to straighten the legs. This exercise helps build trust, especially during the transition from standing to chair when you’re using the support of your partner.
4. Seated Forward Back Bend
The forward bend and backbend are meant to be an intense stretch for the legs and back. This pose can also be a bit challenging, especially if one partner is more flexible than the other. So be sure to communicate and take it slow, otherwise, you or your partner can get hurt.
How to do it: Sit back-to-back with your partner. Have one partner extend their legs and begin to fold forward (for tight hamstrings and/or lower back issues, try bending the knees slightly). The other partner bends the knees and places both feet flat on the floor, beginning to lean back onto the support of the other person. Hold for five to six deep breaths, then come upright and switch positions. Be sure to check in with your partner with this one— based on their feedback, you can apply more pressure, releasing into the support of each other. This exercise cultivates physical connection as you lean into each other.
Experts taken from prevention.com and images by Emily Schiff-Slater