In our fast paced society it’s rare we ever connect with another person much less our significant other. You get home after a crazy busy day and after getting the kids and pets sorted out and fed you barely have time to think about yourself much less another person. You fall into bed exhausted and drained. You sleepily say to your loved one, “So how was your day?” and only have part of that sentence out when you notice he’s already zonked! Before you know it years have passed, you’ve barely connected with your other half in months, and you wonder what’s happened to your relationship. Whether this scenario sounds familiar or you just want some extra time with your love, partner yoga may be just the thing. Even if you’re solo and would rather bring a friend or family member, partner yoga can be a welcome respite in an otherwise complicated life.
What is this partner yoga you speak of?
It was developed to create and reinforce connection between two people and uses simple yoga-style moves involving touch and hand-holding. Touch helps humans connect with each other on an emotional level, it reduces stress and promotes feelings of pleasure and comfort.
According to Dr. James Coan, director of the Virginia Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Virginia, holding our significant other’s hand promotes overall health and well being, reduces anxiety, and may even increase your life expectancy. After all, we’re human, we need touch and connection to survive!
Want to test the waters before coming to class?
Here are a few moves you can try with your loved one at home. Find an open space and spread out a couple mats or rug for padding.
Breathe Together — Sit directly across from your partner with your feet outstretched in front. Place your feet as wide as you need in order to comfortably clasp your partner’s hands. Breathe together, taking in slow breaths to a five count. When you’re ready move on to the first pose.
Alternate Breath — For the first couple poses, alternate your breath. One person inhales as the other exhales. The partner releasing into the pose exhales while the person assisting the pose inhales.
1. Seated Saddle Stretch
One person will fold forward sending their chest toward the floor. Back long, bending at the hips. Exhale. The other person will inhale and gently lean back. Engaging those core muscles to stay stable and controlled. Switch. Alternate back and forth.
2. Seated Forward Fold
Sit tall, back to back, feet hip distance apart. Stretch your arms wide to your sides and hook your partner’s arms around your own. One person will inhale and exhale as they fold forward. The other person will inhale and bend backward as they stretch over their partner’s back. Take a few slow breaths here then switch. Alternate back and forth with this stretch a few times.
3. Partner Warrior 2 Pose into Reverse Warrior
Warrior 2 — Stand by your partner’s side, outside edge of your feet touching. Coordinate your breathing and both exhale as you step into the pose. Clasp your partner’s inside arm and step your outside leg away from your partner in a lateral lunge. Stretch your outside arm away from you while your inside arm reaches toward your partner.
Reverse Warrior — Straighten your legs as you both inhale, reach your outside arm overhead, releasing your partner’s inside arm and clasping their hand. Grab your partner’s outstretched arm as you open your chest and look toward the sky. Exhale together as you stretch. Hold this pose for a few coordinated breaths.
Savasana, also known as “corpse pose” is the last pose of your yoga practice. It helps all your hard work sink into your body and restores calm. Lay on your back next to your partner, feet and arms outstretched. Clasp your partner’s hand and begin to synchronize your breath again. Take several slow breaths here together and enjoy this moment of rest and connection to your partner.
Come to a class!
Are you inspired to drag your hubby to a partner yoga class? That’s great news! And Mod Physique offers a partner yoga class on Saturday afternoons. So put on some comfy clothes, pile your significant other/friend/family member into the car, and come see us on Friday evenings. Make it a date night or girls night out! You’ll be so glad for the health and well being of a more connected, closer relationship. See you in class!