Many people view the practice of yoga as a discipline used only to connect the body & mind. It’s also a fantastic way to calm the nerves and allow one to become more centered. In fact, the word ‘yoga’ in sanskrit means to ‘yoke’ or to bring together. A great way to take this self centering practice one step further is to add a partner! The practice of partner yoga does just that, it allows for us to achieve the benefits of our regular yoga practice while connecting with our partner.
Personally, during my many years of practicing yoga I was never interested in partner yoga, or doing any activities in a group for that matter. I was totally content practicing solo. That was until I was actually pushed out of my comfort zone and talked into doing a beginner’s acro yoga class. It was then that I realized getting hands on with a complete stranger wasn’t as awkward as I thought it would be. Fast forward to a few years later playing around in my living room and practicing yoga with my husband, I even found it to be quite therapeutic and a fun way to connect with him.
Partner yoga is a great way to expand your yoga practice by having the opportunity to get deeper in your asanas (poses). It becomes an incredibly therapeutic experience because it allows for resistance to be applied to the stretches. This is beneficial because it allows for us to go farther into the pose than we typically could by ourselves.
Not only does stretching deeper usually feel great, but practicing yoga with a partner is also beneficial due to the power of touch. This may enable us to feel more connected, relaxed and supported as we experiment this new realm of asana practice.
Here’s 5 reasons to try yoga with your partner:
1. Spending quality time together
Studies show that couples who do more activities together stay together longer! Doing partner yoga is a great way to get hands on with one another and experience the power of touch. It’s always nice to have someone there to gently guide you deeper into your poses. It’s also a great way to be playful with one another and cultivate some laughter into your lives!
2. It helps build trust and communication with one another
Yoga is a great way to push yourself & find out what your edge is. In partner yoga it’s crucial to give feedback to one another so that nobody gets overstretched or hurt. Some postures even require some balance, which means moving & working in sync with one another through verbal or visual cues.
3. Yoga has numerous benefits that almost everyone can benefit from
It’s no secret that practicing yoga can help increase one’s flexibility, increase circulation, as well as reduce stress and tension. In addition to that it’s been proven to improve respiration through the breath work. When we can move & breathe easier we feel like we have more energy and vitality, making us happier people to be around!
4. Partner yoga with a spouse can improve intimacy & relationship satisfaction
For some people, practicing yoga can take them out of their comfort zone. Trying something new isn’t always easy. In fact, for some people who have no experience with yoga it could be a little intimidating.
This is one reason why we approach this practice with a light heart. This practice allows us to communicate how we feel, and how far we should go. Most of the time it ends with sharing a laugh or massaging a sore spot! We tend to discover new things about one another and feel more open about sharing how we feel.
5. Yoga helps us be present
One of the side effects of yoga is that it allows us to tune into the present moment and appreciate our time together. It helps us shut out all the distractions and escape from the stressors in our daily lives, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
So, this Valentine’s Day instead of spending money on chocolates or silly stuffed animals try spending some quality time with that special someone by trying something new together. The best part about it is you can play by experimenting with any of your favorite poses! You can feel free to add some gentle massage, or just meditate next to each other holding hands.
There’s no right or wrong way to do partner yoga, it’s all about listening & communicating with one another about what feels good. Chances are you’ll end up sharing a few laughs and feeling relaxed & refreshed.
Wishing you all a healthy holiday this Valentine’s Day! Don’t forget to spread the love around!