You already love yoga, it's the practice that calms and centres you, and coming to your mat is one of your favourite things to do. Partner yoga allows you share that love, every time we open up and share we deepen our bond with the person we are sharing with. Partner yoga allows you develop your communication skills and work together on a physical and mental level to nurture your connection. We've set out 10 great poses for you to play with, some very basic and calming and a couple of fun ones, because no-one says it has to be perfect! Falling and stumbling together is all part of the experience.
Child's pose it always a great place to begin. Simple kneel on the floor and with your big toes touching sit back on your heels. Your knees should be wide enough for your torso to lay between them. Let your forehead rest comfortably on the floor. Let your arms extend until your fingertips touch that of your partner. Synchronize your inhale and exhale with your partner and feel a gentle calmness flow between you.
Child's Pose with Backbend
This is perfect for introducing a beginner partner to yoga. Let them rest in child's pose while you assist them deeper and get a yummy heart opening at the same time. The trick here is get your sit bones to align with your partner's pelvis. When you are in a comfortable position, lay back extend your body over your partners. Stretch your legs and ground through the feet. Check in with each other to make sure it feels great for both of you.
Seated Forward Fold
Go deeper with each other with a seater forward fold. Sit on the floor with your legs extended and engaged and lengthen your torso forward. Hold each other's hands, wrists or forearms and and breathe. This is not about how deep either of you can go, it is about supporting each other into release by providing structure.
Modified Boat Bose
Every great relationship needs a strong centre and this pose builds on that. Sit down on the floor with one knee bend and the other leg extended straight (as you can) in the air. Let your feet touch that of your partner and your hands or forearms clasp together. Ground each other and provide stability as you work on that core connection.
This pose is all about trust. Trust that you can share your vulnerability and open your heart with your partner. With your hips pressed together and forearms clasped, reach up and over to open your chest and heart. Ground down through your feet and keep your legs engaged to offer each other support to open up fully. Don't forget to breathe!
Partner Tree Pose
We all need a little help with balance. A good relationship helps us find that centre point together. From standing with your core engaged, bring your foot to your shin or upper thigh (not on your precious knee!) and bring your hands together with your partner in whatever way suits you best. Play with it and find how to compliment each other's balance.
Twists are amazing for developing a healthy spine, your body needs a full range of motion to stay happy. This seated twist is also the perfect way to appreciate each other's perspectives as we help each other twist in the opposite direction. Come to a a seated cross legged position and keeping a long torso, twist from the centre of your body. Bring your hand behind you for your partner to clasp. Inhale sit taller, exhale twist deeper.
Downward Dog and Handstand Prep
One to play with if you've been practising for a while! Let your partner come into a downward dog position. A deep V with heels embracing the floor and hands grounded and connected to the shoulders for stability. Come a few hands-widths away from your partner and come into a standing forward fold with your hands rooted. Lift one leg up until you find you partners pelvis, stay here, or lift the second leg up (strong core connection) and press both feet into partner's pelvis. As you support your partner to ground and lengthen their hamstrings, you experience support in learning how to fly in an inversion.
Another one for the more experienced yogis with a confident headstand practice away from the wall. Come into your headstand prep position with your hand almost touching. Now lift up slowly into headstand and with communication of body, find each other in space, bend one leg and bring your feet to touch. Let the touch be supportive instead of destructive. However, if you do fall over, it's just another chance to try again together!
This is a lovely way to finish your parter yoga session. Come to a seated position with you backs and sacrum touching. You can bring your hands to touch for a deeper connection. Stay here and breath together, appreciating the effects of this practice on your relationship. Notice how you both feel from the beginning, which may have felt a little awkward, to now, where you are able to breath and hold each other. Be thankful for being able to share this moment with each other.