Lately, yoga has become a great physical activity for people to unwind and stay fit. However, most people practice it as a form of solo performance. While the solo practice of yoga still delivers the desired results, it’s more fulfilling and enjoyable when practiced with a partner.
In this article, you will learn the different yoga poses for two, their benefits, and how you can find a partner.
What Is Yoga for Two?
Yoga for two is the type of yoga that is performed by two people. This type of yoga is also commonly referred to as partner yoga or couple’s yoga. And if it involves even more acrobatic poses and fun, it’s referred to as AcroYoga. Practicing yoga with a partner or friend is a fun way to reinforce your bond on and off the mat while enhancing your flexibility, stability, and posture.
Why You Should Practice Yoga Poses for Two
Although yoga is considered a time for self-reflection, being quiet, and realizing inner peace. Therefore, practicing yoga successfully with a partner needs a different set of skills, including communication, awareness of your partner, and a sense of collaboration outside of yourself.
While yoga poses for two may appear intimidating, especially in the beginning, they are very beneficial. Here are some of the reasons why you should practice yoga poses for two.
1. Communication Enhancement
For you to achieve a synchronized yoga pose with your partner, you need to listen to their verbal and non-verbal cues. Couples that practice yoga together have reported improved communication in different aspects of their relationship.
2. Accelerated Stretching
Like any other form of physical exercise, yoga poses become effective only if they can put the necessary pressure on the targeted parts of your body. When you practice yoga with your partner, it becomes easier for you to deepen the impact of every pose, without feeling pain. Your partner’s body weight will be used to add pressure to the pose for better results.
3. Improved Alignment, Balance, and Posture
Practicing yoga with a partner helps you to improve your concentration, balance, and alignment, especially because your partner will be your mirror. You just need to look at your partner to know if you are making the right poses. Think of your partner as your personal yoga teacher, giving you adjustments in every pose.
4. Deep Connection
Practicing partner yoga isn’t an easy feat, especially since you have to achieve the deepest level of connection to raise, lift, and trust that your partner has your back. You will experience several physical and emotional challenges when trying to master these yoga poses and achieve deep connection.
But these will, in the end, help you to foster a unique type of connection and intimacy that will help to improve other aspects of your relationship.
5. More Fun
Unlike solo yoga practice, partner yoga involves playfulness, fun, and laughter that make every yoga session your own blooper reel.
Best Yoga Poses for Two
Now that you understand the benefits of practicing yoga with your partner, you should find the most effective yoga poses for two to practice with your fiancé, friend, or relative. If you are ready to start practicing this type of yoga, here are some popular yoga poses for two to get you started.
1. Seated Centering and Grounding
This pose involves sitting down with your legs crossed and facing your partner. You should also place your hands on your partner’s knees. But if crossing your legs is not comfortable, you should add a folded blanket for support.
When in this posture, take deep breaths while staring at each other. Although it might feel awkward at first, especially if you are not intimately close with your yoga partner, it will soon become easy and very deep.
2. Back-to-Back Breathing
This yoga pose involves sitting with your legs crossed and your back against your partner’s back. Then, pull your shoulders back and relax your arms. Once you are fully comfortable, do alternate breathing with your partner.
Alternate breathing means that you should exhale when your partner inhales and vice versa. Repeat the back-to-back breathing for at least 10 breaths. Each breath should be deep and slow to have the deepest effect.
3. Seated Cat-Cow
This yoga pose starts with you sitting in a centering and grounding position while facing your partner and holding each other’s forearms. Then move your shoulders down and back in harmony. Inhale slowly and deeply as you move your chest up to the ceiling.
As you push your chest up, create a little arch in your upper middle back. Then exhale slowly while drawing your chin to your chest and circling your upper middle back. Repeat this pose for a number of breath cycles to achieve the desired effect.
4. Seated Forward Backend
To perform this yoga pose, you need to sit back-to-back with your partner and extend your legs straight out while your partner bends their knees and plants both feet flat on the ground. Fold yourself forward at the waist while your partner with bended knees leans backward. You should alternate your positions after every 30-60 seconds to support each other’s weight.
5. Double Plank Yoga Pose
This pose starts with one partner in a plank pose and their wrists under shoulders and core locked. Normally, this pose works best when the taller and stronger partner is at the bottom. Face the planking partner’s feet while carefully stepping over their hips.
From standing, the partner on top should fold forward and grab the ankles of the planking partner. The partner on top should also straighten their arms and engage their core while lifting their foot up slowly and gently. The lifted foot should be resting on the other partner’s shoulder.
If that position feels steady for both of you, do it with the other foot. Hold the pose for at least 3-5 breaths and come down one foot at a time.
6. Seated Side Bend
To perform this pose, you need to sit back-to-back with your partner with your legs crossed. Raise your hands and straight to the sides, while keeping them parallel to the floor. While in this position, you should either hold each other’s arms, interlock hands, or touch palms.
Start learning to one side by pushing the opposite shoulder up and away from the shoulder. This allows the bend to happen exactly in your and maintain the right form. When you bend, make sure that one set of hands touches the floor, which both of you can use as support.
Continue deepening the bend while ensuring that your butt is firmly planted on the floor and extend your opposite arm over your head for a deeper stretch. Place the hand of the side you are leaning on the ground when you start bending. Move back to the central position and repeat the bend on the opposite side.
7. Facing Twist
This yoga pose requires you to sit with your legs crossed while facing your partner and with your knees touching your partner’s. Then, extend your right hand towards your partner’s right waist and stretch your left hand behind your back towards your right waist. Your partner should mirror your movement by sitting in a similar position.
Hold your partner’s right hand with your left hand and vice versa. As you twist, take turns to deepen each other’s stretch by pulling on each other’s hands behind your backs. Also, keep your upper body straight when twisting and stretching to reduce unnecessary strains on your body.
Take a few breaths in this posture before returning to the central position. Then repeat the same pose in the opposite direction.
Practicing Good Partner Yoga Etiquette
Just because you have an intimate relationship with your yoga partner doesn’t mean you can’t cross the line. That’s why you need to learn how to practice the best partner yoga etiquette. Here are some quick tips.
1. Define Boundaries
In any kind of relationship, it’s important to set boundaries. In partner yoga, you need to define how far a partner can go. You also need to encourage healthy communication with your partner and define what each one of you is comfortable with. For instance, if you are comfortable with stacked poses, let your partner know from the word go.
2. Take It Slow
Yoga poses for two take a little finesse to get right. Therefore, rather than diving straight into different poses, start with the simple ones like back-to-back breathing. Then try the most complex ones as you progress.
Like in any relationship, you need to communicate regularly and properly with your yoga partner to know where they are at. This kind of communication can be both verbal and physical. For instance, if you are uncomfortable with a particular pose or you are in pain, let your partner know immediately.
4. Have Fun
Partner yoga involves playfulness and fun. So, don’t be too rigid. It’s good to loosen up and try different poses with your partner.
Tips for Finding a Yoga Partner
Do you want to try partner yoga but don’t have a partner? If so, here are some quick tips to help you find the right partner for your yoga sessions.
- Find partner yoga classes in your area – in classes that offer partner yoga, you don’t need to have a partner; you just connect with a training partner.
- Check on social media – you can post a message on your social media pages asking for anyone interested to be your yoga partner. You might get an opportunity to reconnect with an old friend who is interested in the idea.
- Try yoga apps – there are so many apps that are designed to help people meet new friends and gym buddies. Subscribing to such an app is a good way to put feelers out for a yoga partner. You can even try a dating app if you are looking for love and yogic harmony.
- Go old-school – you can do it the traditional way by asking around. Text your friends, relatives, colleagues, and yoga instructors to see if they have any referrals.
Yoga poses for two, which involve performing joint poses, are great for both intimate and nonphysical partners. Studies have revealed that this type of yoga enhances communication and trust while reducing stress and anxiety among partners.
It also increases relationship satisfaction. With this information, you should be able to find the right partner to practice and enjoy yoga poses for two with.