The word yoga refers to “union.” There is little surprise then that modern yoga has evolved to include couple-friendly poses. Transitioning to couples yoga with someone who matters to you can improve your relationship in interesting ways.
Practising yoga with a partner can be a good way to help you get and stay motivated while taking care of any limitations that a beginner can have. The most significant outcome is a deepened and enhanced relationship.
Yoga and Intimacy
Patti Asad, yoga instructor and teacher trainer at Yogaworks says “doing poses together builds trust, strength, intimacy – all the components that go into a relationship.” She goes on to say that as both partners start to move together synchronising their breath, there is the creation of an intimate flow that enhances the sexual energy between you and your partner.
This is a small collection of yoga poses for two trusting partners that can add some zest into your union. They are arranged from the easiest to the most difficult. Each practice session can begin with both of you sitting across one another in a comfortable cross-legged position, and your knees touching.
“doing poses together builds trust, strength, intimacy – all the components that go into a relationship”
Then, place one hand on your heart, reach across and place your idle hand on your partner’s own, which is already resting on their heart. Begin to breathe in synchrony, inhaling and exhaling. Your eyes may be closed, or some eye gazing is not awkward at all – both can be done. Once you feel centred and connected, you can start moving into the poses.
Trust and an increased sense of light-heartedness are other benefits of doing yoga with your partner. The moments of playfulness build memories that last forever. It also makes it easy to let go of the past and embrace the present, making it easier to discover new things about each partner’s body.
Seated Cat and Cow
Sitting cross-legged – the classic yoga pose – with knees touching, reach forth and take each other’s forearms. Rocking back and forth for a few moments, inhale until you feel an equilibrium. Both partners should then arch backwards, exposing their heart towards the sky. The head can be dropped back if it feels comfortable.
Now exhale, both of you drawing chin to chest, arching the back forward and outward and aiming the eyes on the navel. Repeat several times for a few minutes, following the breath and feeling the neck, shoulder and back muscles flex and extend bringing relaxation each time.
Seated Spinal Twist
Begin this pose in the same seated position as the Seated Cat/Cow. Each partner crosses their arms and holds the other partner’s hands or wrists. One partner twists to the right, pulling the other to twist in the opposing direction.
The contrary motion will ensure each partner is pulled deeper into his/her twist. Move deliberately with the breath, focusing on establishing a mutually-beneficial balance in which both parties are most comfortable.
Bound Angle Pose
This begins with both partners sitting back-to-back on a floor or comfortable mat. One partner then bends forward, keeping the back straight, while both knees are bent and hands grasp the feet with the arms in one of three possible positions – outside the legs (which is easy), inside the legs (slightly harder), or threaded inside the calves and outside the thighs (hardest, but offers maximum stretch).
With chest expanded and arms spread out, the other partner leans against the back of the one bending forward, knees bent, feet kept together and thighs apart. Breathe together in this pose for some time before switching positions.
This is a non-sexual, yet highly sensual variation of a posture common in Tantric art and iconography. The name literally translates to “mother father” in Tibetan. The larger or stronger partner sits cross-legged on the floor or a comfortable mat. If this partner is able to get into complete lotus posture, with both feet resting on the knees, it is best as it provides the strongest foundation, though any cross-legged posture will work.
The other partner then sits on top of the first partner’s thighs, with their ankles crossed behind the back of the seated recipient partner. Both partners should keep their spines straight, with their foreheads – the seat of the spiritual third eye – touching. Do a breathing routine together, with eyes closed or eye gazing.
Boat Pose for Two
With both partners facing each other in a seated position, each one grasps the other’s wrists. With bent knees, each partner presses the soles of his or her feet against the soles of their partner’s feet. Both partners then attempt to straighten their legs and move them upward. Done correctly, both should form a W shape.
Standing Forward Fold
Both partners should be in mountain pose with your backs against each other. Ensure that a gap of several inches is present between you two. Inhale at the same time and raise your arms upward.
While exhaling, bend from the hips in a manner that rests the chest on the thighs. Try grabbing your partner’s elbow and they should do the same to you. Hold this position for about sixty seconds and release by bending at the hips.
The yoga positions for two in this pose resembles the shape of the letter “L” in the English alphabet. You or your partner should sit in the Staff pose (Dandasana). Then, hold the legs of the other partner who now engages in a headstand.
It is necessary to make sure that your cores are engaged and the shoulders are away from the ears. While coming out of the pose, slowly lower the legs and rest in Child’s pose (Balasana) for a few seconds.
The benefits of yoga are numerous. With great effect for single individuals, there is growing evidence that couples can also embrace yoga and enhance the bonding in their relationship. A few minutes daily is all that is needed to create the unification that our souls dearly seek.