All of you yogis and yoginis know the importance of building on your own personal yoga practice. But have you heard of partner yoga yet? It has become increasingly popular, especially in the world of acro yoga, as practising yoga with a friend or loved one can make things a bit more challenging, enjoyable and rewarding. After all, the meaning of ‘yoga’ in Sanskrit is about union, so why not get your om on together with a partner.
For the beginner yogis, we’d recommend starting out with a few standing and seated yoga postures before you start attempting any flying. So we’ve put together a list of yoga poses suited for two people that will help to build trust, strengthen your bond and bring some playfulness into your relationship.
1. Partner Seated Twist
Seated twists are oh so great for wringing the internal organs and detoxing the body. Doing this yoga pose with a partner allows you to get into a deeper twist and ensure your back remains straight.
How to do a partner seated twist:
Sit with your legs crossed and your backs touching. Start with a few deep inhales and exhales. Inhale to reach your arms over your head and on your exhale, gently twist to your right, both twisting in opposite directions. Place each of your left hands on your right knee, with your right hand reaching behind you to hold onto the inside your partner’s knee or thigh. Stay in this twist for 5 breaths. On your next inhale, bring your arms up over your head and repeat on the seated twist opposite side.
2. Double Downward Dog
Practising downward dog with your partner is all about communication.
How to do a partner downward dog:
Begin in a downward dog position, one in front of the other. Slowly walk your feet and hands back towards your partner until you begin walking your feet to the outside of your partner’s lower back. Once your feet have reached the back of your partner’s hips, hold the double downward dog post here for 5 breaths. When you are ready to come out of the pose, your partner can bend their knees, lower their hips into tabletop and then child’s pose as you release your feet to the floor. Switch positions with your partner.
3. Partner Seated Forward Fold
This yoga pose is incredibly beneficial when doing it with a partner as it allows you to go deeper into your stretch, increasing your flexibility.
How to do a seated forward fold with your partner:
Both you and your partner will begin in a seated position opposite each other with both of your legs extended wide apart in front of you. Flex your feet with the soles of your feet touching your partners. Lean forward and grab your partners forearms. One of you slowly folds forward from the hips while the other pulls you gently towards them. Keep folding forward with your partner assisting you by gently pulling you towards them until you feel a deep stretch in your hamstrings. Hold the forward fold for 5 – 10 breaths. Slowly release and repeat the same with your partner.
4. Double Plank Pose
The triple P pose – the partner plank pose. This posture is a bit more challenging but it really works on improving your core strength, and confidence in your partner.
How to do a double plank pose:
Begin by getting into a plank position, making sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders and that your feet are hip-distance apart. Your partner will then get into a plank position on top of you by resting their feet on your shoulders and griping your heels with their hands. This creates a box-like shape. Hold the plank pose for as long as you both can and then switch positions. If you’re ready to take your practice to the next level with your partner, try out these acro yoga poses.
5. Double Boat Pose
The partner boat pose allows you to engage your core, stretch your hamstrings and release tension in your lower back. With the support of your partner, you’ll be able to feel the many benefits of this yoga posture.
How to do partner boat pose:
Sit opposite your partner, both with your knees bent. Reach on the outside of your legs and grab your partner’s hands. With your knees bent, bring the soles of your feet to touch your partners. Find balance with your partner and ensure that you are keeping your sitting bones grounded to the floor by tilting your pelvis in a neutral position and sitting up straight. Slowly straighten your legs to each form the boat pose. When you’re both comfortable, look upwards, engage your core, keep your chest open and ensure your lower back is drawn in.
Looking for more yoga poses to deepen your solo yoga practice? Try out these balancing postures that will help to improve your overall focus and muscle coordination.