Practicing yoga postures in cooperation with another person — especially a loved one — can deliver a calming, healing experience as you explore building trust and releasing tension together. Choosing to face your sense of vulnerability with your partner through yoga practice brings the positive benefits of human touch, mutual support, and a strengthened bond as you both allow yourselves to guide and be guided by another.
Read on for six yoga poses to try with your partner.
1. Seated Back-To-Back Meditation
- Sit on the floor in a cross-legged position with your back against your partner’s back.
- As you come into breath awareness, begin to find the delicate balance of receiving support from leaning into your partner’s back while also supporting your partner as they lean into you.
- Meditate together for five to 20 minutes.
2. Seated Spinal Flexions
- Sit on the floor in a cross-legged position with your knees facing your partner’s knees.
- Reach your arms toward each other and hold on to one another’s forearms, creating an equal resistance between you.
- Now, open your heart forward and up, drawing your shoulders down and raising your gaze to the sky.
- Exhale while tucking in your chin, rounding your back, and pulling away from your partner to stretch your shoulder blades away from each other.
- Allow your breath to guide your movement as you continue to transition between these two postures.
- Tune into the unique experience of synchronizing your breath and movement with another person, allowing this to strengthen your bond and increase your sense of belonging.
3. Partner Forward Fold
- Stand back-to-back with your partner, leaving several inches between your heels and your partner’s heels.
- Use an exhale to hinge at the hips and fold over. (Your bottom will most likely touch your partner’s bottom at this point. If not, then experiment with the distance between your heels to get close enough together to touch when you fold over.)
- Maintain your forward fold and reach back to hold your partner’s arms or shoulders.
- Pull yourselves closer together, using your breath to help open your hamstrings as the stretch increases.
- Hold this position for four to five breaths and then bring your hands to the floor before you come back up to a standing position.
4. Flying Bow/Wheel Pose
This pose requires one person to act as the base while the other plays the flier role. It’s a great trust-building pose that delivers a light, free feeling to the flier as they float in the air, supported by a close friend or partner.
- Base Partner: Lie down on your back then bend your knees and place the soles of your feet firmly on the floor.
- Flier Partner: Stand with your back to the base, close to their feet.
- Base Partner: Place your feet on the flier’s lower back, pressing your heels into their glutes.
- Flier Partner: Reach your arms overhead and start to bend backward.
- Base Partner: Reach for the flier’s shoulders and straighten your legs, lifting the flier off the ground.
- Flier Partner: Allow yourself to relax into this pose. You can either stay as you are at this point
- letting gravity pull your arms and legs toward the floor to increase your backbend naturally
- or you may reach your hands toward your ankles.
5. Shoulder Stand and Bridge Pose
This pose requires one person to practice bridge pose while the other moves into a shoulder stand.
- Bridge Partner:
- Lie down on your back then bend your knees and place the soles of your feet firmly on the floor.
- Come up to into bridge pose, lifting your hips up as you energetically bring your knees together.
- Shoulder Stand Partner:
- Lie down on the floor with your shoulders not more than a foot away from your partner’s feet.
- Place your feet on your bridge pose partner’s knees and raise your hips. You should be able to extend your spine straight up toward the ceiling.
- Both Partners:
- Reach your hands down by your sides and interlock finger tips with your partner.
- Open your chest forward and breath here for at least five breaths.
- Switch places so both people can experience the two different poses.
6. Partner Supine Twist
To practice this pose, one partner should lie down on the floor to twist while the other stands to facilitate a deeper twist.
- Twisting Partner:
- Lie down on your back with your legs extended on the floor.
- Bring your left knee to your chest and twist to the right, stacking your left hip on top of your right hip.
- Extend both arms out to the side in a “T” shape.
- Standing partner:
- Standing on the left side of your partner, just behind their left glutes, place your left foot on their outer left thigh.
- Apply pressure, checking in with your twisting partner to ensure it feels good rather than painful.
- Twisting partner: Now, reach your right hand out to your standing partner.
- Standing Partner: Now, take your partner’s right into both of your hands.
- Both Partners:
- Inhale deeply.
- On the exhale, the standing partner should lean back and pull the twisting partner’s right arm firmly. Pay attention to the twisting partner’s experience to ensure you offer a slightly challenging and releasing twisting action, but without causing pain or overextending the twist.