Did you know that ‘Yoga’ is a Sanskrit word that means union? This union could mean the union of the soul and the body or even the union of two people practicing yoga together on a more spiritual level.
Yoga is a practice of mixed disciplines that are known to transform not only your mind and body but your spirit too. It takes you on a spiritual journey that heals you both externally and internally. People are looking for an escape from continuous stress, practice yoga like an everyday ritual. Yoga also has the gift of healing and is known to heal many diseases such as diabetes, insomnia, etc. But what about couple yoga? How does couple yoga help a relationship?
Julia Lehman, who is a certified yoga instructor in New York and San Francisco, says, “A couple’s yoga experience can serve as a kind of mini ‘retreat’ or ‘workshop’ to strengthen a relationship. Rather than just going to a class and practicing next to each other, couples yoga requires couples to really pay attention to each other at the moment and work together toward common goals.”
Benefits of Couple Yoga
Couple yoga, also known as partner yoga, uses the help of your senses such as touch, breath, body movement, etc., and transforms it into energy that induces more trust and intimacy in a couple. Couple yoga is also said to help in strengthening communication between you and your partner. Many couples even practice Acro Yoga, which is a combination of acrobats and yoga. Here are some more benefits of couple yoga.
- It Helps in Understanding Your Partner: An important thing that yoga teaches you is self-awareness. Self-awareness helps you in assessing yourself as a person and in understanding how others perceive you. This helps you in becoming more aware of your environment. Your observational skills are enhanced, and you begin to observe your partner’s efforts and start to understand and appreciate them more.
- It Improves Your Sex Life: Many studies indicate that couple yoga helps partners who are suffering from a dry spell or are facing any sexual dysfunction. It is prescribed by many relationship counselors these days. Yoga does it by building a spiritual connection between the couple through movement and touch, which increases your intimacy and brings back your sex drive.
- It Reduces Stress: The physical contact during couple yoga induces an emotional connection between the couple by increasing dopamine. The increase of dopamine releases pleasure sensations which help in reducing stress in your partner and you. If you look closely, most of the couple’s yoga poses require you and your partner to hold hands. This is because studies prove that holding your partner’s hand helps in relieving stress and pain.
4 Couple Yoga Poses to Try With Your Partner
Whether you want to build intimacy, reduce stress or just support each other in your fitness goals, here are 5 partner yoga poses or ‘asanas’ that all couples should practice.
1. Seated Partner Twist (Matsyendrasana)
How to do it?
- Start with sitting in a position with your backs pressed against each other. Now, Cross both of your legs and take deep breaths for 10 seconds.
- Now you both, take your right hand and place it on your left knee with your palms facing downwards.
- Take your left hands and take it towards your partner right side and place them on your partner’s right knee with your palms facing downwards.
- Now do the same for the other side.
- Take deep breaths while doing this activity and repeat 4-5 times.
Benefits: It relieves lower back pain, improves your alignment and posture.
2. Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)
How to do it?
- For this, you both need to sit facing each other with your knees bent and feet touching the ground.
- Now slowly use your hands and put them in between your legs, driving your legs as far apart as you can.
- Now put your toes on top of your partners’ and hold each other’s hands from in between your legs.
- Lean backwards and lift your legs at the same time, pressing the sole of your feet against your partners. Try to straighten your legs as much as you can.
Benefits: It helps in reducing stress and increases flexibility. This pose also improves your balance by strengthening your core.
3. Double Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)
How to do it?
- Stand in front of your partner, make sure you both are facing each other. Now go back about a 2-hand distance.
- Now extend your left leg towards the back and move it upwards into a dancer pose. Use your left hand to take hold of your leg and maintain balance.
- Use your right hand and extend it towards your partner for support. Place your hands on each other and balance it for as long as you can.
Benefits: It improves your balance by increasing your ability to hold this pose for a longer period. It also induces emotional support between you and your partner.
4. Back-to-Back Breathing (Pranayama)
How to do it?
- Sit in a cross-legged manner with your back against your partners’.
- Make sure that you both have a straight posture and your arms are relaxed
- Now exhale and inhale deeply. Repeat for 10 minutes.
Benefits: This posture helps in relaxing your muscles and build a connection with your partner. If you are looking for couples’ yoga for beginners, this is the best way to start.
5. Seated Forward Fold and Backbend (Paschimottanasana)
How to do it?
- Sit in the same position as you do in back-to-back breathing.
- Now one of you raises your hands up while you inhale and bend forward while you exhale.
- While you are bending/folding forward, your partner extends his/her arms over the head and bend backwards.
- You can help your partner in their backbend by taking hold of their wrists and pulling them in your direction.
- After about 30 seconds, go back to your seated position and interchange roles.
Benefits: It stretches your body, keeps your spine strong, and relieves tension. It also builds intimacy between the couple.
These partner yoga poses are great, especially for couples who are new to partner yoga. Many couples build also a community and create couples yoga challenges for other couples to motivate them into fulfilling their fitness goals. Couple yoga is a great way to build a healthier relationship with your partner and connecting with them on a more emotional and spiritual level. Be ready to see a major difference in the first few weeks!