Yoga is essentially a solo activity. This is a place where we can escape from the crazy world, annoying
people mundanity and truly get in touch with our inner self.
But yoga doesn't have to be only about turning our attention inwards.
The energy we cultivate during the practice can become a surprisingly good tool to reconnect with our partners, minimize miscommunication, and strengthen the relationship in the long term.
How to achieve that? Easy. Next time you do yoga, bring your loved one on the mat with you.
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Couples yoga is a great way to enhance your yoga practice, explore new poses, and add playfulness to the typical routine.
In couples yoga, also called partner yoga, two people are jointly practicing physical postures by supporting and assisting each other.
Your partner doesn’t have to be your significant other. You can practice couples yoga with a friend, a relative, or even a stranger from your class. But in this case, you have to be mentally prepared for physical contact with a person other than your SO. Couples yoga is not sexual, but it does involve a great deal of touching.
Regular solo yoga practice comes with a handful of benefits. Science confirms that it makes us healthier in our physical bodies and happier in our minds. From helping manage diabetes and relieve pain, yoga has been proved to increase general fitness and improve well-being.
Looking for science-based benefits of practicing yoga? This article will guide you through 43 reasons yoga is good for you (as confirmed by research).
Add one more person into the equation, and you’ll get an array of additional mental and emotional benefits for both practitioners.
Here are five reasons you should start doing yoga with a partner.
Open communication is vital in any relationship and successful social interaction. Partner yoga is no exception.
Joint yoga practice teaches us to convey our needs clearly and be concise with the instructions.
There’s also a great deal of nonverbal communication going on. So both participants have to stay alert and pay attention to the cues and movements of the other partner. This is a particularly useful skill that translates into the daily life off the mat.
Couples yoga teaches the importance of teamwork necessary to reach common goals. You'll be leaning onto each other, supporting the body weight of your partner and balancing together.
Partners have to be open about their vulnerabilities and trust that their SO will support them physically and emotionally when needed.
This interdependence increases bonding and strengthens the emotional connection in the relationship.
The poses in couples yoga are anything but sexual. But be prepared to physically touch your partner all the time.
Studies also say that there’s a high chance that you’ll feel greater sexual satisfaction after practicing with your significant other. That is because synchronizing your breath and movements may lead to an incredible sense of connection that translates to a stronger bond in the bedroom.
Living with chronic stress or pain is unnerving. Science says that there are two things, though, that can help us cope with these issues: being in love (full study available here) and doing yoga (check the Harvard study here).
So what can be more calming and enjoyable than trying out yoga with the person you love? The positive energy you cultivate during the practice can help both partners relax and manage pain and stresses of the day with ease.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when you’re in a long-term relationship. If going to the cinema or a restaurant doesn’t spice up your date nights anymore, couples yoga comes to the rescue. Sharing yoga practice with a partner is a fun, out-of-the-box way to spend some quality time together, share some laughs and play.
You don’t have to be an expert yogi when starting couples yoga. What’s more, you may have totally zero experience in yoga. It’s totally fine! Couples yoga is about learning new things together, creating a shared experience, and having fun.
Never done yoga before? Check out this comprehensive introduction to yoga for absolute beginners and this ultimate guide to yoga wear and equipment.
Rather than worrying about your yoga level, think about these three questions.
Decide with your partner where you’d like to practice. Some gym and yoga studio memberships offer couples yoga classes for beginners. If you’re too self-conscious, there’s also an option of buying a paid membership for yoga streaming services and practice wherever and whenever you feel like.
Youtube also features tons of free video tutorials that are easy to follow and replicate from your living room. You can use them to enhance your practice in addition to studio classes or as a foundation if you both prefer doing yoga at home.
If you decided to do partner yoga at home, agree on the amount of time that each of you can dedicate for the practice.
One hour of practice, on average, is a good place to start. Don’t worry, it’s not as long as it seems. Breathing and learning the poses will take a significant chunk of the time.
Talk with each other about your expectations from the joint practice and why you are doing this in the first place. Partner yoga can be very therapeutic, but it cannot substitute professional counseling in case you have bigger issues in your relationship to address.
Learning a few yoga poses and stretches that you can regularly do with a partner is the first step towards building a consistent couples practice.
If you’re both completely new to yoga, start with relaxed postures such as synchronized breathing while seating back-to-back, seated twists, and side bends.
Check the video below for some fun ideas of yoga poses for couples.
Remember the following tips to get the most of your partner practice:
1. Forget about your ego. Whether you’re a yoga fan and persuaded your loved one to give yoga a try or you’re both absolute beginners, the decisions about your joint practice should always be made together. If one of the partners doesn’t feel comfortable about the pose, then pushing them into it might not be such a good idea.
2. Couples yoga is not a race. It’s not about who’s stronger or more flexible. Always clearly communicate your needs and stay attentive to the comfort levels of your partner.
3. Experiment. Don’t be afraid to get adventurous during your practice. For example, you can integrate massage into such postures as child’s pose or downward-facing dog, if your partner is okay with the idea. It will definitely make the stress of the day just melt away. Or try doing naked yoga together. (Yes, this is a thing. Read more about naked yoga here).
4. Don’t give up. Your yoga poses don’t have to be advanced, and alignment doesn’t have to be perfect. The important thing is that you spend a fun time together while doing something useful for your health and your relationship.
Have you ever tried yoga with a partner?
Share your experience in the comments!
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