Don’t let the term “couples yoga” invoke visions of tantric, loincloth clad gurus surrounded by swirling clouds of incense and droning sitar music. There are a variety of yoga and meditation practices that you can share with your significant other. If you and your partner have been looking for a way to deepen your connection, strengthen intimacy or even just have run out of ideas for date night, the following list of yoga practices for partners is well worth a peek.
They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul and the act of making clear, sustained eye contact is a very vulnerable and intimate activity indeed. This simple practice can be performed standing, sitting or lying down. Find a quiet and comfortable setting. You may have music in the background if you wish. Face your partner in whichever position you like. Make eye contact and take 20 or so deep breaths together in unison, after which you may breathe at you own natural rhythm. Let your gaze soften and resist the urge to flicker your eyes away from theirs. Initially, this will feel very unnatural and uncomfortable. You may find yourself giggling or nervously smiling as you continue to make the eye contact. Breathe through the tension and let it melt into a deep, liquid peace.
After a period of time, you may start to experience changes in your visual perception. Allow whatever comes up to come up. At the end of your session, discuss the experiences and feelings that surfaced during the gazing with your partner. If you are brand new to the practice, 10 minutes is an excellent starting point, but feel free to practice for as long as you wish.
This might seem like an obvious one… and it is: practice asana together with your partner! Whether you stay home and have an intimate practice or head out to a studio, sharing your practice with your partner is a wonderful way to spend quality time together. Often, ideas discussed in the practice can be wonderful jumping off points for further discussion and reflection. Being accountable to another person can also help you overcome inertia and make it to practice even when you’re lacking motivation.
While most meditations are silent and strictly individual, this expressive variation is a unique and engaging partners practice. For this meditation, lie head to head and with your partner in a comfortable and quiet setting. Close your eyes. Start by breathing deeply in unison for several minutes. As you settle into a meditative state, verbally describe whatever sensations and experiential phenomena come into your field of awareness. After each verbal observation, leave some space so that your partner may share what is coming up for them. If they do not have anything to share, feel free to share the next sensation you experience. Nothing is right or wrong, nothing is too deep or too superficial. If your foot is itchy, share that your foot is itchy. If you feel a sense of expansion in your forehead, share that feeling. If you experience a memory that elicits an emotion, share the memory and the emotion. It may be tempting to ask follow up questions about a particular sharing, but continue to describe the sensations that are coming up for you in the moment. There will be plenty of time to investigate after the meditation is finished! We suggest 20-30 minutes as a good place to begin this practice, but as always, feel free to go longer if you wish.
Acro yoga is a fun and physical practice for couples that combines yoga, thai massage and acrobatics while building trust and communication. The practice involves plenty of yoga poses for two people, including partner-assisted postures as well as “flying” postures where one partner physically supports the other (referred to as the “base” and the “flyer” respectively) in an aerial balance. Each partner may take a turn in each role if your relative strengths and weights permits, or you may find that you are better suited to playing one role exclusively. Acro Yoga can be quite strenuous, so we recommend this practice only to those who are in good health and free from existing injury. Due to the acrobatic nature of the practice, learning Acro Yoga in person from an experienced teacher is ideal. A teacher can serve as a spotter and help you and your partner practice safely and enjoyably. Search for Arco Yoga Near You.
YOGA FOR TWO
These suggestions are of course just a few ideas for sharing your practice with that special someone in your life. Leave your favorite partners practices’ as a comment below.
14-Day Couples Yoga Challenge
This yoga challenge for two is ideal for a more experienced yogi who wishes to introduce practice to someone who is just starting out.