For most of us, yoga is something we do on our own. It’s something that we do to get some peace and quiet away from the chaos of everyday life, and is often associated with self-improvement and self-exploration.
However, yoga with a partner can be equally beneficial, and has benefits unique to solo practice.
In this article we’ll take a look at some beginner partnered poses as well as some more advanced ones, as well as how to stay safe while doing partnered yoga. But first, let’s take a closer look at why you should consider it in the first place.
Why Yoga Can Be Better With Two People
Pushes You In Different Ways
When you use another body as a responsive and flexible prop, couples yoga can let you get your body into poses that may not be possible in solo practice.
Couples yoga can help widen your range of emotion, uniquely focusing on and challenging particular muscle groups in ways you never have before.
Therefore, a lot of yoga poses for couples are all-body toners, strengthening and waking up muscle groups all over your body.
Makes Practice Safer
Although it’s common for people to practice yoga by themselves, practicing with others can actually make your practice safer.
Including partnered yoga in your usual routine means you’ll have a partner there to help you as you try new and demanding poses like inversions, and will be there to assist you if something goes wrong.
Great For Children
Partnered yoga is an excellent way to get your children into yoga. Partnered yoga keeps practice fun, and also teaches children important skills like teamwork.
Lastly, partnered yoga is a lot of fun! Yoga is loved for its amazing benefits in improving your balance (both emotionally and physically) and reducing your stress.
Exercising with others not only boosts your confidence, but it boosts your endorphins too!
So couples yoga doesn’t just improve your mood but is an awesome way to spend time with friends, your children, or your partner. What’s not to love?
The Best Yoga Poses For Two People
Some of these couple’s poses are a bit more challenging than others, so we’ve split them up into proficiency and experience level.
Of course, you should always bear in mind that how simple a pose is will depend on your range of motion, which is unique to you.
So you may find some of these simpler poses for couples more challenging than the poses we’ve deemed difficult if they require flexibility or strength in a body part you experience discomfort with.
This pose is a great one for making your core and legs stronger. Get ready for your hamstrings to burn!
- Step 1: Begin by standing back to back with your partner, and with your feet hip width apart.
- Step 2: Both of you walk slowly with your feet out slightly, your knees slightly bent, and with your partner’s back for additional support.
- Step 3: You can now square your arms in front of your chest or interlace your arms with your partner. Whatever is the most comfortable!
- Step 4: Slowly and in sync with each other, squat down into a chair pose so your legs are bent at a right angle.
- Step 5: If you need to, adjust your feet and then press into each other’s backs for extra strength.
Communication is key here. Stay here for 4-8 deep breaths.
Child Pose Assist
This restorative pose is ideal for the end of a yoga practice, reducing stress and releasing any muscle tension you may have from previous poses.
- Step 1: Start with your partner in an extended child’s pose, with both of their arms stretched out in front of them, their sit bones tucked under, and their knees spread wide so their chest comes towards the mat.
- Step 2: Now position yourself like you are about to sit on their sacrum, facing away from them so both your pelvises are in line.
- Step 3: Now slowly lower yourself down to carefully rest your back on theirs. If you are significantly taller than your partner is, try slightly lowering your hips to see if that’s more comfortable.
- Step 4: Once your back is resting on top of theirs, stretch your arms over your head, and if you’re able to, try lacing your fingers through theirs for a deeper stretch.
- Step 5: Remain here for 6-10 deep breaths, before swapping positions and repeating the steps. Remember to communicate during the pose if something feels a bit wrong.
Partner Forward Fold
Next up, we have another pose that stretches your hamstring!
- Step 1: Sit opposite your partner with both of your legs stretched out straight in front of you and wide apart.
- Step 2: Place the soles of your feet against your partners’ and hold each other’s forearms. One of you will then slowly lean forward from the hips white the other carefully pulls you towards them.
- Step 3: Repeat until you feel a deep stretch in your hamstrings, and keep the pose here for a couple of breaths. Then rise back up slowly and swap over, with the second person now bending forwards and the first person carefully pulling them towards you. Keep this position for a couple of breaths until they notice a stretch in their hamstrings.
Seated Cat Cow
This pose is an amazing stretch for your back, core, and hips, as well as for opening up your chest.
- Step 1: This is a twist on the traditional cat cow. First, sit cross-legged across from your partner and securely hold onto each other’s forearms.
- Step 2: Find equal resistance between you and your partner and both pull your shoulders back and down. Inhale and lift both your heads slowly, pushing out your chests at the same time. This is basically the cow pose, just sitting down! Hold this position for a while, and then exhale.
- Step 3: As you exhale, both tuck in your chins to your chest and round out your upper back. Draw your gaze to your navel to keep your back rounded, and make sure you both feel a stretch in your shoulder blades.
- Step 4: Maintain this pose for a couple of seconds, and then alternate slowly between the cat and cow poses a couple of times. To make sure you’re in sync, this is another pose that requires good communication.
Team Seated Twist
A fantastic seated yoga position, this pose is easy yet effective and is a great introduction to couples yoga.
- Step 1: Start by sitting cross-legged, back to back and attempt to synchronize your breathing. Inhale for 3 seconds, hold for 2 seconds, and then exhale for another 2 seconds.
- Step 2: Inhale and both raise your arms up and over your heads. As you breathe out, both twist to your right, making sure your backs are straight.
- Step 3: Each of you can now place your left hands onto your right knee, and place your right hand on your partner’s knee.
- Step 4: Stay here for 6-10 deep breaths, elongating your spine as you breathe in, and deepening the twist when you breathe out. Return to center and repeat.
More Challenging Poses
Buddy Boat Pose
- Step 1: Start by sitting face-to-face with your partner, both with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor.
- Step 2: Hold each other’s wrists or hands and slowly lean back. You can both experiment with lifting your feet in the air, one foot at a time.
- Step 3: Once you’ve nailed this, try moving your feet while you’re in the air, so the soles of your feet are pressed against your partner’s.
- Step 4: Now stretch out your legs so they are straight. If this doesn’t feel good then keep your knees bent a little or shift on your sit bones to find a more secure resting point.
- Step 5: Lastly, try to raise both legs, pressing your soles against your partner’s. Make sure to harness the strength of your core to help your partner. If you can, lean back further and lift your heart to the ceiling. Stay here for 2 to 6 deep breaths.
How To Stay Safe While Practicing Yoga With A Partner
Although yoga for two people has many benefits, there are also some safety tips you must keep in mind for an enjoyable practice.
Practice With Someone You Trust
The biggest rule of couples yoga is to always practice with someone you trust. One of the best benefits to couples yoga is that it’s an amazing way to develop closeness, intimacy, and trust with someone.
Still, it’s important you have the foundations for such bonds before you begin.
Communication is key in every yoga pose you do with another person, so it’s crucial to have a foundation of confidence, openness, and understanding with each other so your practice remains safe and to prevent injury.
Don’t Rush Into It
Our second rule is to always take your time before attempting challenging poses. Couples yoga is fun, but it’s all too easy to get caught up in the excitement and jump right into difficult poses.
You must resist this temptation. If you jump right into complicated or demanding poses without any warm-up or practice then your chances of injury are greater.
You should always warm up ahead of your practice, and begin with simpler poses. Once you’ve nailed those, gradually work your way to more challenging poses.
Ensure you are aware of all the steps before you try a pose, as it will be difficult to refer to steps once you’ve begun.
Free tutorials on YouTube can be helpful, as you can just listen to the guide as they instruct you.
Practice Falling Safely
A lot of the more demanding couples yoga poses need strong balance, and the only way you achieve that is through practice. During this practice, it is very likely you’re going to fall out of these positions occasionally.
However, falling is an important part of the learning process, and should not lead to injury when you know how to safely fall.
This process starts with embracing falling. Falling with your muscles relaxed helps spread the energy of the impact across your body and lowers the risk of injury.
Practice controlled falls and try falling on the thickest parts of your body with the biggest surface area – like your side. This will lessen the impact of falling.
We hope our article has convinced you to give couples yoga a try! Couples yoga isn’t just for you and your other half. You can do couples’ yoga with your friends and children too.
Start small with beginner poses, before working your way up to more challenging poses. Have fun!