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Yoga is becoming a common practice in western culture, and it's gaining more and more popularity all the time. Besides, couples yoga provides all of the benefits of this type of exercise plus this becomes a group activity that you can enjoy with your partner or a friend.
That's why in this article we're going to talk about the benefits of trying yoga poses for 2, as well as the 10 best couples yoga poses to get into this ancient practice that involves stretching and breathing.
Even if you practice yoga on your own, it can provide many benefits. Some of these include positive effects on the body like endorphin release, improved concentration, and reduced stress levels and less inflammation.
Plus, when you share this practice with someone else, these benefits multiply. Below, we give you a list of the benefits of couples yoga.
Couples yoga is a natural and relaxed path to self-discovery and a great way to get to know the person we're practicing with better. If you do these exercises as recommended, this type of harmony can become a reality quite quickly.
Confidence is a skill that you acquire with practice and time with a partner. Partner yoga is a type of practice that boosts this kind of confidence both on a mental and physical level.
You know that you have to trust the other person as much as possible to do certain poses and this stands true on an emotional and cognitive level as well.
Whether it's on an individual level or as a couple, this type of eastern exercise promotes balance, that often comes from abdominal strength. With a partner, this becomes even more difficult since you need to control both your weight and that of the other person to achieve these two person yoga poses triumphantly. Acro yoga is one step further on the couples yoga path since this requires a great deal of balance and concentration for success.
Tied to the prior benefits, communication is critical in couples yoga since it's essential to learn to listen and express what you're feeling at all times.
Besides, this type of communication doesn't always have to be verbal and should come from relaxation. With consistent practice, you can establish a deep connection, even tantric.
Thanks to controlled breathing, whenever you practice partner yoga, you are instantly more aware of the pose, your breath, and posture in general.
Practicing with a romantic partner or friend can even help you to focus more on breathing and improve your posture in the yoga poses for two. A deeper awareness of your breath and lung capacity appears over time, something that will slowly help you to reduce your stress levels in conjunction with your practice.
Everyone should try couples yoga at least once in their lifetime. This is one of the healthiest ways to have fun and learn something new with your partner or friend.
All you have to do is stretch a little first, put on comfortable clothes, and find a quiet space whether it's indoors or outside. Below, we share 10 of the best partner yoga poses that you can practice with someone you care about.
This is the first of the yoga poses for 2 that we recommend starting every couples' yoga session with. It's simple and relaxing. To start, you both just need to sit down in a cross-legged position on the floor back to back, sitting nice and tall.
Then, start breathing deeply, repeating this process until you're able to coordinate your breath and you feel like you're in harmony with one another. You can also start with stretches in this position, beginning with the arms, legs, and back.
At first, this position might seem quite simple, but it can help the pair to explore emotional limits. In this couple pose each member should face the opposite direction while they hold the other person's forearm and their back ankles should be touching.
Even though these two are grasping each other's arms, they are looking in the opposite direction, far away from the other person. Feel the contrary emotions of connection and separation here -this is important.
Number three on our list of yoga poses for two requires both parties to kneel face to face with a little bit of distance between them. Then, they have to hold each other's hands and lean backward. It's important to try to synchronize breathing and communication to avoid injury with camel pose with a partner.
Ultrasana works on lumbar flexibility as well as balance and synchronization.
Make sure to stretch your legs and back before trying this pose. Sit face to face with the soles of your feet touching and now, lift your legs in the air as straight as possible.
Grab each others' hands and let yourselves fall back slightly, without forcing it (like in the last pose) keep your back straight, and tuck your pelvis. This is a useful exercise that improves digestion, stretches tendons and leg muscles and even relieves lumbar pain.
This is one of the most challenging poses on our list of partner yoga poses. However, the person trying the supported-wheel pose should be particularly flexible in the lumbar area.
The first person needs to get into the downward dog position with both their hands and feet on the floor -this should look like an upside down V. Then, the other person puts their legs outside of the hands and head of the person doing downward dog and lets their back and head fall back, then grabbing the ankles of the person on the bottom.
This pose increases vertebral flexibility and stretches the chest muscles. If this is done correctly by a flexible person, it can help to reduce lumbar pain and strengthen muscles.
This couple pose ranks medium to difficult. To do square pose in partner yoga, one of the two people needs to sit with their legs stretched forward, sitting tall.
The other partner needs to grab the ankles of the person sitting while this person grabs their ankles and firmly lifts them into the air.
You should try this pose first individually to work on flexibility before trying it with a partner. To do a double seated forward fold you just need to sit up tall, back to back.
Now, breath deep and lift your arms to the sky and then slowly bend forward to touch your feet. Once you get there, hold for 1 minute and slowly roll up to the original position.
A wide-leg seated forward bend is another way to get in a good stretch. To do this pose in partner yoga, you need to sit facing each other with your legs wide and your feet touching grabbing each others' arms at the elbows.
Here, while one person bends forward, the other leans back, gently stretching the other person. Then, you can switch roles. In this two-person yoga pose, it's very important to coordinate breathing and use this as a tool since it will help you to get a deeper stretch.
Both people should be reasonably flexible to try this partner yoga pose. In this pose you need to sit facing each other with your legs wide -as wide as possible, being careful of course- and you should grab the thighs of the other person. This yoga pose improves the elasticity of the muscles and tendons, relieves back pain and works to strengthen the back as well.
This yoga pose for two strengthens the abs and legs in equal measures. Also, the standing backbend puts balance, coordination, and breathing to the test. To do this pose, you just have to stand facing each other and grab one another's forearms and then bend back flexing the legs and counterbalancing each other to avoid falling.
You can play with time in this pose. First try two minutes, rest and stretch, and continue for 2 more minutes, etc. This yoga pose is also used to prevent and treat flat feet.
Check out the video below if you want to see some examples of partner yoga poses:
Ross, A. & Thomas, S. (2010). The health benefits of yoga and exercise: a review of comparison studies. The journal of alternative and complementary medicine, 16(1): 3-12.
Swart, A. (2011). Partner Yoga for establishing boundaries in relationship: A transpersonal somatic approach. International journal of yoga therapy, 21(1): 123-128.