Nothing says togetherness like when you’re entwined with your sweetie in a yoga pose designed for couples. Yoga is usually such a solitary pursuit, but when done with the one you love it can deepen your relationship. Perform poses in unison, side by side, or lock your hands and eyes together for mutual support. Stretch your limbs, get toned and become a stronger unit with yoga for couples.
For couples wanting to practice yoga together, you both have to be on the same page. No use whining, wheedling or cajoling, because unless this is something you both want to enjoy, it's not going to fly. Have a talk beforehand and work out what you want out of a couples yoga practice. Do you both want to pursue a solitary practice but with your mats side by side at a studio? Do you want to go to a class led by a qualified Partner Yoga instructor, or do you want to experiment with both methods in the privacy of home? Whatever you both decide, don't make it an all or nothing venture. If one method doesn't work, try another. The true indicator of a strong relationship is the ability to compromise.
Have His Back
One thing you're going to learn very quickly in a couples yoga practice is that you're not at the same level. If your partner is a muscle-bound, 6-foot athlete and you're a flexible shrimp, you're going to have different limitations. Go forward with a lot of patience and a nonjudgmental attitude. Support is key in a couples yoga practice; and that doesn't just mean when he's got you suspended in the air. Respect each other's abilities and enthusiastically applaud your breakthroughs.
To Fly or Not to Fly
Choosing to pursue a true Partner Yoga practice over simply stretching and working at your own pace from adjacent mats adds a whole new level of fun and difficulty. Partnering up could simply mean giving your honey an adjustment while he's in Downward Dog. Or, you could perform a pose such as Boat while facing each other and touching the soles of your feet together while holding hands. The ultimate, of course, is actually supporting your partner's body weight with the strength of your back or legs, allowing him to “fly” above the mat. Just remember while you're building trust in these high-flying poses to always keep each other's safety in mind.
Off the Mat
Use what you learn in a mutually supportive yoga practice for couples in your day-to-day life. Make it about working together and valuing the different strengths you each bring to the table. Yoga and stretching for couples can be a great teacher.
Linda Kaban is a certified yoga teacher and professional life coach who specializes in helping people achieve their fitness goals. With a bachelor's degree in the humanities, Kaban has been writing since 1998 and has been published in YOGALife magazine along with other healthy living publications.