Partner Yoga

BY XENIA GUIDO

Yoga Means Union

It is interesting to think that yoga and meditation, practices where we turn the attention inwardly, would have an influence in our relationships with others. Yet, as we show up to practice, consistently, we begin to notice subtle changes in our capacity for understanding, forgiving, and being patient with others. When we practice yoga in a room full of people we can’t help but feel connected, through our breath, our energy, our efforts and our humanness.

Healthy relationships are the foundation for a happy life. Yet, our modern world is overflowing with distractions and disconnect. The practice of yoga brings us back to ourselves and back to the idea that we are all one. It teaches us that the integrity of our spiritual practice is relative to the strength of our relationships. This of course, starts with the relationship we have with ourselves.

What Would Patanjali Say?

In the very first text on yoga, The Sutras of Patanjali, the great master speaks of 10 guiding principles for being a yogi. Five are guidelines we follow to better ourselves like cleanliness, contentment, austerities, self-study, and complete surrender. And five are guidelines for being in relationships. These are: non-harming, truthfulness, non-stealing, non-hoarding, and the last one, brahmacharya. The concept of brahmacharya involves all of the following: having integrity in our relationships and our agreements with others; not wasting our or their precious energy; and treating others in a way that would be pleasing to God.

Partner Yoga is an opportunity to bring this internal awareness of our own being in contact with another being. As we work together to create something special we can be a mirror for our partner and they can be a mirror for us. Through this practice we step up to be of support, to stand up on our own two feet, to speak up our needs calmly and clearly, and to listen attentively and compassionately. 

Partner Yoga Poses

Below are a few simple poses that can be practiced with your partner, friend, or family.

This short blog is not meant to be a tutorial on the poses. It is intended for people who already familiar with yoga, breath awareness, moving mindfully, and who want to share this practice with a friend.

I would recommend holding each pose for 5-7 breaths and repeat each pose at least twice. Try the first variation taking your time to verbally communicate what you need and to listen. And the second variation in silence, communicating only through touch and breath.

At Pura Vida Yoga we offer Private Partner Yoga classes. And we have an AcroYoga Workshop in February 2019.

A big Thank You to Jessica Lamb and Jorge Garcia for being our Partner Yoga models.

Sit back to back and breathe
partner yoga seated shoulder stretch
partner yoga twist
partner yoga assisted forward fold
partner yoga double plank
partner yoga standing shoulder stretch
partner yoga backbend assist
Partner yoga cultivates trust, communication and fun

“In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” ― Charles Darwin

6 thoughts on “Partner Yoga”

  1. It is so nice to see what connection partner yoga can bring to two friends! I know Jessie and Jorge both very well, it is so nice to see them practice together it vividly shows how yoga can bring two amazing souls together to deepen their practice, learn from one another, and form a bond that vibrates through the Pura Vida Community!!

    WE ARE ALL ONE ON THIS EARTH! We see the strengths in ourselves through the people around us. That is why I love being around the people at pura vida so much !!!

    Thank you for sharing your divine wisdom Xenia 🙂

    Sent with light and gratitude,
    Nicole van Logtenberg

  2. I have never done partner yoga before, but I can say that practicing yoga has helped me in my interpersonal communication and interaction. I have been thinking a lot about Aparigraha (non grasping) or letting go, in my asana, and in my relationships lately…what things do I like to hold on to? What are my so called expectations of another human according to my perspective? What is that perspective? I imagine partner yoga really deepening this Yama, among the 9 other yama and niyamas. I would love to incorporate more partner yoga in my practice, just to see what comes up. Thank you for the pictures Jessica and Jorge!

  3. Love this! And Jessie and Jorge’s synergy 🙂 The more I practice, the more I realize that just like in meditation, we’re given the gifts of connection and compassion as we practice alone, together. I haven’t tried partner yoga yet, but am really looking forward to it. When I started swing dancing with a partner (as opposed the solo hip hop dance I did in college), the conversation I was having with my own body morphed into this beautiful, complex dialogue. It forever changed the way I think about movement and relating to others. So I can imagine that something similar can happen when you start partner yoga.

  4. I enjoyed this! It is so true how you explained how we are connected together as we practice yoga in the same room. We are there with our breath and energy and we are all connected since we are like minded practicing yoga together as that is the thing that is bringing us together. It is our unity with each other away from our distractions of the outside world.

  5. So inspiring!! Thank you for your wise words. I certainly feel connected to everyone in the room whenever I practice – it’s a wonderful feeling!!

  6. Such beautiful poses by Jess and Jorge! Partner yoga is a wonderful experience that allows you to communicate and get to know your friend, partner, or fellow yogi on a new level. Moving through poses can be a gratifying way to express emotions that words might not be able to. As we learn about the ways our partner moves, we can also turn inward to give love to ourselves and our ability to make these connections.

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