To celebrate Valentine’s Day we invited our friends, The Wigos, over for a Partner Yoga class, a fun way to share your yoga practice with another. Many of the traditional hatha yoga postures can be modified so that two people can both benefit from the postures and learn to support and nurture each other along the way.
We started by sitting in Easy Cross Legged Pose, which is not necessarily easy for everyone. However, when sitting back to back you are supported by the other person, allowing you to sit up taller and be comfortable in the pose (If sitting cross legged does not work for you at all, you can sit with your legs out straight.)
In this pose you will be able to feel your partners breath and it’s a great time to see if you can synchronize your breathing and become one. Deep diaphragmatic breathing is the key to a mindful yoga practice.
There are plenty of seated poses that you can try, spinal twist, forward fold, just to name a few. At the end of this post we share the entire Partner Yoga class that you can download and practice with a friend.
When coming to standing postures, again check in with your partner. Connect with your breath. Most of the time, two people are very different in size and levels of flexibility. That’s the fun part! You check in and adjust and try it out, then check in and adjust and try it again…until you find the sweet spot that really works for both of you. You must verbally check in with one another so that each of you know what the other is feeling. You want to feel a good stretch, but not too much!
The kids wanted to get in on the fun and the whole family loved doing the double Tree Pose. Here is Barbara and her daughter Devereaux, and Devereaux and her brother Channing trying it out. What a balanced group! To practice the Tree Pose, stand next to your partner and wrap you hands around each other’s waist. Bring the outside leg up and place the foot on the inner thigh. Bring the free hands together in front. You will be surprised how much easier this pose is when your are practicing with a partner.
Some of the more challenging postures, like Triangle, can be fun to do together. It’s surprising how a partner stretch will enable you to open more and become more flexible. And being more open and flexible is good for your relationship, too.
And remember at the end of every yoga class is a nice, long final relaxation. Savasana is an important part of the practice, allowing your bodies to rest and renew. Here’s a variation you can do with your partner. Just rest your head on each other’s shoulder, breathe deeply and relax!
Click here to download the entire Partner Yoga class with pictures and instructions. Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Let It Go Yoga.
Thank you to Channing, Barbara, Wolf and Devereaux Wigo.
Barbara Won WIgo is a certified Let It Go Yoga Teacher.
Wolf Wigo is a water polo coach and three time Olympian.
Story contributed by Sue Anne Parsons
Photos by Jim Parsons