Couples yoga, or partner yoga, is a great form of meditative exercise that offers both physical and mental benefits. With couples yoga, you get to experience the relaxation, focus, and meditative parts of yoga, while getting close to the other person and sharing the joy of touch.
Yoga involves stretching and bodyweight exercises that are known as flows. Practitioners move from stretch to stretch, holding poses that will improve strength and flexibility. A traditional yoga class involves poses that can be completed solo, like sun salutations, downward dog, and warrior pose. These poses involve stretching primarily the back and hamstrings, as well as the shoulders, core, and neck.
Couples yoga is similar but involves exercises that are to be completed with a partner, building trust and closeness while allowing people to perform more complex exercises.
Simple Couples Yoga Exercises
Couple yoga can be as simple or as challenging as you want to make it. If you’re naturally athletic and have worked and trained together before, then you might want to try some exercises that require a bit of flexibility and coordination. If you’re not usually sporty, then you might want to start with something more relaxing and simple.
Couples Breathing Exercises
Perhaps the simplest couples yoga exercise is the breathing exercise. Sit cross-legged, back-to-back with upright posture. Try to coordinate your breathing. Aim to time it so that you breathe out when your partner breathes in and vice-versa. Sit quietly and focus on nothing but breathing for five minutes. This will help you relax and meditate, and it’s a good bonding exercise. Once you’ve reached the stage where you can breathe together, you can start to try training together.
Twin Trees is a nice partner pose that requires some balance but not too much strength or flexibility. Stand side by side, raise one leg (the outer one), and rest the foot of that leg against the knee of your other hand. Hold your outer arm against your waist, and raise your inner arm, palm facing towards your partner.
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Your partner should adopt the same pose so that the raised arms are touching each other, and you are both standing on one leg. You can gently use each other for balance. Try to hold the pose for as long as you can, then switch legs.
Double Down Dog
If you’re both similar sizes, then the double down dog is a great exercise. One of you should start in down dog—with your feet shoulder-width apart, lean forward, and put your hands on the mat in front of you. Walk your hands out a little, aiming to keep your feet flat on the floor and feel a stretch in your hamstrings and back.
Lower your knees to the mat and allow your partner to put their feet on your bottom and their hands on the mat out in front of you. When you raise back up into downward dog, they’ll be in “tabletop” position, with their legs elevated and their arms holding their weight. Hold for seven breaths, then slowly lower yourself to the mat. Swap places to try the other side of the exercise.
Getting in the Mood for Yoga
Yoga breeds mindfulness and closeness. It’s a great exercise to practice alone or with the family. However, getting into the mental zone where you want to do yoga and can successfully clear your mind and focus on the moment can be hard for some people.
If you’re attending a traditional yoga class, you’ll notice that they play quiet music, use essential oils or incense, and keep the studio warm. Because you want to be as comfortable as possible during your practice, adding some of these elements into your personal couples yoga practice can be beneficial.
Choosing Essential Oils
If you’re looking for some essential oils to help set the mood for your couples yoga practice at home, try a range of MONQ diffuser blends, perfect for relaxation and for couples. Sexy and Love are both uplifting blends that can help boost confidence and charisma. They’re also both great aphrodisiacs.
Couples yoga is something that anyone can try. It’s fun and friendly, and you can do it in a scheduled class (it’s so popular now that a lot of yoga studios offer beginner’s yoga classes for couples) or you can buy a yoga mat for home and do the exercises while following videos.
Whichever option you choose, know that your couples practice can benefit from using essential oils before, after, or during your practice to increase the health benefits that yoga provides.