Browse by Focus
Beginner Yoga Classes
FREE Online Classes
Class Levels Defined
Yoga Programs & Packages
Yoga Pose Videos
Printable Pose Guides
How Our Site Works
Yoga for Peace
Newsletter Sign Up
Yoga, Health, and Wellness Articles + Recipes
Yoga, health, wellness, and recipes from YogaDownload.com
Five Ways to Expand Your Practice with Partner Yoga
On September 21, 2012 in
But every so often your teacher may throw you a curveball in class, asking you to pair up with someone and try a partner yoga pose together. And suddenly there is conversation, a spark, a fun energy that was not in the room just a few minutes prior. That’s the sound of partner yoga!
If you’ve tried it, you may already know that partner yoga gives us a constant source of yummy, effective hands-on adjustments---bringing us into a deeper expression of poses than we can take ourselves. It also teaches us valuable skills in communication, trust, surrender, problem solving and much more.
So if you’ve ever wanted to try partner yoga, grab a friend or loved one and try these five simple partner yoga practices:
1) Back-to-back Seated Meditation:
Sitting back-to-back on the mat in Easy Pose (Sukhasana), lean your body forward and scoot your hips back until you can feel the base of your spine meeting your partner’s sacrum. Without leaning your weight onto your partner’s back, sit straight up and let your shoulders lightly rest on your partner’s own shoulders. If either of you feels leaned on, hinge forward and repeat the search for that firm sacral connection at the base of your spine, then sit up tall again. Sit for a few minutes, allowing your breath to be steady and smooth, perhaps coming into rhythm with your partner’s own breath. Feel the simultaneous act of giving and receiving support, and grounding effect as you prepare to move with your partner.
2) Child’s Pose / Backbend:
Have your partner come into a comfortable Child’s Pose (Balasana) with arms extended in front on the floor. Allow them to settle into the pose for a few breaths, then walk behind them and rest your hands on their lower back right above their hips. Slowly press their hips down towards the floor, tractioning their spine and further opening their hips. Then carefully sit down on their hips facing away from their body, keeping your knees bent and feet resting on the floor. Carefully lie down on their back, letting your head rest back slowly, checking in with yourself and your partner to make sure you are both comfortable. Next, extend your legs long onto the floor, letting your body weight rest on your partner’s back. For a deeper shoulder and chest stretch, your partner can hold your wrists or hands and gently pull your arms into a nice stretch. To release the pose, take your hands onto the floor and slowly slide your hips down to the floor. This final traction should feel very nice on your partner’s lower back. Switch partners and repeat the pose.
3) Low Lunge:
Begin with both partners coming into Downward Dog facing each other. Inhale your right leg into the air, then exhale step forward between your hands, aligning your right knee over your heel. Lower your left knee to the mat, sliding it back until you feel a comfortable stretch in the left front thigh and groin. Inhale your hands up to meet your partner’s hands. Pressing into their palms will bring your pelvis slightly closer to the mat and deepen the stretch for your hip, groin and thigh. Breathe for 5-8 rounds here and switch sides.
4) Partner Pigeon Pose:
Again, start with both partners in Downward Dog facing each other. Inhale your right leg long, exhaling as you release your right knee to the mat into Pigeon Pose. Take a moment to adjust your body in pigeon, making sure both hips are even. Once both partners have found stability in their own body, strengthen your core, inhale your arms overhead and bring hands to touch. Press into your partner’s hands and upwards, bringing the stretch into your shoulders and chest. With your core strong and your arms active, enjoy pigeon in a very different way than you’ve ever felt before. Stay here for 5-8 breaths and switch sides.
5) Wide Leg Forward Bend:
Sit facing your partner as you both bring legs wide preparing for a Wide-angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana). One partner brings their feet to rest on their partner’s ankles (usually this is the person with less flexibility in their legs). Both partners take a moment to inwardly rotate their thighs and find their sitting bones on the mat, sitting tall. (If the lower back is rounding at all, find a blanket or pillow to sit on to help maintain a straight spine.) Extend your arms in front and grab your partner’s wrists softly. Both partners inhale together, and exhale as one partner slowly folds forward and the other partner leans back. Both partners keep their arms long, spines straight and collarbones wide. Communicate with your partner when you’ve found a deep stretch and stay here for 5-8 breaths. Inhale up together and switch to the opposite side.
Take a moment to conclude your practice together in silence, finding a few minutes in Savasana before you continue with your day. Remember to give thanks to your partner for their support and honor them for their presence. Namaste.
Looking for more partner yoga?
Click here for a 60 minute partner yoga vinyasa flow video
designed for all levels of yoga experience.
By Amy Baglan
Amy Baglan is a registered yoga teacher and the founder of
, a national series of yoga events for singles and couples based in Denver, CO. Each day she works tirelessly to spread love, passion and the power of yoga---especially partner yoga---to people around the world. Amy left New York City to pursue her passions a few years ago and never looked back. She studied Ashtanga yoga in India and fell in love with Thai massage in Chiang Mai, Thailand before gratefully calling Colorado her new home. She is also a certified Principle-Based Partner Yoga teacher and licensed massage therapist.
8 Reasons Why Men with Back Pain Should Practice Yoga
Back pain is a serious problem in the modern day with 80% of Americans expected to experience it at some point during their lifetime. So, any activity that can help to guard against it should be welcomed right? Well, this is exactly what yoga can do. As the flexibility and increased range of motion it gives you can really take the pressure and strain off your back throughout the day. While the core strength you’ll gain will keep your back better supported while also improving your posture. However, despite these benefits most yoga classes continue to be dominated by women as many men remain reluctant to give it a try. But why is this?
Yoga for Crossfit: Why it Improves Performance & 3 Poses
Yoga is not only a good way to relax your mind and body, it is also being praised for improving Crossfit performance. Yoga creates more flexibility and creates more mobility, which are beneficial for the rigors of Crossfit as well as reducing the risk of injury. While the practices are different in many ways, Crossfit and yoga actually have a lot in common, so if you practice yoga, it’s can be easier to learn to practice Crossfit, and vice versa. Benefits of Yoga for Crossfit: Here are a few reasons why you should consider using yoga as a part of your crossfit training regime. Yoga has many gentle poses that develop your core which is an important part to Crossfit. Being capable of balancing and holding the body with the core is essential. When you regularly practice yoga, you promote strength, endurance, and flexibility and have a greater awareness of how to use your core effectively. You also find your inner strength which is important in Crossfit training. You practice cultivating calm, in challenging moments in yoga, and that can really help during Crossfit. Yoga can help us have more fun in Crossfit. Studies have found that yoga allows you to become more self-aware and improves your energy levels, helping you to enjoy life more fully. Sometimes in Crossfit, training and progress becomes such a focus point that we forget to be light and have fun. Yoga can help here.
Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Body Confidence
Yoga has a lot of benefits, from the physical to the mental. But did you know it can also boost your self confidence? Body confidence is something everyone should have. It helps you to be happy in life and with yourself, and be proud of yourself and the body you inhabit. Body confidence is believing in yourself, and not having self-doubt about your image. Yoga is one of the best ways to boost your body confidence. Here’s the ways in which it can improve how confident you feel in your body: Yoga boosts your focus
9 Tips to Show Up On Your Yoga Mat Consistently
Several years ago I read something that said something along the lines of 'mastery' simply being the result of doing things you've committed to or decided you would master, even in the moments when you really don't feel like it. I resonate with this, and have often returned to the lightbulb moment this perspective gave me, on days when I do not feel like showing up on my yoga mat. When I manage to overcome the obstacles of getting onto my mat (which are usually made up excuses), almost always, I'm happy I practiced. Very seldom, if ever, do I regret taking the time to do yoga. Can you also relate to this? The benefits of yoga are too numerous to list, and so rich for those that feel the effects of a regular practice on their well-being. Life can feel challenging sometimes, and having something to return to that brings a greater sense of peace, is priceless. I've learned that for whatever reason, the yogic combination of focusing on the breath while putting the body into these powerful shapes, has the ability to transform our thinking, and has left me feeling more relaxed, happy, and content, time and time again.
4 Reasons to Branch Out in Your Yoga Practice
Sun Salutations, Warrior Poses, Downward Dog – every yogi has their favourite tried and tested poses and flows that they may be able to do with their eyes closed. As you move through your daily routine on the matt, you might notice your mind drifting. The flows that once took concentration and took your mind away from the humdrum day to day thoughts are now second nature, and you’ve lost your sense of zen. It’s easy to get into a rut if you stick to your comfort zones in life – and your yoga practice is no different. This week we’re challenging you to try a new class every day for two weeks. Here are four key benefits that branching out in your yoga practice can bring you. 1. Keep your brain active Did you know that learning a new skill, such as a different language or something creative like a musical instrument can help your brain form new connections? The same applies when you learn a new yoga flow or try a challenging pose. Stimulating your brain in this way can increase your memory skills, concentration and even your creativity levels. Learning something new, like figuring out a new yoga challenge can create neural pathways in the brain, increasing brain power.
5 Reasons Online Yoga Classes Enrich Your Yoga Practice
Online classes are not always given the respect they deserve. While they have plenty of differences than in-person classes, they nonetheless offer room for growth. My first experience with yoga did not happen in a studio or group setting. It happened with a Power Yoga DVD that I picked up from the store. Eventually I started going to a studio, but practicing yoga by myself with a DVD was my first step. Since then, I have enjoyed the wide variety of online classes available to explore other yoga styles and teachers. In every yoga class, online or in person, you learn something new. It ranges from the external, such as a pose cued by the instructor, to the internal, such as building self-awareness. I have been practicing yoga for nine years, and continue to learn new things from every teacher and class I attend. Online platforms bring the teachers, classes and learning experiences to you- you just need to be ready for them. Here are 5 of the ways online classes enrich you’re your yoga practice (in ways in-person classes do not).
comments powered by Disqus.
blog comments powered by
Healthy Recipes (259)
New Classes & Programs (223)
WRITE FOR US
GET THE LATEST
Signup for info on the latest classes and discounts.
Align and Flow
Baptiste Power Yoga
Films & Documentaries
Prana Flow Vinyasa
Yoga With Weights
Yoga en Español
Yoga for Beginners
Yoga en Español
© COPYRIGHT 2020 YOGADOWNLOAD