Yoga is a great form of exercise. If you are someone who isn’t motivated by rigorous and fast-paced workouts, then yoga is right up your alley. Practicing yoga offers both physical and mental benefits. It not only helps strengthen and stretch your muscles but also helps you relax, meditate, and destress.
If you love these benefits but have a hard time motivating yourself when working out on your own, then partner yoga might be what you need to help you stay healthy and fit. Doing yoga poses for two people will not only challenge your muscles but provide you with additional support.
Warming Up for a Yoga Session
Yoga is just like any other physical exercise, though. Before starting your yoga flow, you need to warm up first.
Yoga may look more gentle than more vigorous exercises, like zumba or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). But make no mistake — yoga can and will test your body’s limits.
Warming up before a yoga practice ensures your muscles aren’t cold and stiff. It prepares joints and gets your blood flow going. It also helps get you into the proper mindset.
Jumping into a yoga workout sans, whether it’s yoga poses for two people or just by yourself, sans warm ups can strain your muscles. This may lead to injury and turn you away from continuing yoga.
The rule of thumb is to start warming up around 5 to 15 minutes before your workout. If you and your partner are already familiar with yoga, you can do some gentle yoga poses as warm-ups. You can also do regular exercise warm-ups, such as:
- Jogging in place
- Shoulder and arm circles
- Leg bends and stretches
- Upper body twists
- Neck rotations and tilts
- Star jumps or jumping jacks
5 Beginner Poses for a Partner Yoga Workout
Once you and your partner are properly warmed up, you can start on these beginner yoga poses for two. When doing any of these poses, make sure to go slowly and listen to your body.
It is also important to communicate your level of comfort with your partner. This way, you won’t have to strain too much and risk injuries due to pushing your body.
Back-to-Back Sitting Twists
Sitting twists or twists in the easy pose can also be done as a warm-up for intermediate yoga poses for two people.
- Stretches the back muscles
- Reduce back pain
- Can aid in digestion
- Increase circulation
- Loosen up a tight spine and improve its range of motion
- Opens up the chest, shoulders, and back
How to do it:
- Sit down back to back with your partner.
- You can cross both legs in front of you or cross one on top of the other. Straighten your spine and hold your chin up. This is the easy or breathing pose.
- On inhale, reach your arms straight up to further lengthen the spine.
- On exhale, both you and your partner should slowly twist your torso to the right. Let your left arm go down and rest the hand on each of your right knees. Bring down your right arm as well and let your right hand reach for your partner’s left knee.
- Let your head and neck follow the direction of your twist to look over your shoulder.
- Hold the position for three full rounds of breathing before switching sides.
- Inhale while going back to the center position and reach your arms up again.
- Exhale to twist to your left side. You and your partner’s right hands should rest on your left knees while the left hand should rest on your partner’s right knee.
Partner Temple Pose
When doing this pose, try to keep your knees as straight as you can. But even if you can’t, that’s okay. You and your partner can build up to it through regular yoga practice.
- Works the abdominal muscles and obliques
- Stretches the hamstrings and thigh muscles
- Opens up the shoulders and chest
- Provides a deep stretch for the whole body
How to do it:
- Face your partner and stand on opposite ends of the yoga mat or a bit closer, depending on your reach. Stand with your feet at the hips’ width distance apart.
- On inhale, extend your arms above your head. After that, exhale while slowly and gently hinging or bending forward at the hips until your torso is parallel to the ground.
- Lift your head and extend your arms towards your partner. Touch your palms to theirs and let your elbows, forearms, and hands rest against each other’s. Your forearms should be at a 90-degree angle to the ground.
- Push into your hands and forearms. Make sure you and your partner rest equal weight against each other to maintain balance.
- Hold the pose for a couple of deep breaths.
- To release the pose, slowly walk towards each other to bring your torsos upright.
As its name suggests, the position looks as if you are sitting on invisible chairs. Doing the chair pose with a partner who can help you balance better allows you to sink deeper into the sitting position.
- Core tightening or ab workout
- Strengthens the quadriceps and biceps
- Firms up the glutes or butt muscles
- Challenges and improves balance
- Helps improve posture
- Lengthens the spine
- Opens up shoulders
How to do it:
- Stand around two to three feet away from your partner. Put your feet and knees together.
- Straighten your spine, face forward, and gaze straight.
- On inhale, lift your arms and hold onto your partner’s wrists.
- On exhale, slowly squat or sink into the sitting position in unison. As much as possible, stop when your thighs are parallel to the ground. If not, then simply get as close to it as you safely can.
- While keeping your spine long and straight, lean your torso back slightly.
- When in the chair position, keep your forelegs as straight as you can, too. You and your partner should be able to see your toes, instead of having your knees cover the view.
- Maintain your breathing while holding the pose for several counts.
Twin or Double Trees Pose
Staying up on one leg is easier when you have a partner you can lean on for support. Still, this pose will challenge your balance.
- Promotes proper posture
- Opens up the chest and hips
- Helps tighten your core muscles
- Works on the hamstrings, quads, and glutes
How to do it:
- Stand shoulder to shoulder and hip to hip with your partner while keeping your feet at the hips’ width distance.
- Make sure to firmly plant your inside leg on the mat and balance your weight through the whole of your foot. A good way to test your balance is to lift your toes — if you wobble, you aren’t evenly distributing or balancing your weight.
- Raise your inside arms over your head. You can either interlock your elbows or simply turn your arms outward towards your partner. In both cases, rest your palms against each other’s.
- You and your partner should carefully lift your outside leg to the side. Bend it at the knee and rest the sole of your feet against the inside of your thigh. Try to avoid resting your foot on the knee itself.
- If you’re having a hard time reaching your foot to your thigh, you can start with your forelegs first and work your way up slowly.
- Next, both partners bring their arms towards your body. From your hands into the prayer position (palm to palm) across both of your chests.
- Hold the pose for a series of inhales and exhales while maintaining balance. Make sure to keep your shoulders wide and your spine long throughout.
Child’s Pose and Backbend
After a challenging pose like the twin or double tree, it helps to go back to a relaxing pose. The child’s pose, along with the tabletop and savasana or corpse pose, is one of these relaxing or neutral positions.
- Stretches the core muscles, back, and abs
- Relaxes the arms and neck
- Opens up the hips
- Slows down breathing
- Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankle
How to do it:
- For this partner yoga pose, you and your partner will take turns doing different positions. Talk with each other and decide who will start on the bottom child’s pose and the top backbend.
- For the child’s pose: The person doing this position should start on their knees. Sit on the heels of the feet, spread the knees out, and slowly bend down at the waist. The torso should be laid down between the legs and knees. Lastly, extend both arms up over the head, with both palms down on the mat.
- For the backbend pose: While one person is in the child’s pose, the other is sitting or kneeling behind them and facing outward. Gently roll your back onto your partner, with your butt touching theirs. Stretch your arms up over your head and towards your partner’s hands.
- There are several ways to position your legs while doing the backbend pose. The first is by kneeling or going into the hero pose to stretch your quads. The second is by keeping your legs straight in front of you.
- Another is by planting your feet on the ground and pushing your thighs up. In this position, your butt wouldn’t touch your partner and instead be hovering a few inches off the mat.
Exercise for the Body and Mind
Yoga poses for two aren’t just for couples. If you are single and happy, you can grab a friend, a cousin, a sibling, or your mom or dad. These poses are easy and safe for older people to try.
Aside from asking a friend or family member, you can also join partner yoga classes in gyms and health centers. Attending yoga in Roseville will not only help you make new friends. Having a yogi teacher guide you in doing yoga poses for two will ensure you’re doing them properly and getting the most out of the yoga flow.