Charles Eisenstein, who is the author of the book “The Ascent of Humanity,” says that “Enlightenment is a group activity.” Enlightenment and evolution is not something we can do alone. It is a conscious group effort.
Even though there are some battles that we have all have to fight alone, life is meant to be lived in community and togetherness.
Christopher McCandless, in the movie “Into the Wild”, says that “Happiness is only real when it is shared.” We can reach all levels of bliss and happiness sitting in a cave, but is it real when we cannot share it with any other being?
Yoga asanas are a beautiful and effective way of getting to know our bodies better, to clear our energy channels through various body movements, to keep our chakras balanced and healthy, to work on purifying our body and mind, and so much more. The benefits of yoga are endless.
For thousands of years, people have practiced yoga and yoga asanas. Many saints and yoga masters have spent their whole lives practicing the art of yoga and mastering this healing science of yoga.
Today, millions of people around the world practice yoga. For some, the yoga asana practice is a solitary practice where they practice on their mat by themselves. For some, yoga asana practice is a group process and activity.
Partnering up with another person for yoga asana practice can be a healing journey and a process within itself. When we practice alone, we learn about ourselves and our bodies. When we practice with a partner, we can learn about ourselves and our partner.
Working and practicing with someone can be a beautiful and enlightening experience where practice together, understanding each other, growing, and glowing together. Partner yoga can be an intimate experience too.
Here are 12 yoga poses for two people that we can practice with our yoga partners:
One of the first partner yoga poses is the seated meditation pose. Sit cross-legged, your back facing your partners back. Keep your palms on your folded knees or thighs. Close your eyes. Keep your back straight and relaxed. This posture, sitting back to back with your partner, can offer relaxation to your core postural muscles with the back support from your partner.
Synchronizing your breathing with your partner will help with a lot of deep kinesthetic communication.
This posture is not meant to be confused with your individual meditation practice. This posture is not suitable for introspective meditation.
Focusing on your partner can be a rewarding and beautiful learning experience as the ego is reduced when we recognize our self in others, and as we truly begin to see others beyond ourselves.
Sit crossed-legged with your backs touching each other and straighten your spine and back. Keep your back muscles relaxed yet lengthened. Move your shoulder’s to the right while touching your right hand to your partner’s left knee.
While you inhale, lengthen your spine. While you exhale, deepen the twist of your shoulders. You can pull on your partner’s knee for more leverage.
After several deep breaths, inhales and exhales, return to your original positions and relax.
Sit crossed-legged with your back touching the back of your partner’s. While you keep both your sitting bones grounded, place your hand lightly on the floor. Reach upward and rightward with your left hand.
Feel the stretch on your left side of the body and feel the support of your partner while doing this pose.
Sit-crossed legged while you and your partner are facing each other. Your knees should lightly be touching your partner’s knees. Reach your left arm towards the light side of the waist of your partner.
Keep your right behind and bring it to your left side. When you and your partner both have done this, on both sides, hold your partner’s hand.
With your right arm, pull your partner’s left hand while helping her to deepen the twist. After you feel the twist in your body, gently release hands and come back to the original position.
Both you and your partner will sit on your knees at first, your back facing your partners back. Your heels and your partner’s heels will all be in the same line, while you place your right heel between both her heels.
Bend backward and touch the floor with your fingers. Your chest will be facing upwards, giving a good stretch to your front muscles.
You head and your partner’s head will be crossing each other in this pose, as both of you touch the floor with your fingers while bending backward.
If you feel the need to deepen your stretch, then push your hips forward while supporting your lower back by tucking the tail bone downwards.
Lie on your back. Lift your knees and spread your hands beside your body. Let the distance between your feet be at shoulders length. Have your partner rest her back on your knees. Your partner will support her body with her feet on the floor and knees bent.
Hold your partner’s hand while she rests her head on your knees. While she deepens her pose into your thighs, support her head. You can gently pull her hands to deepen her stretch.
Sit back to back with your partner. Spread your legs ahead to move into the forward bend pose. Lift your hands up and towards your feet. Feel the stretch of the forward bend in your arms and hips.
Your partner will simply spread her hands gently on her sides and rest her back on your back. As you deepen your stretch, you can deepen your partner’s stretch too.
Sit on your knee with your back straight and relaxed. Gently bend forward and downwards with your hands up and spread your heads forward and let go into complete relaxation. Relax as a child does. Completely relax into your own body.
Let your partner rest on your back in the fish pose. The more your partner stretches into the fish pose, the further you can relax into the child’s pose.
Boat pose is one of the best yoga poses for two people. Sit face to face to your partner with your legs spread in front, perpendicular to your body. Let the sole of your feet gently touch your partner’s soles. You and your partner both should lift your feet gently in the air and then hold each other’s hands.
Keep your back as straight as you can, and give an excellent stretch to your hamstrings.
Stand face to face with your partner with a two arms distance between both of you, and then both of you can gently bend your knees. Once both you gently bend your knees, hold each other’s hands and give a good stretch to your arms and core muscles.
This pose is similar to the chair position but instead of holding both hands just clasp your right hand with your partner’s right hand and give a good stretch to the front side of your body.
Both you and your partner’s left hands will be in the backward direction, giving a sublime twist to your bodies.
This pose will enable your partner to go into a handstand while simultaneously allowing you to strengthen your core muscles, arms, and thighs.
Sit with your legs, spread in a perpendicular direction with your feet facing forward. Your partner will come ahead of you in a handstand. You will support your partner by holding her legs while she balances herself on her palms and hands.
The weight of your partner’s lower body will be supported by you, thus strengthening your arms, core, and thighs.
After a good connective workout with your partner, you can move into the final relaxation pose together.
Lie down on the floor, with your backs facing the floor. Your head will be on the side of your partner’s feet, and your partner’s feet will be towards the direction of your head.
As you lay diagonally to each other, you can hold each other’s hands. Practicing this pose in such a manner can be an intimate process. Relaxation pose is one of the most beautiful couple yoga poses. It is not for all partners, but when practiced, it can cultivate feelings of joy and trust within you and your partner.
The above-mentioned yoga poses for two persons are to be practiced with care and respect for ourselves and our partners. It is important that we honor and respect our partner’s boundaries and through this process of partner yoga, we can get to know more about our partners and their boundaries.