Partner yoga is an excellent opportunity for us to play, relax, and deepen the experience of love, while receiving all the benefits of yoga. The practice supports us to unplug from the stress of everyday life and nourish each other in both simple and profound ways. It opens up a whole new way of relating that is beneficial for all the different aspects of our being.
Here are five benefits of practicing partner yoga.
Partner Yoga connects and relaxes us. Partner yoga cuts through our habitual ways of relating and brings us more easily and directly into the heart. The touch and physical connection have an immediate relaxing effect that calms the mind and nervous system. We thrive on physical contact.
It supports our yoga practice. It is a wonderful entry into yoga for those who have little or no yoga experience & possibly believe themselves to be inflexible. Our partner’s presence provides the comfort and safety to stay present in areas of physical or emotional discomfort and supports us to move into places that are difficult to access on our own. For more experienced practitioners, the practice can deepens both our postures and our understanding of the healing power of yoga.
It creates more authenticity and honesty. The connection with our partner easily and naturally goes deeper because we are communicating directly, beyond words and stories, through our touch and presence. We learn that we don’t have to sacrifice our needs in order to be in relationship. Instead, we explore our own alignment and presence as the foundation to support our partner. In this way, the practice can cut through projections and misunderstandings and provide an opportunity to be transparent, honest, and vulnerable with each other. As one student recently shared, “Doing partner yoga helps us come close and back to love after an upset or disconnect. It’s a safe space to re-enter into intimacy.” Not only for romantic partners but for parents and children, for friends and siblings.
It allows us to see who & how we are in relationship. Simply sitting back to back, feeling a partner’s breath and warmth, we become mirrors for each other and feel how the quality of our presence impacts the other. We can feel if we are showing up as a willing, openhearted partner or open up to the opportunity of observing our resistance and/or assumptions about self or other.
It deepens our capacity for intimacy. Partner Yoga is a wonderful tool for us to enhance intimacy, going beyond the personality to recognize the soul attributes of those we are in relationship with. It can also be a magical way to get to know someone new in our lives!
(adapted from Elizabeth Williamson’s notes on the same subject, the edits and expansions are mine)