Doing any kind of activity on a daily basis needs immense passion or great commitment. If we are immensely passionate about an activity, that is enough motivation to do it regularly. In other cases, if we are taking something on because it brings some benefit, then commitment and discipline is needed for it to be performed regularly. Unfortunately, with the daily distractions of life, most people find it difficult to maintain that discipline. Having a strong support system – like a group or partner – not only helps us be on a regular routine, but also develops trust and builds a deeper connection. Keeping this in mind many activities are designed around having a partner to do it with. One such activity is “Partner Yoga”. The partner can be anyone – a friend, child, spouse etc.
Doing yoga with a partner brings a certain liveliness into the asana. Doing the asana alone can become somewhat serious at times. But with a partner it feels good to have a laugh while doing an asana, or just hear the partner’s satisfied relaxation in a spine lengthening forward fold. This can be rejuvenating to both partners. If partner yoga appeals to you, try some simple poses below.
1) Seated Forward Fold: Sit apart from each other, legs stretched out, and fold forward. Grab your partner’s hands or forearms to get a deeper stretch. Can be done with larger groups, as well. Hold for five to seven breaths.
2) Heart Opener: One partner will be on the mat in a forward fold. The other partner will lie on their partner with their chest opened, legs stretched out or bent. Most of the top partner’s weight will be towards the feet. Hold for five to seven breaths.
3) Double Boat Pose: Find a comfortable seated position facing each other, with knees bent and toes touching. Reach for partner’s wrists. Walk soles of feet together, drawing knees into chest. Keeping the spine straight and chest open, begin to straighten legs. This can be challenging; stay playful and try straightening one leg at a time. Hold for five to seven breaths.
4) Partner Fold Forward: Come to wide-legged seated position, facing each other, bringing soles of feet together. Extend arms toward each other, holding opposite palm to forearm. Inhale and lengthen through the spine. Exhale, as one person folds forward from the hips and your partner sits back, keeping the spine and arms straight. Hold for five to seven breaths.
5) Forward bend Pose: Stand with your partner back to back, legs straight. Both partners bend forward. Reach out for the partner elbows or as far as you can reach while staying forward comfortably breathing. Hold for five to seven breaths.
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