When you practice yoga on your own, it can be very internal and meditative, which is one of the reasons people love yoga so much. Yoga also stretches, strengthens, and tones your muscles, and if you do yoga poses with another person, the physical and emotional benefits are amazing. Not only can you get deeper into poses, but you can also deepen your connection.
Here's a fun partner yoga pose to try. I call it Double Boat, and you can find it in the book Yoga for Partners. When you do Boat pose on your own, it totally works your abs, but when you do it with a partner, it changes the stretch and works your hamstrings.
To find out how to do Double Boat
- Sit opposite your partner, with about three feet between you.
- Hold hands on the outside of your legs. Raise both legs and place the soles of your feet together.
- Work on finding your balance and, when you're ready, try straightening your legs. You may need to come out of the pose and adjust the distance between you and you partner, moving an inch or two apart if your hamstrings are less flexible, and moving a couple inches closer if you are more flexible. The least flexible person is always in charge, so make sure you do the pose in a way that's comfortable to both partners. It's OK if one or both of you can't straighten your legs. If it helps, you can work on one leg at a time, keeping the opposite foot planted on the floor.
- As you hold the pose, work on drawing your lower back in (trying not to hunch or round your spine) and engaging your abs. You can either gaze towards each other, or drop your heads back and gaze behind you.
- Stay here for five or more breaths and then slowly lower your legs down to the ground and release your partner's hands. If your lower back is sore, take a counter-pose such as Child's Pose on your own, or do Double Sandwich together.
Source: Flickr User lmpicard