Finding time to work, exercise and spend time with your partner can be difficult at times. Especially for those with high-stress jobs or juggling two full-time schedules.

Couples Yoga: Benefits and Must-Try Poses

Luckily, couples yoga is designed for a vigorous workout while opening up lines of non-verbal communication.  It allows a person to get the exercise needed while spending time with that special someone.  So next time you are in need of a workout, why not skip the solo expedition and take a couples yoga class instead?

What is it? Couples yoga, also known as partner yoga, is a sequence of movements in which people partner up and do yoga poses or asana together. Couples yoga helps connect you with your partner by touching and supporting each other as you both do the yoga moves.

You can do couples yoga with a stranger, friend or child, but couples yoga with your partner can be very intimate. This is a perfect bonding moment to share with someone who means a lot to you.

Like traditional yoga which is typically done alone, this type of yoga is used to relax your body, mind, and soul. It strengthens your muscles, improves flexibility and it gives you and your partner the relaxation you both need. As it improves concentration, flexibility, and core muscle strength, it can also help your sex life too.

Couples yoga versus traditional yoga: The main difference between traditional yoga and couples yoga is that couples yoga requires tandem pose sequences. Typically you can do yoga alone anywhere that is a quiet and secure while couples yoga requires you to have a partner in order to perform this kind of exercise successfully.

Some experts recommend couples yoga because of the proven healing power of touch. Just like doing traditional yoga it is all about independence and self-reliance, couples yoga supports building a good connection with your partner. Most people love couples yoga because it is a relaxing and fun way to be intimate outside of the bedroom.

Couples yoga can really help a relationship grow and improve. Couples yoga is about uniting postures and having an intimate connection to help your partner physically, emotionally and spiritually. While traditional yoga brings out self-awareness, couples yoga is about learning to read each other’s bodies and emotions. Couples yoga provides a unique way in interacting with your partner.

There are a number of postures and sequences designed for couples yoga. The important thing is that the same yoga moves are completed simultaneously. Couples yoga may involve positions not used in other forms of yoga.

Both traditional and couples yoga help to release stress and tension, but only couples yoga focuses on releasing negative tension between two persons and replacing it with positive energy. Couples yoga focuses on the individual as well as their relationship to the partnership.

Basic poses: There are poses, which range in difficulty, but beginning with the basics is highly recommended. Injuring your partner will not help build the circle of trust!

Stretching and making your muscles flexible makes it easier for you and your partner to perform couples yoga move effectively. Following mild stretching, you and your partner may want to engage in the strengthening poses like those listed below:

  • Doubletree: Double Tree looks like single tree except the partners are side by side and their arms are raised in a T-shape. Partners stand side-by-side, shoulders touching, and face the same direction. Place your outside leg (the leg furthest from your partner) on the upper inner thigh of your other leg. Wrap your inside arm around one another as if hugging. Take your outside arm and bring it toward your partner until your palms touch about chest height. Hands should resemble the Namaste hand position. This basic yoga pose requires both partners to relax and balance themselves by relying on the other for support.
  • Double standing forward bend: First you need to stand back to back with your partner. Then, bend at your waist as if to touch your feet. Next, reach your hands towards your partner’s elbows or shoulders and your partner will also do the same. Keep your legs straight and your feet together as you do this position.
  • Triple hill: This time, both of you will face each other with feet apart. Raise your hands up high touching your partners’ palms. While keeping your palms together, slowly step backward until both foreheads are touching. Spines should be arched down. Make sure to keep your abs engaged. After inhaling and exhaling, slowly put your arms down together and lean your chin towards your breast and do the breathing regime again.

Benefits of Couples Yoga: Couples yoga moves the focus of attention away from only mind and body to connection, trust and intimacy. Couples yoga benefits a relationship by building and strengthening a bond between two people. It could be a relationship with your wife, husband, lover your kid, your best friend or anyone you value deeply.

As far as relationship issues, couples yoga can open a non-verbal line of communication and cooperation. Couple yoga builds connection and trust, so it enhances the spiritual and emotional aspects of a relationship. Couples yoga can be a healthy alternative for couples experiencing marital problems. If reconciliation is desired, this is a peaceful approach that focuses on the connection, healing and trust building.

Like traditional yoga, couples yoga is great for releasing stress. Prolonged stress is a risk factor for many diseases and weakens the immune system. Couples yoga is a vigorous workout that if done correctly, will cause both partners to sweat. Sweating is beneficial in that it opens the pores, lowers the temperature of your internal organs, and releases toxins in the body.

Finding ways to release negative emotions is a healthy way to maintain a positive relationship. Built-up frustrations affect the relationship dynamic, your judgment and reduce intimacy. Couples yoga help your move beyond your daily frustrations into a deeper connection along with stronger and leaner bodies.

A word of caution: Couples yoga is recommended for most people who wish to help improve overall health. And while there are numerous benefits to couples yoga, there are also some risks. The first is the risk of physical injury.

A good yoga teacher will begin any work out with warm-ups and stretching and finish with cooling down and stretching. If it is your first time, especially with hot yoga, be careful not to strain your body. The heat from your sweat or the room may change your pain tolerance. If you have any pre-existing conditions or injuries it is extremely important that you inform your teacher before you begin.

Conclusion: Couples yoga opens up a new way of interacting and relating to a partner. This enhances relationships and builds lines of communication and trust. Couples yoga is usually done with a partner; however, it can be done with anyone –friend, child, relative – with whom you want to spend time.

Couples yoga is based on the same principles and posters of other forms of yoga. A rigorous and grounding workout, many of the benefits are the same. Like traditional yoga, couples yoga releases stress and tension while building and strengthening a relationship.

Couples yoga is about connecting physically to your partner. It requires trust and connection. So try to create the time to engage in this exercise to improve your own well-being and that of your partner and your relationship.

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