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When two is company and a yoga class is a crowd, enjoy do-it-yourself partner yoga with our illustrated love warrior sequence
BY THE MAGAZINE OF YOGA STAFF
If you’re like us, you may want to do some yoga with your partner but are not always in the mood to be in a group or class. Do-It-Yourself partner yoga can be simple and rewarding. We’ve found partner yoga at home to be enhanced by the privacy, the ease of our natural responsiveness to each other and our personal blend of playfulness and quiet reflectiveness when we are practicing.
Mirroring and sync are accessible and relaxing forms of partner yoga. If you know how to do any variation of a sun salutation, try doing sun salutations together. And by together, I don’t mean one of you leading and the other following.
Instead try this: begin by taking turns naming the posture before either of you move, trading back and forth between you for a round or two to get comfortable and synced up.
Then drift into wordless communication as you relax into moving and breathing together, modifying and slowing down as necessary.
Delight in the surprises of sync
Your commitment with your partner is emotionally and physically embodied. You’re not just “like minded” – you’re attuned to each other in ways of which you might not guess the depth or subtlety.
Doing sun sals as partner yoga is a novel, fun and potentially challenging. Be patient and stay tuned-in to move at the same pace. Your focus is on what you are doing together, not on getting “your” practice done.
Laughter really is the best guide to pacing, and we’ve found that sense of humor lingers long after the practice, reminding us of how happy we are just being together.
Dancing love warriors
A second DIY is doing a dancing love warrior series done facing each other. You only need to know three basic postures: warrior two, reverse warrior, and side angle. Everything else is breath.
Face toward each other, each of you standing with legs straight and your feet in a comfortable warrior two position. Hands at your sides, exhale.
Inhale and take your hands over head
Exhale your arms to shoulder height and bend the knee of the front leg, turning your head to look over your fingers in warrior two.
Drop your back hand onto the thigh of your back leg or your buttock and inhale reaching your front hand overhead in a reverse warrior.
Bring your front arm down and bend it at the elbow placing your forearm on your thigh as you slowly exhale and bring your back arm up, reaching above you in side angle.
Inhale and stand back into warrior two.
Exhale and let your arms come to rest at your side.
With the next inhale, your hands go overhead again, and so on.
Do two or three sequences of dancing warrior this way, then still facing toward each other, rotate your body and shift your feet so your back leg becomes the front leg. Be sure to adjust your feet as necessary to protect your knees.
Then repeat, balancing both sides of your body.
By the way, sometimes just holding hands in shavasana is the most wonderful DIY partner yoga.
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.