Whether you’re single or in a relationship, I’m sure you can’t help but realize that it’s almost Valentine’s Day. It’s kind of hard to miss as it’s probably one of the best marketed holidays of the year…next to Christmas! Whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not, this is a great time of year to think about connection. We could all use a little more love…and ahem…chocolate! So, I invite you to connect with someone special in your life through partner yoga and a few indulgent treats.
The meaning of the word yoga is literally ‘to yoke’ meaning to create connection or union. We create this connection within ourselves when we do yoga. We connect our mind and our body through breath and awareness. When we do partner yoga, we extend this connection with one another. We allow ourselves and our partner to go much deeper into a pose by supporting each other and allowing ourselves to be supported. What better way to deepen your relationship with your friend or lover and with yourself?
It’s so nurturing to feel the warmth and support of another person as we open into and through our bodies. As you practice the following poses with your partner, focus on connecting through your breath. Poses done back to back are especially powerful. You may literally feel as if that person ‘has your back’ as you feel the warmth of their body supporting you from behind.
To begin, spend some time centering yourself as you sit back to back. First, start to notice your own breath as it enters and leaves your body. Then, as you tune into your own rhythm, start to notice you partner’s breath. Notice how fast or slow it is and where you can feel it in their body. Take a few moments to start to synchronize your breath with your partner’s. This creates a connection that goes beyond the physical form of the body. You enter a space with your partner where you come into sync and are intimate with each other. Use your breath to come into and out of each pose that follows. (Thanks to Roz and Dan for the beautiful demonstrations!)
Forward and Back Bend – In this pose you will open through the chest and back as you come into a supported back bend. Sit back to back in an easy, cross-legged pose and link arms with your partner. When you have entered into a rhythmic breath together, inhale to extend through the spine and then exhale to come into the pose.
As one partner bends forward, the other partner allows themselves to be supported as they come into a back bend. Spend a few breaths here as you allow yourselves to go deeper into the pose. Inhale to slowly come out of the pose and then repeat it with your partner.
Back to Back Twist – Begin sitting back to back in an easy cross-legged position. Each person then reaches their right hand back to take a hold of their partner’s left knee. Your left hand can come to your own right knee to facilitate the twist. Inhale to lengthen through the spine and then exhale to twist to the right. Continue to use your breath to extend through the spine and releasing deeper into the twist on an exhale. Exhale to release back to the center and then repeat it on the other side. When you are finished your practice, you can turn and offer each other a “Namaste” which literally means “I bow to you” acknowledging your appreciation of that person in your life.
If you’re a little hungy after all that yoga and you’d like to indulge in some mouth-watering recipes to enjoy with your loved one, read on to discover a delicious Chocoate Pot-de-Creme or some Healthy Turtle BonBons. And of course, keep posted for our upcoming Partner Workshop through Rejuvenate Your Prana!
Namaste to you on Valentine’s Day!