Partner yoga: Easy BFF 2 person yoga poses for the best bonding practice
Everything’s better in pairs.
Take the classic British staple for example, what would bangers be without mash?
Or the beloved Disney duo, Marlin and Dory?
Well, just a lonely sausage and a sad clownfish, that’s what.
But this fundamental law of life doesn’t only apply to our plates and in the Pacific, it’s in yoga as well.
While predominantly a solo practice, the purpose of yoga is to create deeper connections both with ourselves and the world around us.
And what better way to form meaningful relationships than with yoga poses for two people?
Whether you’re looking for a way to build trust with your loved one or simply want to bond with your BFF, these two-person yoga poses will bring you closer to your practice and your partner.
So go on, give them a try!
How do you do yoga with two people?
In fact, far easier than doing it solo.
While traditional yoga poses require a certain level of balance, strength and focus, partner yoga poses allow you to lean on your friend or loved one for additional support.
After all, that’s what partners are for, right?
Using your friend or loved one as an anchor, you’ll be able to push deeper into difficult stretches and maintain your balance throughout your practice, even with those tricky tree poses.
Partner yoga practice also gives you that extra bit of motivation when you feel like giving up.
That said, it requires a great deal of communication and collaboration.
What’s the difference between Partner yoga and Acro yoga?
Partner and Acro yoga both require two people to perform poses, but the similarities pretty much stop there.
In Partner yoga, you and your partner will work together to execute common asanas like downward dog or child’s pose while using each other’s bodies for stability and to deepen stretches.
In contrast, Acro yoga sees each partner take on a specific role: the flyer or the base.
The base lies flat on the yoga mat with their legs and arms extended to the sky, while the flyer balances atop with their core engaged.
Acro usually involves advanced yoga poses that require a great deal of strength, balance and flexibility, while Partner yoga focuses on simple, two-person yoga poses that any beginner yogi can perform.
What are the benefits of Partner yoga?
There are many reasons why practising yoga with a partner is better than doing it alone.
Just like mindfulness meditation, Couples yoga cultivates deeper connections and bolsters the relationship with yourself and others.
Partner yoga poses are also incredibly intimate, helping you build trust and improve communication with your companion.
1. Cultivates deeper connections
Partner poses require connection to work.
You flow from one asana to the next, synchronising your breathing and body movements with your better half.
Even if you fall or pull a funny face, your partner is there to pick you up and giggle with you.
This helps you let go of insecurities that might be getting in the way and forge a genuine connection.
2. Strengthens trust
We all know the classic trust fall.
Whether you’ve been best friends for years or married for more, it’s the ultimate test of a relationship.
But this exercise is a piece of cake compared to Partner yoga.
Bending, balancing and twisting your body, sometimes on top of your partner, requires an enormous amount of trust and vulnerability.
While challenging at first, this transformative experience teaches you how strong a relationship can be when you trust and support one another.
3. Improves communication
Trying to perform a standing forward fold or the downward facing dog position with another person is no easy task.
For this reason, couples yoga poses require great communication and collaboration.
You’ll have to work with your partner and push each other to perform physically and mentally straining positions while encouraging them every step of the way.
Learning how to communicate with your partner, whether through touch, facial expressions or words, will make each move easier and ensure you dominate other couples in a game of 30 Seconds.
4. Relaxes the mind
Two-person yoga poses are incredibly liberating.
Tangling your bodies into tricky positions and losing your balance with a friend or loved one is a great way to let go and just be silly with one another.
Yoga postures like the supported backbend and the boat pose also give the body great relief, and sharing this feeling with someone else is a beautiful feeling.
5. Promotes mindfulness
While synchronising your breathing and body movements, you’ll feel a wave of relaxation and positivity flow over you.
All the pointless arguments about whose turn it was to do the dishes, or why your friend posted that hideous photo of you simply drift away, and what really matters comes into focus.
Floating into a state of mindfulness helps you disconnect from all the trivial matters in your life and reconnect within, and with your partner beside you, you’ll have the support to let go completely and simply be.
Easy yoga poses for two people
If you’ve ever been on a couples’ retreat, you’ll know that there are many two-person yoga poses.
These simple asanas are usually performed in a Hatha yoga class, and are extremely restorative and relaxing.
The only difference is that you’ll have someone practising them with you, so each movement will be mirrored.
This means that whatever hand or leg your partner is using, you’ll use the opposite.
1. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Partner Twist)
On your yoga mat, settle into a crossed-legged position with your back upright and rested against your partners.
Take a deep breath in through the crown and reach your arms overhead.
On exhale, twist both of your bodies to the left and rest your left hand on your partner’s thigh.
To deepen the stretch, inch your hand further down your partner’s left knee.
Take a couple of deep breaths and then twist to the other side.
2. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
In mountain pose, stand upright with your back firmly placed against your partner.
Inhale and reach your arms up to the sky, feeling your chests expand as a unit.
As you exhale, hinge at the hips and gently fold forward, releasing one vertebrate at a time.
Once you reach your limit, you can grab on your partner’s shoulders or simply hold hands.
Breathe here for a moment and then rise the same way you came, remembering to keep your core engaged and back straight.
3. Paripurna Navasana (Boat Pose)
Face your partner in a seated position.
Reach forward and grab on your partner’s wrists.
With knees bent, place your soles together and slowly straighten your legs until your toes point to the sky.
If your hamstrings or hips are too tight, you might struggle to extend your legs fully.
Listen to your body and your partners, and if it gets too uncomfortable, bend your legs slightly.
Hold here for a few breaths and then return to staff bent knees.
4. Utkatasana (Double Chair Pose)
In the standing position with backs facing each other, close the gap between your partner so that you are touching.
With your spine straight, link your arms.
Using each other for support, take one or two steps forward until you are both in the chair position.
Make sure that your hips are in line and settle into the pose, syncing each breath with your partners.
Let your partner know that you are ready to rise and gradually straighten your legs, returning to mountain pose.
5. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Partner Downward Facing Dog)
This might look like a tricky position, but with your partner’s support, it’ll be super simple.
For this yoga pose, the partner with the most core strength needs to be at the top so decide who will be in front.
One partner will start in the downward dog pose while the other stands with feet on opposite sides of their arms.
The partner on top will then fold forward and place their hands on the mat.
Then, slowly bring one foot up and rest it on your partner’s back, and then the other.
Inch up to their lower back until your legs are straight, remember to breathe.
Once comfortable, apply a bit more pressure to your partner’s back, helping them push deeper into the stretch.
6. Marjaryasana-bitilasana (Seated Cat Cow Pose)
Sit cross-legged opposite your partner and inch closer so that your knees are just about to touch.
Now lean forward, grab a hold of your partner’s arms and gently sway back and forth so that your bodies are moving to the same rhythm.
Relax your shoulders and inhale, arching your back and lifting your head back to gaze up at the sky.
As you exhale, round your back and bring your chin to your chest at the same time as your partner.
Repeat and feel the tension release in your back with each deep inhale and exhale.
7. Ustrasana (Couples Camel Pose)
If your back is holding a lot of tension, this partner yoga pose is the ultimate release.
With knees bent on the mat, face your partner’s body so that your legs are touching.
Hold onto your partner’s arms and slowly lean back, tilting your head up towards the sky.
Relax into the stretch and let gravity do the work.
Take a few breaths here and feel the deep stretch in your middle and lower back.
Performing these yoga poses for two will help you build trust and strengthen your bond with your friend or companion.
While you can practise these playful and intimate yoga poses at home or in a yoga class, a couples’ retreat is the best way to take your practice and relationship to the next level.
With Basubu, you can browse a range of health and wellness retreats from around the world and experience a new yoga style like never before.
Begin your journey today with Basubu.