It is that time of year when many of us are either the company or are having company. Regardless as to your status, we’ve all thought about what should we do for entertainment. And I’m sure you’ll think of lots of things to do. However, I propose some fun little partner yoga poses that you can do maybe when you have some down time or you’re waiting for the shower and you certainly don’t have to go anywhere special.
All of the below poses are fairly easy to do so most should be able to do and enjoy them. You only need two people too (hopefully with similiar heights)! No need for acrobatics, although I admit, those sure look cool. But we don’t want to scare grandma now?
1. Heart and Butterfly Pose:
a. Sit on the floor with your backs against each other. Bend your knees and then place the souls of your feet together allowing the knees to drop and the thighs to open. Decide who is going to be who. The “Heart” person will rest their hands on their thighs. The “Buterfly” person will grasp their feet. The “Heart” person will inhale as they gently lean back onto their partner and at the same time the “Butterfly” person will exhale as they fold forward as hands rest on the floor just in front of them or still grasping feet. Hold into the pose for a few breathes and then switch roles.
b. Benefits: The “Heart” person will enjoy a gentle heart/chest opener and the “Buterfly” person will enjoy a wonderful hip opener. (Pregnant Mom’s will love to be in the “Heart” role! Runners will enjoy the hip opener!)
2. Diamond Pose:
a. Again sitting on the floor but this time facing each other. Both partners should straddle out their legs and have feet touch so that you are making a diamond with your legs. Clasp each others hands and gently rock back and forth. Ensure neither of you are rounding the back as the movement should be in the hips.
b. Benefits: This is a wonderful inner thigh stretch.
3. Double Owl:
a. Change directions so that you are sitting on the floor with your backs touching. Sit in an easy pose (cross legged). The goal is to have one person twist in one direction and the other person to twist in the opposite direction. (Maybe use landmarks). Sit nice and tall and inhale before your twist!
b. Exhale as you twist. Place your opposite hand on your opposite thigh (maybe right hand on left thigh). Then place your free (left) hand on the floor or on your partner’s thigh (if they won’t mind).
c. Switch directions.
d. Benefits: This provides a gentle stretch of the upper back for both partners.
4. Double Tree:
a. This time you are standing up side by side. Wrap your arms around each other’s backs. Ground the two inside feet firmly into the floor. Kick stand the outside foot so that the heel is resting on the ankle. (I call this “Bush” and bushes are in the tree family, right).
b. Or maybe take your outside foot onto the calf or inner upper thigh (never the knee) if both of you can do it.
c. Play with the outside arms and hand. Maybe lift them high or bring them together around each other’s heart area.
d. Benefits: Helps to develop balance and it’s fun.
5. The Titanic:
a. If you have ever watched the movie the “Titanic,” then you’ll have no problem visualizing this one. It is the scene where Rose is flying (character in movie).
b. Both of you are standing facing the same direction, one person is in front of the other about arm’s distance away. One of you will mimic Rose and fly while the other mimics the boat’s guard rails and supports.
c. Rose: Standing in front of your partner, pull your arms behind you and have your partner (Boat) grab your wrists. Now lean forward as far as you can trusting your partner as they hold you. You’re flying!
d. Benefits: A fantastic chest stretch
6. Partner Dancer:
a. Stand facing each other about a handshakes distance from each other. One person will lift their left heel while the other lifts their right heel. If your left heel is lifted, you left arm bends at 90 degrees and swings out as if holding a tray. The opposite person will do the same but with their right arm.
b. The free arm holds their partner’s forearm. Be mindful that you both are supporting each other.
c. Once supported by each other, kick that bent leg (heel is already lifted) up towards the buttocks and capture the foot with your hand that acted as a tray. You can hold your foot on either the big toe’s or pinky toe’s side. Let comfort be your guide. Switch out sides.
d. Benefits: This provides a gentle quad stretch.
And while there are certainly more options out there with regards to Partner Poses; however, I wanted to keep my introduction fairly simple because let’s face it, not everyone of your friends or family members is fit or even knows yoga and the last thing we want to do is intimidate them.
Enjoy and Namaste,