Work It Out: 5 partner yoga poses for Valentine’s Day (video)
Work It Out
For most, Valentine’s Day is all about romance, love, overpriced chocolate and overcrowded restaurants. But what about a common bond?
In Sanskrit, “yoga” translates to “union,” meaning that partner yoga (in it’s most basic sense) is about joining together. It’s also about laughter and creating a connection while building trust and just having fun on your mat. This Valentine’s Day, to celebrate everything we love about yoga, the instructors at Peak Yoga want to focus on connection without amorous influences for a night of partner yoga.
Seated breath work
One of the simplest of postures, seated breath work is both subtle and profound. It helps you fine-tune your ability to focus on someone else. Getting into the pose can be simple, but coordinating your breath with your partner can be surprisingly difficult.
Sit back to back on a shared mat in a comfortable position.
Without verbal communication, synchronize your breath with your partner.
Stay and breath in unison for 1 minute.
Partner seated twist
Using your partner as leverage, allow your spine to release into this twist. As with all twists, avoid forcing your body into the posture.
Begin in a seated position, with legs crossed and backs resting against each other.
Inhale and reach your arms overhead.
Exhale and twist to the right, bringing your right hand to the inside of your partner’s left knee and your left hand to the outside of your right knee or thigh. Your partner should mirror the movement.
Hold for 3-5 breaths.
Release to center and repeat on the opposite side.
Challenge your yoga pair by transitioning from partner seated twist to back-to-back chair. This requires both coordination and solid trust in your partner.
From seated partner twist:
Place your feet flat on the floor under your knees.
Interlock arms with your partner.
Press into your partner’s back and onto your feet.
Keep pressing into your partner’s back as you engage core and thighs, and lift your hips to be level with your knees at a 90-degree angle.
Stay for 5-10 breaths.
To come out of the posture, press into your partner’s back and into your feet.
Walk your feet backwards as you slowly come up to stand as a pair.
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Buddy boat pose
Like traditional boat, this posture works your core while releasing the hamstrings. Getting into it can be a little tricky, so have fun with it.
Find a comfortable seated position facing each other, with knees bent and toes touching.
Scoot hips closer to your partner’s hips and draw your knees into your chest.
Reach for and grasp your partner’s wrists.
Keeping your spine straight and chest open, begin straightening your legs in tandem to form a triangle between you and your partner. (This can be challenging — try straightening one leg at a time.)
Hold for 5-10 breaths.
Carefully release to the ground.
Beware: forward folds in solo yoga might seem acutely disappointing after this posture. By having a partner slowly pull your torso forward, it’s possible to create a deep release in your low back and hamstrings. Non-folding partners must be thoughtful — do not force your partner deeper into the fold than they are comfortable.
From buddy boat pose:
Bring your feet back to the floor.
Partner one: Slide your hips back until your knees are straight (or nearly straight).
Partner two: Gently pull on your partner’s arms until your partner says to stop.
Hold for 5-10 breaths.
Release to center and switch.
Pinna Gallant is the owner of Peak Yoga, Dillon’s only dedicated yoga studio. Designed to challenge both the body and the mind, Peak Yoga classes build muscular strength, physical endurance and emotional resilience. You can find out more about Peak Yoga at http://www.peakyogastudio.com.
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