5 Couple Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Relationship
When you’re in a long-term relationship, falling into a rut is inevitable. All relationships go through rough patches and lull periods, so it’s important that you constantly find ways to spice things up!
One of the best ways to reignite that spark is to practice yoga together. So go ahead, grab your loved one and roll out your mats as we walk you through 5 poses that you can attempt with each other:
1) Double Plank Pose
For starters, you can begin with one of the most basic poses in yoga also known as the Kumbhakasana. Besides training your core muscles, this arm-balancing pose trains you and your partner to build trust and confidence to stay strong together – or you’ll end up toppling over one another.
How to get to the pose:
1. The stronger or taller person starts from a plank position. Ensure that your wrists and shoulders are aligned with each other.
2. Once done, the second person will have to face the feet of the other partner who’s already in plank, step over his/her hips, and then place one leg on top of their partner’s shoulder – all while keeping the core engaged.
3. If that feels comfortable, try adding the second foot and maintain a steady grip.
4. Hold this pose for four breaths and then step down one foot at a time!
2) Garland and Monkey Pose
The Garland pose, also known as the Mālāsana, is a great pose for stretching the groins, ankles, back torso, and toning the belly. The Monkey (split) pose on the other hand, also known as the Hanumanasana, is one of the more advanced poses in yoga, but definitely not out of reach. Besides stretching the hamstrings and thighs, it stimulates the abdominal organs as well.
How to get to the pose (Mālāsana):
1. Begin with squatting with your feet as close together as possible. Be sure to keep your heels on the floor if you can.
2. After that, gradually separate your thighs slightly wider than your torso as you exhale. Slowly lean your torso forward and fit it snugly between your thighs.
How to get to the pose (Monkey):
1. Don’t worry about not being able to reach all the way to the floor. Start by stepping your right foot forward and place it in front of your left knee.
2. Take a deep breath as you rotate your right thigh outwards. Do this by lifting the inner sole away from the floor and resting the foot on the outer heel.
3. Once you’re steady, exhale and lean your torso forward, pressing your fingertips to the floor.
4. Gently slide your left knee back, straightening the knee and at the same time lowering the right thigh onto the floor. Ensure that you stop straightening the back knee just before you reach the limit of your stretch.
5. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and stand into a Standing Forward Bend pose (Uttanasana).
3) Standing and Seated Forward Bend Pose
The Standing and Seated Forward Bend pose (also known as Uttanasana and Paschimottanasana respectively) helps to unwind a distracted mind and stretch your hamstrings.
If you’re going through flow sequences with your partner, the Uttanasana is a great resting position in between standing poses. These poses may look unassuming, but it does a lot to your body internally – it soothes headaches, reduces fatigue, and relieves stress just to name a few!
How to get to the pose (standing):
1. Place your hands on your hips and push your front torso out as you gradually descend. Keep in mind that the emphasis here is on lengthening the front torso.
2. With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhalation, release a little more into the forward bend.
How to get to the pose (sitting):
1. Ensure that you press actively through your heels as you attempt to get into the pose. Rock slightly onto your left butt, and pull your right sitting bone away from the heel.
2. Do the same on the other side.
3. As you inhale, lengthen the tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and reach out for the sides of the feet with your hands – thumbs on the soles and elbows fully extended. If this is too much, grab a yoga strap and loop it around your soles instead.
4. Make sure your elbows are straight, then stay in this pose for 1 to 3 minutes.
4) Crow Pose and Child’s Pose
While the Child’s pose, Balasana, is best known as a restful pose that can be sequenced between more challenging poses in your flow, the Crow pose (Kakasana) falls on the other end of the spectrum. The Crow pose is one of the arm-balancing poses in yoga where the hands are planted on the floor, shins are on the upper arms, and feet lifted up.
How to get to the pose (Child’s/Balasana):
1. Kneel on the floor with your big toes touching each other and sit on your heels.
2. Ensure that you separate your knees about as wide as your hips.
3. As you exhale, place your torso between your thighs and narrow your hip points toward the navel, so that they settle down onto the inner thighs.
4. Pull your tailbone away, spread the shoulder blades, pull the inner thighs toward each other, and straighten the arms while lifting the feet toward your pelvis.
How to get to the pose (Crow/Kakasana):
1. Whether experienced or inexperienced, you might want to place a pile of blankets or a pillow in front of you in case you fall forward.
2. Start by getting into a squatting position and make sure that your thighs are spread slightly wider than your torso, almost like the Garland pose.
3. Lift your heels and balance on the balls of your feet as you inhale, and drop your torso forward slowly.
4. Plant your palms firmly into a mat or your partner’s back and spread your fingers evenly. Ensure that you keep your back curved and tailbone tucked in towards your heels.
5. As you continue leaning forward, lift your feet completely off the mat and draw your heels inwards, in the direction of your butt.
6. Keep your gaze steady between your hands. If you’re unable to balance, try lifting one foot and then the other.
7. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds. When you’re done, try to keep your core lifted as you lower your feet down to the mat.
5) Side Plank and Handstand Pose
One good thing about practicing inversion poses with a partner is that they can help you get a feel for the movement of the tailbone. It can get rather dangerous when you’re hanging upside down, so it is important to always stay focused on your breath and to have someone spot for you.
The Side Plank pose (Vasisthasana) and Handstand pose (Adho Mukha Vrksasana) combination is a good workout for couples, and the former helps to work your core strength and improves your concentration levels, while the latter is especially great for those who are more adventurous.
How to get to the pose:
1. Have one partner settled in the Side Plank Pose first.
2. Once that’s done, the partner who is attempting the Handstand pose will have to bring your feet together, spread your palms, and press them into the floor.
3. As you stretch and start to lift your heels, make sure to shift your weight into the balls of your feet.
4. Step one foot forward halfway to your hands and bring your shoulders over your wrists. Allow your knee to bend.
5. Lift your other leg towards the ceiling and keep it straight, and push firmly down into your hands and make sure they are completely straight too.
6. After that, find a focal point a few inches in front of your eyes, and take a small hop to lift your remaining leg up into the air!
7. Transition your weight onto your hands as you do this and draw in your lower belly to support the pelvis, which should be leading your legs and not the other way around.
8. Once you have found balance, draw your legs together.
9. Push down into the hands and actively reach up through the feet and legs.
Health benefits of partner yoga
Practicing partner yoga goes beyond doing fancy poses together just for impressive photographs. An ideal channel for establishing strong communication and intimacy in any type of relationship, it is a great sport to take up together if you’re looking to shed some weight before the big day as you shop for wedding gowns in Singapore. After all, couples who workout together, stay together.