Finding Unity in Yoga
Sharing your yoga practice with others with partner yoga
The meaning of yoga is union. One way we can find unity in our lives is by meeting another yogi and sharing a practice together. Whether you have your entire yoga practice one day be centered around making contact with your yoga partner, or if you just get together to practice one or two yoga poses. Partner yoga is about gently crossing barriers and boundaries through a trial and error process. It’s fun, creative, and adventurous.
Pairing individual yogis into partners during class
I LOVE getting my students to partner up for one or two poses in my yoga classes. It’s important for me to show my students that yoga is more than just poses. Typically, yoga is a solitary practice. Even in classes, surrounded by other people, we still have our perimeter mapped out with our yoga mat. This is designed for individuals to find their own path to enlightenment.
Experience unity by bonding with others
Partner yoga dissolves the false separation we feel between ourselves and the other students in a yoga class in order to experience that unity. We use it as a way to bond ourselves with the world. We learn to be sensitive to others and compromise. We learn to let the playful child-like sense of wonder and humor to come out. We learn to let go and trust the process.
Asking each other if they’re ready
Partner yoga requires us to hone our communication skills. We clearly communicate with each other about not only what we’re doing but also how we’re feeling. We play with balance by pushing and pulling each other’s weight while breathing together. Asking each other if they’re ready to get into the pose. The more we communicate with love, compassion, and truth, the more our yoga practice and relationships will grow and evolve.
Partner yoga enhances the awareness with which we see, understand, and relate to each other, while still being true to ourselves.
I find balance poses, such as Warrior 3 and tree pose, are harder to do with a partner. It’s easy to knock the other person out of balance in these standing poses. Especially difficult is when you and your partner is different height, range of motion, and strength. These differences gives us the opportunity to communicate with each other. Practicing with a partner is highly motivating as the two of you can help each other by focusing on alignment.
Your partner can tell where you need to soften, which body parts need to open, remind you to breathe and lengthen in poses.
Power of touch
Support and centering from each other
Human touch has proven healing powers. We have the ability to heal others through our touch. In a yoga practice, we can do this by assisting each other in poses by lending a sturdy grounds for support and balance, or by helping each other one at a time relax into poses. As we reach out for our partner, we find support and centering for each other. To feel someone touch you, whether it’s a stranger next to you in class or your best friend, it helps you to let down barriers and dissolve boundaries.
Touch is a great healer that reaches across a seemingly long distance to pull people close.
Starting a partner yoga practice
Laughter, happiness, joyful yoga practice
Ultimately, partner yoga is about laughing, playing, and having fun together. It brings happiness and joy into our yoga practice, which makes us want to continue to grow as yogis. There are lots of acro/contact/partner yoga poses to try. Search on Pinterest and Instagram for some great ideas. Grab a partner, and get to asanaing together!