Yoga Poses to Try with Your Valentine
One of the many benefits of yoga is the opportunity it provides to take a break during hectic days, connect with your breath and body, and feel at peace. Yoga is undoubtedly a great exercise for getting in touch with oneself, but it can also be very special to share your practice with a friend or partner. People usually roll their eyes at me when I first introduce the poses in a class, but by the end they are always smiling and laughing! Partner poses help deepen individual connections, and have physical health benefits as well. Hugging and making human contact is shown to lower blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol, and the extra strength and support of another person can help you deepen your stretches and try poses you might not do on your own.
Although any day is a good day to connect with loved ones through group practice, with Valentine’s Day (and “Galentine’s Day”) around the corner there’s no better time to start than now! There are so many poses to try with your partner, varying from simple poses such as breathing and twist exercises, to slightly more advanced moves, like the partner tree pose. To begin your practice, sit back to back with your partner with your legs crossed, and take 8 to 10 deep breaths in unison. Next, begin to loosen up with a few forward and backward bends. Keeping your backs touching, clasp your arms together (envision the shape of a goal post), and slowly bend back and forth. Repeat this movement 10 times, deepening your stretches as you go.
Once you’re ready to come to standing, turn to face each other, and put your feet on the floor hip width apart. Grab your partner’s hands, and help to pull each other up. From standing, you can move into the partner tree pose. Stand side by side touching, and move into tree pose. Your positioning should mirror your partner’s, so if his or her left leg is on the ground and right leg is raised, you should keep your right leg on the ground, and raise your left. Bring your outside palms together at chest level, and raise your inside arms straight up, with your palms touching.
Try these poses with your Valentine this year – and of course, ‘Valentine’ doesn’t just mean significant other – grab a friend, or even your little one, and use partner yoga as a fun activity to deepen your bond and while getting in some movement. For anyone who follows my journey online, you know that I love to bring my children into my practice to maximize our time together and keep them close while getting in a little workout.
Other suggestions for couple’s poses you love? Sound off in the comments below!
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!