Friday, August 10, 2012

With A Little Help From My Friends: Partner Yoga

Fact: human beings crave social interactions. 

I'm not saying that we don't benefit from personal space and personal time to reflect. But it can feel great when a friend offers you support, whether it be words of support or physical bodily support. 

As in life, in yoga the balance between finding your internal space while finding the shared space with other practitioners is an essential tool. This juggling act, yet again, supports the idea that yoga is a language of opposites. 

I think that yoga gives many practitioners the chance to self-reflect and learn more about themselves. This internal quality of yoga is a beautiful practice. So how do we include the practice of sharing the space while in our yoga classes?

As much as some of us may prefer a solo classes, it is impossible to ignore (nor should we ignore) other students sharing the space with us. 

So, today in my blog my offering is to encourage everyone to try partner yoga. I refer to it as an offering because any of my blog readers may take it or leave it. Each of us are different, and it may not be the right practice for you, but it's always interesting and important to try new things out of our comfort zone. 

Partner yoga is a technique where two yogis create poses together. This practice can help some practitioners find themselves in deeper stretches and kramas (levels) or certain poses with the physical and mental support of their fellow practitioner. It is also a practice which emphasizes union. 

Personally, I love to occasionally sprinkle in some partner poses in my classes. In my experience my students have gone farther in their poses, as well as smiling more! Smiling in yoga is always a good thing. As one of my beloved teachers drills in my head, advanced yogis smile :) 

  (A photo of my students from my 8 a.m. yoga class practicing balancing poses through partner yoga) 

So, why not try a partner pose of your own? You can try it with a family member, good friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, the possibilities are endless. And you may discover yourself getting deeper in some poses!!! This video shows a great demonstration of some partner yoga poses:

Yoga is also about evolution. On our mats, we find qualities like union, inner peace, and awareness (the list goes on) during a yoga practice. We strive to bring the practice of yoga, of these qualities, from the mat out into the world. So roll up your mat and keep practicing. 

Have a great weekend :) 

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