Coworker or Workout Partner

In Partner Yoga, the notion of yoga as union becomes a lived experience as we realize that all souls are one.

—Noll Daniel, Yoga Teacher of Soul-to-Soul Yoga

Yoga is not necessarily just for the individual man. It can also be for two men, or a man and a woman, or even three or more people. Performing partnered yoga can be a truly fun and exciting way to take your practice to a new level. Partnered yoga can provide you with the opportunity of sharing your yoga practice in direct contact with another person. In addition, practicing yoga with the support of another person who can actively coach you into yoga poses can help you stretch further both physically and psychologically, so you can take your yoga practice to a whole new level.

You can practice yoga with any partner of your choosing. If you practice yoga with a sexually intimate partner, it can help you to take your level of closeness to an even deeper and richer level as you help one another explore your inner depths as well as your outer boundaries. You can also practice partnered yoga with a friend or family member for the sheer joy and adventure of it. Or you can choose to try some partnered yoga exercises with your workout buddy to help you both take your workouts to new highs. When sharing yoga with others, the possibilities are virtually endless.

Nearly any yoga posture can be done with a partner. In one common approach to partnered yoga, frequently referred to as Partner Assisted Yoga, one partner serves as a supportive coach to another partner. The second (assisting) partner does not perform the yoga posture him- or herself, but rather helps the first (assisted) partner go deeper into the pose. If the second partner understands the direction in which the first partner is moving in a particular yoga posture, the second partner can apply firm, yet gentle, pressure to help the first partner stretch even deeper into the pose. For instance, in a Seated Forward Bend (see Fig. YPS.6, page 125), the second partner could apply pressure to the first partner's back as the first partner folds the torso forward, thus allowing the first partner to stretch even longer, and closer to the legs and feet.

In another popular approach to partnered yoga, two or more yoga practitioners perform yoga postures simultaneously; thus, supporting one another and receiving the benefits of the partnering at the same time. This approach to yoga practice is often referred to simply as Partner Yoga.

You can experiment with your favorite poses to see how Partner Assisted and Partner Yoga can enhance your yoga practice. To get you started, the following are a few suggestions for some partnered yoga exercises that address virtually all the major areas of the body. They are a good point of embarkation on your journey into exploring yoga with a partner. The illustrations show how a man can do yoga with a male or a female partner.

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