Double Down Dog Partnered Downward Facing

In "Double Down Dog," both you and your partner perform Downward-Facing Dog at the same time.

Fig. 15.5: Partner Yoga—Double Down Dog

In preparation for practicing Double Down Dog, one partner assumes Downward-Facing Dog Position (see Fig. 15.1j, page 118). The partner's feet are spread hip-width apart and the heels pressed firmly to the ground. The hands are placed shoulder-width apart. The buttocks are raised toward the ceiling so that the body forms an inverted V relative to the ground.

The second partner stands with his or her back toward the first partner. The second partner places his or her feet between the first partner's hands, and assumes Downward-Facing Dog position as previously described. The second partner bends the knees and places the hands on the floor in front, about shoulder-width apart. The second partner then raises one leg and places the foot firmly on the first partner's lower or middle back. The second partner than lifts the other foot so that it is alongside the first foot on the partner's back. The second partner straightens the arms and legs, and lifts the buttocks to assume Downward-Facing Dog position on the first partner's back (see Fig. 15.5). Hold this Double Dog Partner Yoga position for several deep breaths. The second partner then easefully returns one foot, and then the other, to the ground. Both partners can rest in Child's Pose for a few breaths, then reverse roles and perform Double Down Dog Pose once again. (Note: In practicing this pose, the second partner should be careful not to apply pressure directly onto the fleshly tissue just below the first partner's rib cage. If you or your partner have any back or circulatory problems, or are uncomfortable in any way, then skip this asana.)

Seated Forward Bend for Two: Partner Yoga Seated Forward Bend

Fig. 15.6: Partner Yoga—Seated Forward Bend for Two

Performing Seated Forward Bend with a partner can help you take forward bending to new reaches. It can help you surrender to a new level of physical as well as mental and emotional release.

To perform Seated Forward Bend in Partner Yoga, both partners should sit firmly on the ground, facing one another. Legs should be straight in front of the body, with the soles of each partner's feet touching the soles of the other partner's feet. The sit-bones of both partners should be firmly rooted on the ground.

Both partners inhale as they lift the heart center and chest, raising both arms straight up overhead, parallel to one another and alongside the ears. Synchronizing the breath, both partners exhale as they reach their arms out in front of them and hold the wrists of their partner. Continuing to inhale and exhale deeply, both partners release deeper into Seated Forward Bend. The partners continue to reach so their hands move further up their partner's arms within their comfort level—holding on to the partner's elbows if possible.

Rest with your partner in Seated Forward Bend for several deep, rhythmic breaths. Synchronize your breath with your partner. As you release completely into the posture of surrender, let go of all the baggage of the past. Breathe in the present moment. Remember that you cannot breathe in the past; you cannot breathe in the future; you can only breathe in the present moment. Be totally present to yourself and your partner.

When you are both ready, each partner gently releases the arms of the other partner and inhales slowly until you are both sitting upright. Each partner should take a moment to see how he or she feels after performing Seated Forward Bend with support. Thank your partner for this opportunity to share Partner Yoga, and for supporting you in being totally present and open.

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