Date Night

The Benefits Of Partner Yoga

Yoga is Better Together

“Human beings are fundamentally communal; our individuality is a product of community, and our choices are shaped by our being with others.” (Judith Plaskow)

We naturally crave connection and the power of yoga is multiplied by practicing together. Sure, we can practice yoga at home, but there is nothing quite like the energy shared in a group experience, breathing, and sharing the space with a community of yogis.

Taking this power of community practice one step further is the practice of partner yoga. Partner does not have to mean romantic partner or even good friend…the benefits will reveal themselves, regardless.

Practicing partner yoga and facilitating partner yoga workshops, I continue to be amazed by what shows up for people. Remember those pesky grade school group projects? Some similar feelings can arise with partner yoga. Frustrations can surface, as well as a tug for control, a letting go of the small things to focus on collaboration, and a call for clear communication and trust.

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Here are some of the benefits and highlights of partner yoga:

*Building Trust

Trust goes hand in hand with letting go of control, especially if you are used to having things go your way.

Allowing another human being to fully hold you up, is a great first step to letting go, knowing you are not alone and that you can share some of life’s challenges with another person.

I have taught high school girls (you know - the catty, self-conscious, judgmental) to do partner yoga, switching partners with every pose.  They were uncertain, but soon there were giggles and connection between girls who normally did not speak to one another. A sense of community was formed once they had experienced trusting each other and getting out of their comfort zone.

*Increased Communication

We place a lot of value on verbal communication, when, in reality, our bodies, eyes, faces and hands communicate even more. Connecting with a partner without the distraction of work, phones, TV and excessive words, allows you to really see each other, connect and become closer.

Once I attended a class with a close friend of mine and remember being asked to sit face-to-face, knees touching and stare into each other's eyes for 10 minutes, without saying a word! After a few minutes of giggling, then finally sitting in silence, I had a profound realization that I had never truly seen my friend. We had always been talking or doing something, constantly bombarded by noise and distraction. A deep, silent connection occurred that forever shifted our friendship. Giving someone your unconditional and undistracted attention is a powerful gift.

*Enhanced Asanas

Physical touch is healing. It is a nonverbal way of showing support for another human being. I had a yoga teacher who believed that people are drawn to yoga to be seen, heard and touched. In partner yoga, we use our partner's bodies to enhance a stretch or deepen a posture, as well as create more strength and stability together. What better way to connect with another person, while experiencing more freedom in your own body.

*Lighten Up

It is difficult to take yourself too seriously in a partner yoga class. These poses can seem silly and sometimes ridiculous. Sharing the experience with another person fosters an environment of lightness, an invitation to be authentically you, and permission to play. Yes, grownups need to play too!

 

Upcoming Partner Yoga Offering:

Sat, Feb 18th, 3-4:30pm Partner Yoga with Childcare at Blooma

Join Meghan Foley for her Partner Yoga class, Feb. 18th, 3-4:30 pm at Blooma Minneapolis. We are also offering a limited number of spots in our childcare during this time, offering some partner time without the kiddos! Everyone is welcome, from experienced yogi’s to those stepping on the mat for the first time. We want you to have fun, drink some wine, and let-go. (Giggling and general silliness is encouraged)

 

Contributed by Meghan Foley, 500hr registered yoga teacher, lifelong student, studio manager, friend, bookworm and avid Partner Yoga enthusiast. Learn more about her at www.meghanfoleyyoga.com

The Importance of Getting Away

My husband and I have been married for five years. Yes – I know it’s a baby marriage in the grand scheme of time, but the milestone felt significant. For us, it has meant new jobs, buying our first home, two (almost three) children, and countless times of learning and growth in how to be better for ourselves and one another.

Marriage, like any relationship, is not always easy. Yes – there are times full of joy and life. My husband is the one that can make me laugh the hardest, always has some comment to bring a smile to my face. Our kids light up when he walks through the door each night, and to hear their little feet run toward his open arms will never cease to light up my heart. However, there are also memories that I have that are marked with frustration. We are people and we fail. We make snide comments in the wrong tone, we forget how to act with charity, we are selfish, and we disagree – with big things, like how to raise our kids, or little things, like who is going to clean the bathroom. But, there is no other partner I would rather have in my life. Our marriage, some days my greatest challenge, is also my greatest success.

Every year, on our anniversary, my husband and I write in separate journals as a reflection on the past year as well as hopes and goals for the coming one. This was the first year that it truly felt we were on the same page when we shared what we had each written. Many of our reflections, and the hopes and goals for what lay ahead were similar.

One of the goals for this past year was to spend more time as a couple. I know this is probably a goal for many of us. And, if you are anything like us, we can push it aside for something that feels more pressing. But, we have come to realize, that this time should be sacred. Our relationship with one another is the foundation for our family, and it should be strong and healthy in order to build upward.

We started off the new year with a long trip with just the two of us – our first for this long without our kids. We went to Colorado for a few days over New Year’s. We spent time in the mountains hiking and snowshoeing. We lounged in coffee shops reading books, talking, and playing countless games of Cribbage. We were lazy about getting up in the morning and ate meals at what would be odd times (for our kids anyway). Our days had no schedule. Although it took us a day or two to get into just being us, the time together was priceless.

Your time away with your partner does not always have to include a plane ride, but the effort is what makes the time worth it. Maybe it could be an overnight downtown with breakfast at your favorite diner. Maybe you could come to a Blooma yoga class together and get a cup of coffee on your way home, just to make the time together a bit longer. Maybe you could go on a long walk through a neighborhood you don’t really know well, but have always wanted to familiarize yourself with. Think about it, talk about it with your partner, and really try to make it a priority in this fresh new year. For us, the time away together, to focus on one another and our relationship, helped us remember why we even decided to be in this marriage in the first place – we really like one another!

Written by Shea Olson- Wife & Mama Trying to Make it All Work

**Take some time with your partner and join us for Partner Yoga, February 18th in Minneapolis.