5 Couple Yoga Poses To Strengthen The Bond And Become #CoupleGoals

Disclaimer: This post does not seek to idealise relationships in any way or form. It only seeks to provide a fun and lighthearted twist to the practice of yoga – albeit untraditional.

 

Most people think of yoga as a solo activity – one to reconnect with the self and the world through a quiet and meditative practice. While this is true for most yogis, I believe that yoga can be adapted in fun ways to expose yoga to people who would otherwise never step foot into a yoga studio. 

A simple adaptation is couple yoga, or simply, poses that involve two people. This is perfect for beginners looking for a light stretch and will encourage communication between you and your partner through the practice. Read on to discover 5 yoga poses that couples can challenge themselves to!

1. Seated cat-cow pose

Cat-cow pose strengthens the spine and reduces tension in the neck and upper back. Doing this with a partner will additionally help to build trust as you rely on each other to create space in the chest and upper back. 

Steps: 

  1. Begin in a comfortable cross-legged seated position, while facing your partner. 
  2. Extend your arms up and grab hold of each other’s forearms with both palms. 
  3. Inhale into cow pose as you lift the chest up and gently create a slight arch in your upper back or thoracic spine, retracting the shoulders and gazing up to the ceiling. 
  4. Exhale into cat pose as you draw the chin to the chest and pull the belly in as you round through the upper back or thoracic spine, protracting the shoulders and gazing at the navel. 
  5. Hold for 5 breaths in each pose; repeat for 3 rounds. 
2. Seated forward bend & backbend

Forward bend and backbend stretches the back, hip flexors, hamstrings and calves. As you and your partner will be doing different poses at the same time, remember to communicate how your body feels and adjust accordingly based on their feedback. Don’t rush into any pose to reduce the risk of injuries.

Steps: 

  1. Begin in a seated position back-to-back with your partner. Partner A extends the legs forward while Partner B flexes the knees with both feet grounded on the floor.
  2. At the same time, Partner A lengthens the spine and flexes forward from the hips, abdomen to the thighs and face to the shins. If this is difficult, the knees can be bent slightly. Partner B leans back using the other person as a support, opening up the chest and back. 
  3. Hold for 5 breaths and swap poses with your partner; repeat for 3 rounds. 
3. Boat pose

Boat pose builds abdominal and core strength, and works the deep hip flexors. It also greatly improves balance. Doing this with a partner helps in motivating each other to persevere and hold the pose longer!

Steps: 

  1. Begin in a seated position with legs extended, while facing your partner. 
  2. Extend your arms up and grab hold of each other’s forearms with both palms. 
  3. Inhale, lift your chest and bring the soles of the feet to press onto your partner’s feet, creating an opposing motion, as you slowly raise your feet upward to a 45-degree angle. 
  4. Roll your shoulders back and straighten your arms parallel to the floor, if possible. Your body should look like an V shape. 
  5. Hold for 5 breaths and gently release your legs on an exhale; repeat for 3 rounds.

*If this is difficult, do a half boat pose instead with legs bent at the knee.

4. Stacked plank pose

Plank pose strengthens the arms, wrists, shoulders and the core muscles. As a challenging couple yoga pose, this pose helps to build trust and confidence in each other. Take it slow and be prepared to fall over!

Steps: 

  1. Partner A (the stronger or taller one) begins in a plank position, with wrists directly below the shoulders, core and thighs engaged, and balls of the feet grounded firmly.
  2. Partner B begins in a standing position facing the partner’s feet, with legs at the side of the partner’s hips. Then, place your hands on the ankles of the partner in plank position and while keeping arms straight as well as core and thighs engaged, lift one foot up at a time and place it on top of the partner’s upper back or shoulder. 
  3. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then Partner B carefully steps down one foot at a time. 
5. Back-to-back chair pose

Chair pose strengthens the thighs and ankles, while toning the shoulders, butt, hips and back. This couple pose enables you to lean onto each other for support and deepen the stretch. 

Steps: 

  1. Begin by standing back-to-back with your arms by your sides.
  2. Press your backs firmly together and walk your feet hip-width distance apart and away from your partner.
  3. Inhale as you extend the arms up toward the ceiling and flex at the knees to a 90-degree angle, knees above the ankles and not over the feet. 
  4. Ensure that the crown of your head is lifted, ribs tucked in, spine is lengthened and backs firmly pressed against your partner throughout the pose. 
  5. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then press into each other’s backs as you straighten your legs to release.