Can You Practice Yoga With a Partner?

Find out how practicing yoga with a partner can strengthen the bonds in your relationship, and improve your yoga technique.

How can couples benefit from yoga?

couple doing yoga exercises on a beach at sunrise

Yoga is often seen as a personal journey, but that does not necessarily mean that you have to travel that journey of self-discovery alone. Practicing yoga with a partner can be very beneficial in relationships in a variety of ways.

For example, it is an opportunity for you to have fun and bond with your romantic partner by sharing a learning experience together. It also provides alternative ways for you to understand the way your own body works in unison, juxtaposition and balance with your partner’s body.

Practicing yoga with a partner can reinforce a sense of teamwork and adaptability, opening your mind up to the thoughts, feelings and mental barriers that your partner experiences during the yoga practice, as well as your own.

Yoga can also be good to practice in couples when the woman is pregnant as it will bring you both closer together as her body changes and develops during her pregnancy.

Alternatively, friends or colleagues can practice yoga in pairs to strengthen relationships, and also to bring a new and shared experience to their own solo practice.

Don’t forget that practicing yoga with a partner is also a valuable way to make sure that you are being pushed to your maximum potential because your partner will be able to assist you to perfect your yoga poses in those moments when you are not aware of your back slouching, or when you don’t realize that you can stretch your limbs out even further. A partner can help you to make use of all the space around you.

How to be prepared for difficulties in practicing yoga in pairs

Depending on how close you are to your new yoga partner and the sort of relationship you have in everyday life, coming together to practice can be a challenging experience. It is a good idea to be aware of any mental power barriers or dynamic that may exist between you in ordinary life that may affect the ways in which you approach practicing yoga together.

Often romantic couples place too much expectation on their partners or on themselves that can heap stress onto the situation. This sort of pressure goes against what yoga is all about, because in order to fully benefit from a yoga session you must be able to relax.

If you find yourself feeling frustrated, remember that the experience of yoga is different for everybody because everybody’s body is capable of different things at different levels. If you are practicing with a partner, you must be less selfish and remember that it is a shared experience, which requires understanding and patience. Be sympathetic to your partner’s needs as well as your own, and make sure that you communicate clearly with each other, and be willing to learn and grow together.

Learn how to be a supportive yoga partner

man and woman doing acroyoga

If you are anxious that you may not be the best person to partner up with in yoga, either because you know you are mentally stubborn, overly-insecure or physically challenged, then here are some things to think about which will give you more confidence…

  1. Practicing yoga with a partner is like being a good friend. So listen to the instructions and observe your partner. Look for ways in which you can be supportive.
  1. Try not to be critical or pick up on all the things your partner is doing wrong. Instead, focusing on what you find difficult and work together to figure out how you can resolve issues as a team.
  1. Don’t take everything too seriously. A good partnership is about having fun as well, so know when to ease the tension by having a giggle.
  1. Try not to only think of yourself and your own development in the practice, and don’t feel resentful if you feel your partner has benefitted more from a session than you have. You will both have learnt something and you will both have something to take away with you, whether it was a physical or a mental lesson.
  1. Always be positive and optimistic. Nobody wants to be working with a partner who is unwilling to step out of their comfort zone to try new things. If you show confidence in yourself, then your partner will feed on your positive vibes and you will have a great experience.

How to start out practicing yoga with a partner

If you don’t already have a partner in mind, the first thing you might want to do is think about who would be a good partner for you. If you want to practice yoga as a couple with your loved one, then you won’t have much choice when it comes to choosing a partner with a similar body structure to your own , or someone whose needs will compliment your own needs during your practice. That is okay though, because you will be getting different benefits from your couple’s practice, some of which we have already touched on above.

If you are choosing a yoga partner for the first time then you may want to go for someone who is at your own level, or slightly above so that they will push you past your personal limits if you are looking to improve in certain areas. Alternatively you can just attend classes, which integrate poses and sequences designed to practice in pairs. Some of these classes do not require you to come with an established partner, but it can be a good idea to bring a friend along to a few sessions until you find someone you are compatible with and would like to develop your yoga with further.

Start out by attending structured yoga sessions with your chosen partner so that you can both learn the basics, before extending your practice to private sessions. When you practice together privately, you can then decide whether or not you would like to hire a professional yoga instructor to lead your practice and assist you both in the beginning and developing stages.

Share your experiences practicing yoga alone and as part of a couple or class

We all have different preferences about how we like to practice yoga. Some of us prefer to be alone and find that we can focus better with fewer distractions and people around us; other may find it more motivational to be part of a large class of yoga students. Tell us how you prefer to practice yoga and why.

About the author

Zara M.

I love to write, draw, take photographs, dance tango, write in my Midori Traveler’s Notebook and ogle other people’s Filofaxes. Oh – and I like LOTS of sugar in my tea! I want to inspire you, and show you the world through my eyes.

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