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What to Know Before Trying Partner Yoga

If you are looking to do something special with your partner this Valentine's Day – and you're bored with the same old dinner and a movie routine – try partner yoga for an event you will remember. Partner yoga is a great way to share an experience with a close friend or loved one.

Depending on the people involved and your relationship, this activity can be a leap of faith. It is an intimate, physical practice. Make sure you avoid a painfully awkward position by following these tips:

1. Know what to expect.

Every partner yoga class varies, but one thing is for sure: They are all hands-on. Be prepared to get close to your partner and physically adjust him or her. If you are comfortable and confident with your partner, it's like practicing yoga with your own personal masseuse. Your partner will help you settle deeper into poses with less effort, which should only feel great. It is playful and fun. You will have moments when you support one another – and moments when you will fall together.

Most partner-based classes offer beginner variations. The poses are not overly complicated. A new student should feel comfortable going to a partner yoga class – if he or she is comfortable with the partner. Keep in mind that when you work as a team, there will inevitably be some confusion, but it is all in good fun.

2. Choose wisely.

When you practice yoga with a partner, you want to make sure there is a good amount of trust and comfort between you. Choose someone whom you have a strong connection with, are willing to get physically close to and whom you can clearly communicate with. A spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend is usually best. Or, you might pick someone you care about and want to be close to. But don't pick someone randomly. Keep in mind your partner will be in your personal space for the entire class. If you really enjoy partner yoga and just want to have fun, go with a close friend and perhaps share a few laughs.

3. Arrive prepared.

Make sure you are prepared to move around freely and stretch. Wear comfortable clothes that you can work out in. You should also bring everything you would need for a regular yoga class, such as a yoga mat, a water bottle and a towel. If you do not already have yoga equipment, most yoga studios can provide you with everything you need. Besides the basic yoga gear, all you need is a partner who is a good fit for you and has a positive, open-minded mentality.

4. Reap the benefits.

Partner yoga is a great opportunity to get close to a romantic partner or reignite your passion for each other. It facilitates an experience where you can be playful and laugh and smile at one another while you practice. It gives you permission to be clumsy, goofy and, at the same time, see each other from a different perspective. It's a great way to enjoy one another's company while making each other feel good, both physically and romantically.

Often, you're asked to literally support one another in poses, which helps build trust and confidence. While you'll have a teacher guiding you, it's up to you to mindfully touch and adjust each other in a way that's strong, helpful and compassionate. Doing that takes communication and honesty, and helps develop an awareness of your quality of touch and your sensitivity to physical sensations. The art of touching your partner with intention and viewing your partner through a new, interesting lens can be great for intimacy. Above all, it's fun and it simply feels good.

Resource: What to Know Before Trying Partner Yoga
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