Five Benefits of Partner Yoga, On and Off the Mat

Partner yoga is an excellent opportunity for couples to play, relax, and deepen their love, while receiving all the benefits of yoga. The practice supports us to unplug from the stress of everyday life and nourish each other in both simple and profound ways. It opens up a whole new way of relating that is beneficial for all the different aspects of our being.

Here are five benefits of practicing partner yoga.

It connects and relaxes us. Partner yoga cuts through our normal ways of relating and brings us more easily and directly into the heart. The touch and physical connection have an immediate relaxing effect that calms the mind and nervous system.

It supports our yoga practice. One of the surprising qualities about the practice is that it is a wonderful entry into yoga for those who have believed themselves to be too inflexible. Our partner’s presence provides the comfort and safety to stay present in areas of physical or emotional discomfort and supports us to move into places that are difficult to access on our own. For more experienced practitioners, the practice deepens both our postures and our understanding of the healing power of yoga.

It creates more authenticity and honesty. The connection with our partner easily and naturally goes deeper because we are communicating directly, beyond words and stories, through our touch and presence. We learn that we don’t have to sacrifice our needs in order to be in relationship. Instead, we learn to take responsibility for our own alignment and presence as the foundation to support our partner. In this way, the practice cuts through projections and misunderstandings and provides an opportunity to be more real, honest, and vulnerable with each other. As one student recently shared with me, “Doing partner yoga helps us come close and back to love after an upset or disconnect. It’s a safe space to re-enter into intimacy.”

It allows us to see how we are in relationship. Simply sitting back to back, feeling our partner’s breath and warmth, we become mirrors for each and feel how the quality of our presence impacts the other. We can see clearly if we are showing up as a willing, openhearted partner or not.

It deepens our capacity for intimacy. Partner Yoga is a wonderful tool for couples to enhance their intimacy, going beyond the personality to recognize the soul attributes of your partner. It can also be a magical way to get to know someone new in your life!

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Elysabeth Williamson, E-RYT 500, internationally recognized as the foremost authority on partner yoga, is author of The Pleasures and Principles of Partner Yoga.

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