Looking forward to involving your partner or friend to join you in a healthy recreational activity? If so, yoga poses for two people can help you bridge the gap by indulging you in a holistic mind-body experience.
The word “yoga” translates to “unison” or “to unite.” One such form is Acro Yoga, a playful and therapeutic form of yoga done with two yogis performing easy to advanced acrobatic poses safely. The second form is Partner yoga which includes simple yoga moves that are common in Hatha yoga that you can perform with any partner.
Given below is an elaborate list and description of yoga poses for two people ranging from poses for beginners to hard yoga poses meant for seasoned yogis.
13 yoga poses for two people
Before we dive into the 13 yoga poses, let’s begin with the basics. It is best to pump up your blood as you may happen to injure yourself by stretching cold muscles. Working your muscles when they are warm gives a better result.
Start by jogging, jumping, or doing high knees for 5-10 minutes to begin your warm-up. Also, ensure you have a clean, obstacle-free, and flat surface.
1. Seated cat-cow
Target muscles: Hip flexors, abdominal muscles, trapezius, spinal erectors, and lower back muscles.
How to do
- Sit cross-legged opposite each other with knees touching.
- Hold your partner’s forearms.
- Rock back and forth for a while to build some trust.
- Inhale, and slide your shoulders down the back.
- Arch your spine, pushing your chest.
- Lean forward and lift your heads and move into the cow pose.
- Hold this stretch for 3-5 breaths.
- While exhaling, tuck in your chins.
- Round your upper backs into a C-shape/ Cat pose and suck your stomachs inwards.
- Lean your back into this C-shape till you feel a nice stretch.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds.
- Release your hold to come back to the start position.
Summary: Seated cat-cow pose works as a great warm-up as it helps you establish communication and synchronizes your breath work National Library of Medicine: Effect of Modified Slow Breathing Exercise on Perceived Stress and Basal Cardiovascular Parameters. Moreover, it is a great way to increase the flexibility of your neck and shoulders, strengthen your spine, stretch the abdomen and activate the tailbone. This pose also helps improve breathing, calm the mind, and relieve stress.
2. Double tree pose/ Twin tree
Target muscles: Core, legs, inner thigh, hips, glutes, and groin muscles.
How to do
- Start by standing next to each other shoulder to shoulder.
- Firmly plant your inner legs into the floor.
- Hold the weight of your body on your feet.
- Slowly raise your outer leg by bending your knees, and place your soles against the inside of your lower legs or thighs as per your balance.
- Hold each other around the waist with your arms, or you may also choose to raise your connecting arms overhead for a little challenge.
- Release your hands from around your partner’s waist and lower your legs and stand back on both feet to come back to the start position.
Summary: Double tree/Twin tree is one of the significantly easy two-person yoga poses that help with balance and further improves posture and mental focus.
3. Double chair pose
Target muscles: Hips, waist, abdominal area, pelvic, inner and outer thighs, and glutes.
How to do
- Start by standing back to back with your partner with your feet hip-width apart.
- Entwine your arms with your partner’s hands for stability.
- Keeping your spine straight, slowly walk out a little.
- Communicate with each other and drop into a squat position gradually.
- Adjust your feet accordingly to achieve the chair pose.
- Push onto each other’s back to gain more stability.
- Hold this pose for a few seconds while focusing on your breath.
- Walk in your feet to move up and release your partner’s hands to come back to the start position.
Summary: Double chair pose does not just strengthen your legs but also the interlacing of the arms helps you give a good stretch to your shoulder and opens your chest. It is a good pose to establish stability and stamina for practicing yoga in the future.
4. Double downward dog pose
Target muscles: Shoulder, heels, calves, hamstrings, glutes, hips, wrist, and lower back.
How to do
- Start the yoga pose with partner 1 by getting into the downward-facing dog.
- Facing in the same direction as partner 1, partner 2 firmly plants their palms on the floor a few steps in front of Partner 1 and gets into the same pose as partner 1.
- Partner 2 then lifts their legs and places their feet against the lower back of partner 1.
- You may consider to get your feet up partner 1’s lower back from the side to prevent any injury.
- Come back to the start pose by taking your feet off partner 1’s lower back and then standing erect.
Summary: Double downward dog helps with building stability and trust between the partners. Moreover, it gives a good stretch to the lower back and simultaneously strengthens the upper back. A double downward dog is an excellent pose to stimulate blood flow and improve posture.
5. Double temple pose
Target muscles: Abdominals, hips, quads, hamstrings, and lats
How to do
- Start by standing facing each other, keeping one hand distance.
- With your feet hip-width apart, both the partners hinge forward till their torsos are parallel to the ground.
- Inhale and bring your arms over your head and place your palms against your partner’s palms.
- Both partners must continue to hinge forward while bringing their elbows, forearms, and hands pressed against each other with equal weight.
- Exhale as you arch your back while hinging forward.
- While holding the pose, take a few breaths together.
- Walk back gently to return to the start position.
Summary: Double temple pose is one the most dynamic yet easy yoga poses that help you open your chest and shoulders while giving a good stretch to the spine.
6. Double dancer
Target muscles: Lower back, biceps, triceps, glutes, hamstrings, chest, hips, psoas, and quadriceps.
How to do
- Start by standing at the two ends of the yoga mat facing each other.
- Both partners raise their left hands to hold the other person’s left shoulder while linking their arms together.
- Firmly plant your left leg onto the ground and shift your body onto it.
- Now, both partners should bend their right knee so that they can grab their toes with their right hand.
- Slowly kick your right foot up while leaning forward towards your partner.
- Hold the dancer’s pose for a few seconds.
- Take a few breaths together as you hold the pose together.
- Gently move back into the starting position by releasing the grasp of your feet and untwining your left arm.
Summary: Double dancer is one of those easy yoga poses that gets better with a partner as it helps with improving balance and opens the heart and spine.
7. Buddy boat
Target muscles: Hamstrings, lower back, and core muscles.
How to do
- Start by sitting on the mat opposite your partner with about a half-leg distance between the two of you.
- Bend your knees and place your sole against your partner’s sole such that you form an inverse 90-degree angle.
- Grab your partner’s hand from the side.
- Move your legs together upwards slowly while keeping your core engaged to form a triangle.
- Balance your weight on your sit bones.
- Take a few breaths together as you hold the pose for a few seconds.
- Move back to the start pose by lowering your legs and releasing your hands.
Summary: Buddy boat yoga pose stretches the hamstrings, relaxes the lower back muscles and helps to relieve lower back pain. This pose for 2 people improves balance and stability while toning the core. If you are already aware of the boat pose, a buddy boat is much easier to follow.
8. Child pose assist
Target muscles: Lower back muscles, chest, hamstrings, and shoulders
How to do
- To enter the child’s pose, partner 1 can start on all fours with knees bent and feet stretched out directly under their hips.
- Now, partner 1 bends and stretches out both arms in front of them.
- Partner 2 should face away from partner 1 and position themselves as though they are going to sit on the sacrum of partner 1.
- Now, partner 2 should slowly lower themselves down to rest their back gently on the partner1’s back.
- If partner 2 is a lot taller than partner 1, partner 2 should try moving their hips slightly lower and adjust until it’s comfortable for both partners.
- Once partner 2’s back is resting on partner 1’s, partner 2 should extend their arms over their head and try linking their fingers with partner 1 to deepen the stretch.
- Move back to the start pose by getting off partner 1’s back, and partner 1 moves back to the seated position.
Summary: Child pose assist is a restorative posture that helps to release any tension from the previous poses and eases stress. The child pose assist also helps to stretch the spine and open the hips. This posture is also beneficial for the nervous system and helps to calm the mind.
9. Double plank
Target muscle: Arms, shoulders, biceps, triceps, core, spine, rhomboids, trapezius, and wrists.
How to do
- To start, partner 1 should get into a plank position.
- Partner 2 should then grasp the ankles of partner 1 with their hands and keep their head towards the feet of partner 1.
- Partner 2 should now place their feet on the shoulders of partner 1 one after the other.
- Ensure that partner 2 has the soles of their feet facing up to the sky.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds and breathe along with your partner.
- To return to the original pose, partner 2 should slowly take their feet off the shoulders of partner 1 and stand erect.
- Partner 1 should now release the plank position and stand erect as well.
Summary: Double plank is a great way to build core strength and improve balance. It helps both partners to establish stability and trust. Lastly, a double plank yoga pose with your partner is an excellent pose to include in your yoga practice as you move to the advanced partner yoga poses.
10. Extended forward leg pose
Target muscles: Hamstrings, knees, and lower back.
How to do
- Start by facing each other.
- Both partners should lift their right leg to their partner’s left hip.
- Balance your weight on the leg planted on the ground.
- Now raise your legs onto your partner’s shoulder.
- Hold each other’s forearms for balance.
- Breathe in and out together as you hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- You may then switch legs and repeat on the other side.
- To go back to the standing position, release the forearms and take the legs off each other’s shoulders.
Summary: Extended forward leg pose with a partner is a great way to get a good stretch while spending time with your partner. It helps to improve the strength in your hamstrings and hips but also improves your balance at the same time.
11. Wheel pose
Target muscles: Spine, arms, core, chest, hip flexors, and shoulders.
How to do
- To start the wheel yoga pose with your partner, partner 1 should get into the cobra position.
- Partner 2 then joins the pose by doing a handstand while grabbing partner 1’s ankles.
- Partner 2 then starts arching their back to form a wheel-like shape.
- Partner 1 then grabs the feet of partner 2 by extending their arms upwards.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds and take a few breaths together.
- To return to standing, partner 1 should release the grasp of partner 2’s feet and allow them to return back to their feet. Partner 1 moves off the floor and stands erect.
Summary: The wheel is a great pose for improving flexibility and strength, and it can also be a lot of fun. This stretch is beneficial for both partners; it helps to lengthen the spine and open up the chest, and it also helps to improve balance. Lastly, it is also a good way to get a deep stretch in the shoulders. Just be sure to have a spotter Acroyoga Austin: Teamwork and Responsibility in Acro nearby to guide you.
12. Warrior 3
Target muscles: Shoulders, calves, ankles, back, and abdominal muscles.
How to do
- Stand by facing your partner, keeping half hand distance.
- Now, bend your upper body and stretch your arms towards your partner until your fingertips touch.
- Now, stretch gently to get hold of each other’s shoulders.
- Raise your left legs parallel to the ground by keeping your right legs planted on the ground.
- Your heads should be parallel to the ground and in line with your spine.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds and breathe together.
- To return to the standing position, slowly release the grasp of your hand from your partner’s shoulder.
Summary: Warrior 3 is an excellent pose for strengthening the legs and improving balance. It’s also a great way to open up the hips. Moreover, it activates most of the lower body muscles. Warrior 3 also helps both partners in improving focus.
13. Flying Superman/Flying bird
Target muscles: Arms, shoulders, biceps, triceps, core, hamstrings, and quadriceps
How to do
- To start the pose, partner 1 lies on their back.
- While keeping their knees bent, partner 1 places their feet on the abdomen of partner 2 .
- Both the partners now reach out and hold hands.
- Partner 1 then makes their legs perpendicular to the ground while balancing partner 2’s weight on their feet.
- Simultaneously let go of each other’s hands.
- Partner 2 may stretch their hand ahead or stretch them backward as per their preference to balance their weight.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds as you take a few breaths in and out with your partner.
- To return back to the standing position, partner 1 lowers their legs to let partner 2 down and return back to standing.
Summary: Flying Superman is a great way to get a good stretch in your back and shoulders while also strengthening your core. It is also a great pose for couples who want to work on their balance and flexibility together.
5 benefits of doing partner yoga
It is needless to say that the above-mentioned yoga poses for two people have a plethora of benefits, as discussed. However, there are some unique advantages of these partner yoga poses that have revolutionary outcomes for the mind and body. Below are some special reasons why couples yoga/partner yoga is famous.
1. Weight loss
When you are twisting and turning, working on your core strength, with the body of a partner, you may lose belly fat, tone your muscles, and increase your metabolism, all while having heaps of fun with your friend or significant other!
2. The impact of touch
Touch is an important part of partner yoga. For some, partner yoga poses can be extremely empowering. Touch will increase your awareness of one another. Ultimately, this can have a powerful impact on your relationship – deepening the connection and understanding between you.
3. Create new experiences together
Partner yoga is an experience that you share together. These are the things that build a solid foundation for a long-lasting relationship of any kind. Couple’s yoga is a great way to learn about each other’s bodies and how to support each other in yoga practice. It is serious and playful at the same time.
4. A trust-building activity
Partner yoga requires a high level of reliance on the other person in order to complete the pose correctly. If one person falls, it is up to the other person to catch them. This builds trust through interdependency and intuition to eventually deepen the relationship.
5. Improved communication skills
In partner yoga, as each partner takes turns, it helps people to learn how to communicate more effectively and listen more carefully. It also helps them to learn how to coordinate their movements better.
Safety tips to prevent injury
Although the above-mentioned yoga poses for two people are relatively safe, there are still some safety tips that you should keep in mind to prevent injury-
- Warm up before starting the yoga poses for two people.
- Start slowly and progress gradually to the more advanced yoga poses.
- Choose yoga poses for two people that are suitable for your and your partner’s fitness level.
- Make sure that both partners are comfortable with the yoga poses before starting.
- Listen to your body and stop if either of you feel any pain.
- Yoga poses for two people should be done on a yoga mat or a firm surface.
- Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely.
- Avoid yoga poses for two people if you are pregnant or have any medical conditions.
- Consult your yoga teacher or healthcare provider before starting a yoga practice.
- Practice acro yoga poses for two people under the supervision of a yoga teacher or healthcare practitioner.
Yoga poses for two people help you in a revolutionary way to build muscle, improve balance, flexibility, increase stamina, and overall increase the quality of life. Performing yoga with a partner helps you establish a great bond with a friend, partner, or family member while getting a workout.
Give the above-listed poses a try keeping the precautions in mind, and introduce yourself and your partner to a whole new platform to connect.
|↑1||National Library of Medicine: Effect of Modified Slow Breathing Exercise on Perceived Stress and Basal Cardiovascular Parameters|
|↑2||Acroyoga Austin: Teamwork and Responsibility in Acro|