How often do you truly let your husband hold you? I’m not talking about a hug when you walk in the door, but a life-or-death hold you up kinda moment.
Partner yoga is defined by two (or more) people coming together to practice yoga. The primary difference from a solo yoga practice is that it requires touch. By working with another person’s body, we develop a kinesthetic awareness in our own bodies that allows us to go deeper into our own practice.
Many yogis practice partner yoga with friends or even strangers, but it can be particularly effective with your romantic partner.
At Loyola University in Chicago, they’ve added partner yoga sessions based on studies that practicing partner yoga increases women’s arousal and response, and also improves men’s sexual stamina.
I've been practicing yoga for more than 25 years. Yoga introduced me to a new way of breathing in my 20s, better birthing positions in my 30s and then helped me recover from breast cancer in my 40s.
And in my late 40s and nearing 50 (with my husband even closer to that number), we are always looking for ways to feel good and stay connected.
My husband isn’t a stranger to yoga either; I will admit he is pretty flexible. He has set his mat down next to mine in the past few years, but we never actually shared a mat and tried partner yoga until recently.
The first time I practiced partner yoga with my husband, I quickly realized, while I was suspended in the air with only his feet holding me up, that I needed to let him hold me that way. And you know what? I liked it. A lot.
This suspension not only let me feel his strength, but allowed me to surrender for a few moments into that instinctual body-to-body connection.
We started with an online partner yoga tutorial class, with just enough instruction and tips that we were able to perform what we like to call “circus tricks” from day one.
Here are a few things that I didn’t expect from partner yoga:
1. It’s a lot harder than it looks!
I may be able to hold a pose on my mat, but add the element of an uneven surface to balance on something like my husband’s foot, and I feel like a human Jenga piece!
2. It takes lots of trust.
When doing yoga on your own, trust is an internal dialogue. You look to yourself to hold a pose a little longer, or try something new. In partner yoga, it’s an integral part of the practice. It can be scary to be upside down in the air while being held by someone who has never done this before either. And when I relax into the poses, which is difficult unless I trust my husband, they work so much better.
3. It’s a moment to be physical without being sexual.
We do many things together as a couple. We cook, run and work together, but none of those activities involve touching each other continuously for a set amount of time. In partner yoga class, we get to touch each other but without the pressure of sex. And it sets the tone for more exciting sex, but more on that later.
4. It offers an opportunity for my husband to literally lift me up.
I forgot what it was like to let go and have my husband hold me 100 percent. In order to reach the full expression of many poses, I need to be willing to let him hold my full weight and trust that we won’t topple over.
5. It’s a fun workout together!
Sometimes, my husband has to drag me out of bed to go running in the morning, but partner yoga is something we both look forward to doing together. A huge benefit is that it doesn’t take up too much time, nor does it cost a lot of money. The best par tis we can do it in the comfort of our home. Unlike cooking classes we’ve taken together, yoga doesn’t require clean up!
6. It creates more flow in the bedroom.
OK, time for the sexy part ...
Just like regular yoga, partner yoga increases stamina and flexibility, which are a big boost to our intimate time. Who knew one of the biggest benefits of dangling upside down while arching my back with the assistance of my husband would lead to more intimacy in the bedroom!