Yoga is traditionally an individual practice, where one gets in touch with themselves. However, jointly practiced yoga with another person is becoming more popular and has its own set of benefits. Couples or partner yoga allows two people to relate and connect to one another through assisted poses. It builds trust and strengthens communication, having an overall positive effect on one’s relationship that goes beyond physical fitness.
If you feel your relationship is struggling in the intimacy department, couples yoga might be just the thing you need. A study found that partner yoga can help couples that are having difficulty with sexual dysfunction, and that increase both arousal and sexual satisfaction.
Couples yoga isn’t sexual in nature, but it requires two people to synchronize their breathing, posture, and movements. This combined with the new levels of trust, communication, and connection that form tends to increase overall intimacy in the relationship. Conflicts in relationships often stem from feeling out of synch, feeling disconnected, or having poor communication. Couples yoga addresses all of those.
In order to construct the tandem poses that happen in yoga sessions, you and your partner will have to rely and lean on one another. This will require constant communication, both verbally and nonverbally. Trust, support, and vulnerability are also vital.
Many couples poses require a level of trust too. You or your partner may be perched on top of them or in other precarious positions. You have to trust one another to maintain balance. Coordinated movements like rhythmic breathing and flowing between poses also help couples feel more attuned to each other, which builds trust, increases empathy, and creates bonds.
Every relationship and individual deals with tension, stress, and anxiety. All yoga practices address this, giving people an outlet to release this. Couples yoga has the additional benefit of your significant other’s touch. A study found that couples that hold helps felt immediate relief from extreme stress. So simply touching your partner can reduce tension and since partner yoga involves a lot of touching you will definitely feel this.
Certain poses in couples’ yoga physically open up the body too. This allows for new energy to come in and provides relief from negative energy that comes with pain, stress, anxiety, anger, and tension.
Couples yoga overall will increase your relationship satisfaction. A study found that couples that engage in challenging hobbies increase both relationships satisfaction and romantic attraction. The intimacy, communication, and trust you build in the class will result in more happiness in the partnership overall.
Think about some of the common goals in yoga- mindfulness, self-awareness, de-stress. All of these are linked to personal happiness and happier relationships. Just being in the moment, enjoying an activity with your partner, and being in synch will reinvigorate your connection.