Want to strengthen your relationship? These four simple partner poses from Edward Dunbar, licensed psychologist and clinical professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, will help you get close and connected within minutes.
Seated Forward Bend
Sit back-to-back with your partner in Staff Pose (Dandasana). Begin to silently establish a breath rhythm that you’ll feel along the spine. Stay here or lean forward into a Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) maintaining spine-to-spine contact. Breathe in together and out together for 3–5 minutes.
Why It Works: You’re establishing body contact and also reducing anxiety by developing a stable and shared sense of breath control.
Easy Pose with eyes open
Sit across from your partner in Easy Pose and maintain eye contact. Reach your arms forward at chest level and join palms with your partner, moving forward and back in a push-pull motion at a moderate pace for 3–11 minutes. You may chant a simple mantra, such as “wahe guru,” or move in silence.
Why it works: This is a white tantric technique that establishes a level of shared energy between a couple. Coordination, attention, and support are realized by sustaining the rhythm for several minutes. It may become very light-hearted or deeply meditative.
Revolved Head-of-the-Knee Pose
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana
Move into Revolved Head-of-the-Knee Pose, mirroring your partner as you both move in and out of posture for 3–5 minutes, maintaining eye contact.
Why It Works: You’re creating a shared tempo that links movement, breath, and eye contact. This also requires one partner to accommodate the other to stay together, reducing a dynamic of trying to be better than one another and keeping you both working together.
Easy Pose with eyes closed
Sit across from your partner in Easy Pose. Use your fingertips to trace and touch your partner’s face while sustaining slow prana breaths for 2–3 minutes. Alternate from one partner to another.
Why It Works: You’re developing an awareness of your partner without sight, and you’re enhancing trust by letting your partner touch you with limited anticipation or control.
For more info, visit pacificpsychological.com/yogatherapy/yogaforcouples.html