16.2.10

Partners


My yoga studio had a partner yoga class on Valentine's Day. The couple who taught it is recently married. And they're super-cute. They both teach yoga and they usually take eachother's classes. Anyway, Matt and I went to the partner class. It was a blast.

Matt and I usually do 3 or 4 classes together per week but we'd never done one "together" before. It was weirdly romantic. Although it wouldn't be if you were with a non-romantic partner.

They started us off with some breathing while holding hands. Then they had us alternate breaths to tune into the other's breath.

I listen to Matt breathe almost daily because I usually go to sleep after he does and wake up before, but I had never really thought about how intimate an activity it was until I was trying to hear him. Sure, there are those mouth breathers and adenoid cases (does anyone have adenoids anymore?) who you can hear snorting whether you want to or not, but on the whole, to hear someone's breath, you need to be fairly close to them.

After the breathing and some gazing, we moved into the partner poses. I don't remember all of what we did, but we did some counterbalancing forward bends, opposing triangles, opposing standing bows, some stretching across eachother's backs, and back-to-back trees. Then we went to the floor and helped eachother in the spine series by holding down the other's feet while they did cobra and by pulling arms in locust and by lifting legs in half locust and holding knees in in bow. We also did some opposing stretching on the floor and foot-to-foot shoulder stands. We ended in an overlapping savasana. It was just fun and funny.

The hardest pose to do together (for us) was tree. When you're back-to-back, balance becomes a mutual effort. We had an easier time standing on our left legs, but it wasn't easy. And when one of you starts to lose it, it's easy to take your partner down. Funny how balance always seems to be the hardest part of everything in life.

After the class the teachers did a little acro-yoga demonstration. It was cool. They offered to teach us a little, but we couldn't stay. I'd really like to try it though. It looks really fun.

They're going to try and do partner classes on an ongoing basis and I can't wait to do it again. If you get the chance to do a partner class, do it. All you need is a partner (any old person will do). Yoga is usually solitary, but it doesn't have to be. And having someone to laugh with when you go flying out of a pose because you lost your grip is a nice change from the usual smile at yourself in the mirror.



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