AcroYoga Poses to Practice with a Partner
These playful partner yoga poses are a fun way to mix up your routine.
Most yogis are used to practicing the poses solo. But did you know there’s a way to do yoga with a partner? If you’re looking to mix up your everyday yoga routine, partner poses are a fun thing to try. Partner yoga, often referred to as AcroYoga because it combines acrobatics and yoga, specifically requires core strength from the person in the air and lower-body strength from the person the person acting as the base. It also has the added benefit of building trust between you and your partner.
Try the partner yoga poses below and see how you can benefit from changing up your routine with a friend.
Start with the taller or stronger of the pair in a plank on the bottom. Palms are under shoulders, legs are straight and the core is engaged. Then the top person — facing the feet of the base — steps across the hips of the base. Folding forward, place both palms securely on the ankles of the base, core strong and engaged, and step one foot at a time onto the shoulders of the base. Hold for three to five breaths if you can before slowly stepping down one foot at a time. If possible, switch so the person who was the base is on now top.
The base starts in a table position facing the ceiling with feet hip-distance apart and hands shoulder-distance apart. Lift your hips as high as you can so your knees, hips, back and head are in a single line. The top partner will step across the base’s body, facing the base’s knees. Place one hand at a time on the base’s shoulders, engage your core and bandhas and gently and firmly step one foot at a time on the base’s knees/lower thighs. Hold for three to five breaths and step down with grace and control.
Extended Double Table
Start in the same position as double table, the flyer balancing on the base’s shoulders and knees/lower thighs. At first, just the flyer should lift her leg, and if both feel secure and strong, the base can lift the leg on the same side. Hold for three to five breaths and switch sides. Dismount is the same as the basic double table.
Start seated facing each other with knees bent. Touching the soles of your feet together, place your hands behind you to stabilize and lift the legs toward the sky. Engage the core, lengthen the spine and lift the heart toward the sky. Keep your back straight and your core engaged the entire time. Hold for three to five breaths and release.
Bound Double Boat
Start seated and facing your partner with knees bent. Lift your feet off the floor until your knees are bent at 90 degrees. Your palms should start behind you on the floor to stabilize as you connect the soles of your feet together. Using your core strength to keep your spine long and tailbone tilted so you have length from the sacrum, press your feet together and up to the sky until the legs are as straight as you can get them. To bind the hands, reach one hand out to clasp the wrist and hand of your partner, keep your heart lifted as you reach the other arm to clasp the other wrist and hand of your partner. Lift your heart and lengthen the spine and look straight at your partner or out to the side.
Downward Dog Handstand Pike
The base starts out in downward-facing dog with palms flat, spine long and knees straight. Root down into the palms and heels to create stability, preparing for the flyer. The flyer steps in front of the base and folds forward, placing both hands either inside or in front of the base’s hands. Stepping one foot at a time, the flyer will place one foot (just the toes) on the sacrum of the base (tailbone area) and then the other foot, pressing into a pike position (body is at 90 degrees) with the core engaged and the spine long. Rooting into the palms, hold for five to 10 breaths. To dismount, step down one foot at a time.
All images courtesy of Livestrong.com / Dashama Gordon.