Where is the Love? – 6 Yoga Poses for Couples that Encourage Intimacy
With love in the air, there’s no better time to talk about couples yoga. Yoga practice with a partner can improve not just intimacy, but deepen the sexual and emotional bonds between you. And there’s plenty of research that points to couples yoga as an activity that benefits your relationship.
Did you know?
After jointly participating in an exciting physical challenge or activity, couples report feeling more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partner (Aron, Norman, Aron, & Heyman, 2000).
Exercise induces symptoms of physiological arousal such as sweaty hands, a racing pulse, shortness of breath–– all of which parallel the symptoms of physical arousal, which can be misattributed for romantic attraction (Dutton & Aron, 1974).
Practicing yoga can improve sex drive and even help couples create a stronger relationship (NIH, 2008).
Yoga as a practice can truly help us reconnect by learning to be comfortable with one another in vulnerable positions. By opening up and letting natural energy flow between the two of you, you become more receptive to intimacy–– more trusting, more loving, happier, and sexier partners.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are six intimate poses for you to practice with your partner in sequence:
1. Seated Bound Angle
Begin by sitting tall and facing one another while one partner brings the soles of her feet together. The other partner will stretch his legs out with his feet against her shins. Then both partners extend their hands toward one another and brace the other’s forearms. The partner with his legs extended should pull his partner forward while being mindful of the depth of the stretch in her lower back, outer hips, and inner thighs. Then switch the pose. You and your partner will create intimacy as you support one another through this deep stretch requiring dual awareness.
2. Seated Spinal Twist
Remaining in a seated position facing your partner, sit with your legs crossed. Both of you should extend your arms forward with arms crossed while twisting from the base of your spine into the pull of your partner’s hand. This pose will require awareness of the other’s breathing and comfort as you lean deeper into the stretch, even opening your chest and shoulders. After releasing on an exhale and repeating the stretch on the other side, you and your partner should have a good idea of one another’s boundaries with the spinal twist. This pose will cultivate a strong bond from the communication and awareness used to discover boundaries.
3. Bound Angle Special
This is a pose that’s great for the stretching the groin and inner thighs whether solo or with a partner, but with a partner it’s a deeply intimate pose. Here one partner sits with his lap open, knees outward and pressing into the earth, while the other partner sits in his lap with her legs around his waist touching the soles of her feet together. Then you embrace with your arms around one another and bring each other close so that your hearts are touching. It’s basically a big, soft, and intense hug with all of your limbs.
4. Back to Back Chair
Stand firmly with your back against your partner's with relaxed arms and your feet hip-width apart–– both from your own feet and your partner’s feet. Then slowly lower your bodies down together remaining pressed against each other as if you’re sitting in a chair. Stop when you reach a 90-degree angle, hold for a few breaths, then slowly come back to a stand while continuing to press into one another. This dynamic pose brings you balance and body strength along with a deepened sense of trust in your partner.
5. Back to Back Backbend/Forward Fold
Now seated while remaining back to back, one partner should extend his legs and lean forward into a fold. (Pro tip: For those guys and gals with tight hamstrings, bend the knees slightly or put a small pillow or rolled up towel under your knees). The other partner should then press her feet into the earth while also pressing into her partner’s back with her back–– opening her chest, shoulders, and hips. This partner on the top of the stretch must be mindful of her counterpart’s breathing and comfort as she pushes the stretch deeper into his hamstrings and lower back. Then switch the stretch. Like with the seated bound angle, this pose requires dual awareness of boundaries.
6. Flying Warrior
This final and most challenging pose requires the most trust and communication between partners to do successfully. Flying Warrior begins with the base partner lying on his back with legs lifted up and knees bent while his flyer partner clasps his hands and shifts her body weight onto his feet. The base partner should keep his arms strong and the flyer should keep her core engaged while balancing her weight from her hips onto his feet. If the pose is feeling super stable and balanced, you can release hands. Flying Warrior is a risky pose which requires a lot of balance which can only be achieved safely with good communication. However, if done right, this pose can cultivate deep intimacy through playfulness, trust, and stability. (Pro tip: When attempting this pose initially, it’s wise to have a spotter on hand or soft matting at the very least).