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We all know yoga creates a wonderful space for us to connect inward, explore our personal boundaries and challenge ourselves. What happens when you add a partner to the mix? Einat Bardea, international yoga and partner yoga instructor, will be leading a Valentine’s Day Partner Yoga workshop at Kula Yoga (Feb. 14 2-4 p.m.) and she shares with us what traits we should bring to the mat for a fun and rewarding partner practice.
1. Humour
Be prepared to laugh. Put two people together in simultaneous yoga and counter-balances and there is bound to be reason to giggle. Maybe you realise you’re a little bit less flexible than you thought you were, or maybe you find yourself in an awkward position with your knee accidently in someone’s armpit. Perhaps you foot tickles your partner’s belly (or their belly tickles your foot) ! Whatever the cause, there is usually some laughter in the room.
2. A taste for adventure
Trying something new is always an adventure. Bring a sense of adventure to a partner yoga class and see where it takes you. You may find a deeper stretch within your body, or even a deeper connection with your partner. Perhaps you realise you are stronger than you thought you were (or maybe a little less strong than you thought!). There could be parts of a partner yoga class that you love and can’t wait to try again at home, and there may be parts that you are happy to never do again- having an open mind and a desire to learn something new is key!
3. Compassion
Your partner or friend may need your compassion during this workshop. At the point of maximum stretch or strength, they may need you to ease off the tension, or take a rest from the pose. Your partner/friend may feel challenged at certain moments in the workshop, and at these times it is important that you are supportive and compassionate.
4. Generosity
When practicing partner yoga the focus is shared between you and your partner/friend. Unlike in a regular yoga class where you can focus solely on what you would like to achieve in the class, during partner yoga is it important to check in with your partner and help them achieve their goals, just as they will help you achieve yours.
5. Courage
Connecting with another person always takes courage. Even if this is the person you share your life with, sometimes a new context can connect you in a new way. Looking into another person’s eyes can be confronting (as well as incredibly rewarding) so to reap the rewards of partner yoga it is important to have the courage to look deep into yourself, and allow your partner/friend to share that space with you.