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Yoga A-Z – Issue 57

P is for Partner Yoga. By Carole Moritz
Partner yoga, practiced by two or more people, provides a larger forum to expand yoga poses in connection with others. Through traction and leverage, partner yoga reveals our relational patterns through a kinesthetic experience.
Any successful partnership needs to be mutually useful in order to build trust. The intimacy stemming from partner yoga reveals our own emotional currents and how those
are translated in the stability of pose and counterpose. It’s a risky business to step out of the safety of one’s protective armour and explore a distinctive self-expression that dances with another’s.
And, rather than asserting independence, it requires releasing of power struggles for a higher purpose – otherwise someone will go splat on the mat.
What partner yoga is not is a fated romantic relationship played out in eroticism on the
mat. A newly emerging practice with roots in Tantric lineages perhaps, partner yoga, at its core, uses asana between two people as a
tool for awakening our true nature in the context of another.
The intimacy stemming from partner yoga is its quiet confidence and authority in the reading of breath and body that demonstrates the consent of compromise, reciprocity, communication and respect.
Partnership is a strategic alliance where we make a calculated risk and assessment of what we are willing to open up and expand into and how we agree to be limited. We examine what partnership contracts we will and won’t agree to; how we agree to love and be loved. Vulnerability is not for the faint of heart. It’s exhausting trying to connect with someone that withholds genuine contact, hides behind walls or pretends to be something they are not. Stingy is as stingy does, and is quickly revealed even in back-to-back sitting meditation. If we agree, breath by breath, maintaining strong sacral connection, there’s a dance of energies up and down the spine and a distinction of ourselves in relationship to another to see ourselves as part of a greater whole and our willingness to give and receive love.
Perhaps partner yoga is really a metaphor for the dance of love. May I have this dance?

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
Pablo Neruda

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