The Bonding Power of Couples Yoga

Stressed? Grab your partner and reconnect with couples yoga.
Let's Twist Again
"When everyone is really busy and feeling stressed out, often the time with your partner is one of the first things to get bumped," says Darrin Zeer, a Southern California-based yoga expert and author of Lovers' Yoga. "Stretching with your loved one turns the tables on the rat race, allowing you both to be in the moment and renewing your connection."

Try these following stretches, adapted from Zeer's book, to reconnect with your partner. Whether you're waiting for the coffee to brew in the morning or you set up an after-work date of stretching before your favorite TV show, these simple poses will provide the ideal bonding break for you and your loved one.

Happy hug
Stand facing each other with toes touching. Hug! Relax deeply into your partner's embrace. Breathe five long, deep breaths in unison with your partner. Let stress and tension fall away. Take turns rubbing each other's back between the shoulder blades and spine for 30 seconds.

Tree together
Stand side by side. Lift your outside leg up and place your foot on your inside leg's upper thigh. If your foot slips, you can hold it up with your hand. Wrap your inside arm around your partner's waist and hold tight for balance and support. Stand tall and raise your head. Breathe in unison and relax into the pose. Take five deep breaths. Switch sides with your partner and stretch the other leg.

Upside-down smile
Stand back to back, about two feet apart and separate your legs by about three feet. Drop your upper bodies down like rag dolls with both arms hanging. Look at your partner in between your legs and smile — or make funny faces at each other. If you can, grab onto your partner's arms or legs and pull yourself deeper into the stretch.

Tantric twist
Sit back to back, with legs crossed. Keep your lower backs as close together as possible. Twist around to your left. Place your left hand on your partner's right knee. Place your right hand on your own left knee. Look behind you and relax your neck, pulling firmly on your partner's knee. Take five deep breaths together. Switch directions and repeat.

"Heeling" massage
This is a great way to give a back massage without lifting a finger. Have your partner sit up with his legs straight out in front. Sit about three feet behind him, facing his back. Then, lie down and rest your feet on your partner's back. Walk your heels up and down, and rub the sore spots in between his spine and shoulder blades. Rest your heels on top of his or her shoulders and push down. For extra leverage, raise your pelvis off the ground.

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