From increased flexibility to anxiety and stress relief, it’s no secret that yoga is really, really good for you. But while elongating those hamstrings with a standing forward fold is great and all, doing it with a friend can help you go even deeper. And chances are, you’ll have a lot more fun.
So if you want to get even more out of your yoga practice (and spend some quality time with your yoga-loving friends), give these six awesome partner poses a try.
Partner boat pose
Bring your feet to your partner’s, grab ahold of his or her hands, stretch your legs out, lean back and hold on for five breaths. Not only will this work your core, but you’ll get an awesome hamstring stretch out of the deal.
Who needs full wheels and bow poses? In this partner pose, one person lies flat on their stomach while the other grabs ahold of his her hands, looks up and leans back. The person on the ground gets an awesome back and shoulder opener and the person standing up gets a backbend in as well. Try holding this one for three breaths, and if you’re both comfortable in it, go for five.
L-shaped handstand, partner style.
This one will help one person get more comfortable going upside down while the other gets deeper into their downward dog. One person plants their palms on the ground, tucks their toes and hikes their hips back to a downward dog. His or her partner folds forward, plants their palms on the ground and walks their feet up their partner’s back, making sure their shoulders are stacked over their wrists. Hold this one for five breaths.
Double forward fold
Holy hamstring stretch! This one will help you stretch your hammies and calves in a big way. Start standing back to back, fold forward and grab onto your partner’s arms. Hold for five breaths.
This one requires some trust, but it’s totally worth it — not just for the backbend, but for the triceps and core workout. In this case, we’ll call the two partners “the base” and “the flyer.” The base lies on the ground with their knees bent, while the other stands with his or her ankles on either side of the base’s head. The base bring their feet to the flyer’s lower back while holding onto his or her ankles as the flyer leans back and grabs hold of the base’s calves. The base lifts the flyer up — that’s where the tricep and core workout comes in for the base — while the flyer extends their arms, points their toes and leans back for a (hopefully relaxing) back opener.
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