My first venture into partner yoga was during my very first teacher training. My teacher wanted it to be a challenge, so my 5’11” frame was in a duet with a lovely 5’2″ yogini. It was quite the experience! Picture this – someone I could lift off the floor with one arm partnered with someone whose legs wouldn’t lift off the floor in ‘flying walnut’. Some of the best partner classes I’ve taught were when friends would attend together, open and ready to try something new – friends, partners, spouses, mother-daughter, father-child, patient-caregiver… I’ve seen it all, and even though the postures may not be ‘textbook’, the connections made are priceless. Sometimes the best part is ‘falling’ out of the poses together.
David and I have been teaching this class for many years, and we always enjoy witnessing bonds growing stronger, and effective communication happening, along with those ‘experimentalists’ always coming up with something new! My favorite teaching couple is Melissa & Jon-Erik Lido – they are not only the epitome of true yogis, but they both have such vibrant, adventurous spirits, they are a great team to learn from. To see the difference in their stature would never lead you to believe that Melissa can certainly hold her own, and Jon-Erik as well!
The Lidos have been students and teachers of the Garden for many years, and I have known them both for even more. They supported each other wholeheartedly as they dedicated themselves further into the yogic lifestyle by moving through multiple teacher trainings at the Garden, and have also studied through the lineage of Dharma Mittra. We are so fortunate to have them in our midst, and if you’re around on Sundays, come hang out with these two gems in the evenings for Beginner and Yin Yoga classes.
Working with a partner adds such a deeper level and dimension to even the ‘simplest’ of poses – think back-to-back triangles and revolved angles, side-by-side standing tree pose, yummy back-to-back stretches and twists. Effective communication helps to maintain balance and safety, and breathing together only increases the effectiveness of tuning in with each other. The art of moving together, providing space for each other, and chuckling when things go awry are all part of this profound practice.
P.S. Ladies, if you’ve been trying to drag your guys to yoga class, this is a great opportunity. Many men have been introduced to ‘yoga’ through the partner yoga route – and we promise to leave him feeling like he got a ‘workout’, making him feel strong (not just a fru-fru stretching exercise)… and making him ‘feel it’ the next day, too 😀
Join Melissa and Jon-Erik for Valentine’s Day Partner Yoga at the Garden from 1:00-2:30pm and experience Contact – the Yoga of Relationship.