Couples Yoga

Couples yoga offers numerous benefits for beginners and advanced yogis alike. It’s become incredibly popular lately.

Why is bendy so trendy? It must be the beautiful acroyoga images on social media combined with being home-bound due to the pandemic. 

But it’s not safe to dive into partner yoga together without experience practicing yoga individually. 

In this article, we’ll cover why you should practice yoga with your partner, and how to start couples yoga as beginners.

couples yoga

Alex and I practice couples yoga to maintain our athleticism as we age. Did you know that, according to ancient Chinese teachings, “For every 1-inch of extension gained, you gain 10-years of life?”

Yoga is a critical activity to maintain our youth and prevent injury. Especially since our flexibility goes away quickly as we age

You know what they say, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” When we’re young, our bodies are naturally more flexible and it’s rare to pull muscles or strain ligaments.

Studies show that the average person loses 50% of their flexibility by the age of 50. To make matters worse, we recover from injury significantly slower as we age.

This is the key motivator for our couples yoga practice. Yoga keeps us young and prepares our bodies to show up for life’s many adventures. 

What Is Couples Yoga?

We have a unique definition of couples yoga. To us, couples yoga includes not just two-person yoga poses. You also need to strengthen your yoga practice as an individual, but ideally following the same classes together.

The two-person positions promote teamwork, communication, and trust, while a strong individual yoga practice is the foundation for executing partner poses safely.

Our Couples Yoga Experience

If we had to choose only one form of exercise for the rest of our lives, it would be yoga. But, it wasn’t always that way. At the beginning, we both strongly disliked yoga. 

It starts with one interested party

I was very unhealthy during the years after college.  Let’s just say, pizza was its own food group. My horrible diet paired with minimal exercise and nine hours daily in an office chair brought pain and lethargy.

Still, I refused to give up soccer and skiing. Therefore, I constantly injured myself and felt physically old.

My fitness took a turn for the better when I started following professional workout programs. But, I always skipped yoga day because it bored me and reminded me that my balance and flexibility were laughable.

Bolstered by the success of consistent exercise, I started running again. Shortly after, I had to stop due to knee pain. Then, I started weightlifting. Again, I was halted because of a pulled hamstring.

Eventually, I started a workout program that included a temptingly short yoga routine (it was P90X3). Because the yoga routine was only 30-minutes, I actually did it every week.

This one routine cured me of the nagging injuries and chronic pain that I had been experiencing for years. That was a decade ago, and I have been a convert ever since. 

Then you rope in the second party: your partner

I was sold on the benefits of yoga, but Alex was not. For her, it didn’t seem important because she could run a marathon without a single ache or pain. 

In her words:

“My engineering brain understands the physical and mental benefits of yoga, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it. For something that seems so “go-with-the-flow,” zen, and bendy, my type-A personality and tight hamstrings always get in the way.”

She was telling me this while I was reading the highly inspirational biography of David Goggins, who is a former Navy SEAL, ultra-athlete, pull-up world champion, and debatably the toughest man alive.

His list of physical (but mostly mental) feats is staggering, like running a 100-mile, 24-hour race without even training. His mantra was, “Do something you hate every day.”

Alex agreed that for her, this meant doing yoga every day. Since she had very little experience practicing yoga, we created a 14-day yoga workout calendar to follow together. 

And so, we began our partner yoga crash course.

Couples yoga crash course

In our experience, a yoga crash course is the best way for beginners to develop a long-term yoga practice. Instead of toe-dipping, commit to yoga 3-7 times weekly for 2-4 weeks. That’s a sure way to quickly experience the benefits of couples yoga.  

Long story short, after completing our 14 days of yoga workouts, Alex and I remain consistent with couples yoga.

During our two-week crash course, Alex learned the following lessons about couple’s yoga for beginners. 

Lesson 1: Doing something hard takes patience.

Yoga teaches awareness, and we became aware of how much we rush around. We would hold a pose a few seconds less than we should. We would get antsy and push too deep into stretches when we shouldn’t.

Through our partner yoga practice, we learned to take it easy, listen to our bodies, and be patient with our progress. By the way, if you’re over the age of 30, do not stretch too hard. You know when you’re unable to maintain normal breathing.

Lesson 2: There’s no better feeling than the calmness after a yoga workout.

Everyone should experience daily sun salutations and how good it feels to have a thorough, regular stretch. It’s magic.

Before our scheduled couples yoga workout, our minds would be buzzing about our daily to-do list. After, we were much better at focusing on only the essential things that we needed to complete that day.

What’s more, is we completed them with much more clarity and creativity.

Lesson 3: I achieved yogi status quickly.

Slowly but surely, I felt pride in having my best yoga practice yet. I even started to add a tricep push-up before and after my one-legged upward dog.

I’m in control moving from Warrior 3 to Warrior 2. The pointers from the trainers were helpful. As it turns out, I had been doing downward dog all wrong.

For me, I was able to clear my mind and focus more than ever on rhythmic breathing. We made progress much more quickly by focusing for two weeks on these daily yoga workouts as a couple.

Lesson 4: We both balance better on our left legs than our right.

Yoga showcases the imbalances you have in your body. Which hip is tighter? Which calf is weaker? More importantly, why?

Knowing your imbalances and working to correct them helps avoid future injuries. Over time, I suspect a consistent yoga practice would completely correct any imbalances. By the end of the two weeks, we had both noticed improvements.

Lesson 5: Partner yoga is more fun than individual yoga.

Committing to this challenge was easier because I knew that Alex would hold me accountable to the partner yoga workouts. I also asked her to keep an eye on my poses and give me feedback and corrections.

There are many scientifically-proven benefits of working out with your spouse. In our crash course, we learned that these benefits apply to couple yoga as well. 

The BEnefits of Yoga

As a beginner, it’s helpful to understand why yoga is beneficial. Why? Because it’s not fun at first, and you might think that it’s not productive in terms of fitness.

Which of these yoga benefits will motivate you to do something you’re (potentially) not naturally good at or comfortable doing. For me, I was motivated by benefit #1. Let us know which one motivates you the most in the comments. 

As a beginner, understanding the benefits of yoga and linking them to your why will help you maintain your yoga practice, rather than quitting.

1. Injury Prevention

Yoga prevents injury and promotes recovery by releasing tension, increasing range of motion, and promoting good blood flow.

I’ve read stats that say as high as 70% of injuries are related to flexibility. Did you know that back and hamstring injuries can take as long as broken bones to heal? 

If you have tight hamstrings, back pain is inevitable. I found that the more I worked out, the tighter my muscles became. After paying the price of many injuries, I incorporated yoga into my routine twice weekly. Problem solved! 

2. Variety

Variety is the spice of life. Without variety in your workout plan, you are going to get bored, plateau, or even hurt by overworking your body with repetitive moves.

Adding yoga into your plan ensures that you are getting out of your comfort zone and challenging your body in new ways.

3. Mental Clarity

Yoga makes you feel good. Plain and simple. We all know that exercise does a great job of stimulating endorphins, the feel-good hormone, but yoga really shines in this area.

In addition to those feel-good hormones, yoga releases a chemical called GABA (that’s gamma-aminobutyric acid.) This chemical acts as an inhibitor of neural activity. It’s a natural anti-anxiety drug.

Furthermore, I love that feeling of relaxation and clear-headedness after a yoga routine. It is well documented that yoga helps with everything from depression to anger management to relationship therapy.

What’s more, therapists are using partner yoga to strengthen the sexual intimacy and closeness of couples. But we’ll dive into more partner yoga benefits in the next section. 

4. Detox

All forms of exercise are excellent ways to detox your body. Breathing heavily and getting your blood pumping draws O2 into your body and releases CO2.

However, yoga is the form of exercise that goes above and beyond. Yoga aids the lymphatic system (part of your circulatory system), which is responsible for transporting lymph, a clear fluid containing white blood cells through your body. Lymph helps remove toxins, waste, and unwanted material.

Partner Yoga Benefits

So, now that you identified one or more ways that practicing yoga can individually benefit your life, what are the partner yoga benefits? We’re excited that you ask.

Here are the benefits of practicing couples yoga.

1. Improved Emotional Bond

What better way to feel connected with your partner than by doing yoga together? Now both halves are relaxed and in a positive state of mind. What’s more, studies show that improved mindfulness yields higher relationship satisfaction.

Additionally, learning new skills and tackling challenges together strengthens your emotional bond. 

2. Improved Physical Bond

With the digital world expanding into new areas of life every year, we need to be more intentional about human touch. Physical touch is a significant partner yoga benefit.

Babies require physical touch for optimal development. Older adults have lower stress levels and fewer symptoms of depression when they receive physical touch like hand holding or hugging. It could be that depression is on the rise because we are touching our iPhone far more than our partner.

Couples who touch each other, like congratulatory spankings during exercise, are happier and stay together longer. When you do couples yoga together, the physical touch translates to improved sex life.

3. Accountability

Now you have a built-in accountability buddy. That makes you three times more likely to stick with it.

Plus, all of the other benefits of couple workouts apply, such as having more quality time together. 

4. Free Form Police

Unless you have a mirror in your yoga studio or a personal instructor, it’s hard to notice areas of improvement. A significant partner yoga benefit is that you can watch and correct each other’s alignment and form to become better and stronger.

Practicing yoga as a couple allows you to have open conversations about your current state of health and what your future goals are.

High five to that!

How to start practicing couples yoga for beginners

Clearly, the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of couples yoga are intriguing. But, there is a right and a wrong way to start doing couple yoga.

How about copying an acroyogi’s move on her IG post and giving it your best shot! This approach is wrong.

As couples yoga beginners, it’s important to work on your individual practice first so that you understand the fundamentals to do couple’s yoga poses safely.

This three-step process is a better approach:

Step 1: Begin Practicing Together, Individually (2-4 Weeks)

Practicing individually will create a solid foundation for couples yoga positions. 

To begin practicing couple’s yoga, you can join a gym with yoga classes, get a membership at a yoga studio, or sign up for an online paid membership site to do classes at home.

Alex and I have done all three and strongly prefer doing yoga at home. It’s been especially helpful during the pandemic.

We swear by the yoga workouts on Beachbody On Demand since we also get access to well-rounded fitness and meditation programs. According to our data-driven review, they burn up to 90% more calories and are 410% lower cost than traditional gym workouts.  

In-person classes at a studio are highly enjoyable. However, given our busy, on-the-go lifestyle, we prefer following online yoga workouts at home. And, of course, the pandemic inhibits this.

Why stream couples yoga workouts at home?

This capability gives us the freedom to do our couple yoga workouts wherever we are. Plus, we set the class schedule.

In our experience working with couples, beginning a partner yoga practice can be a challenge for many reasons:

  • There is usually at least one person (usually us guys) who are self-conscious about doing yoga in public
  • One person might feel like they are too beginner to attend a group class
  • Schedules may never align with the class times
  • One person might not be comfortable doing yoga at home without instruction

If one or more of these is the case, we recommend a paid membership to Beachbody On Demand. This membership will give you access to the Beachbody Yoga Studio, which includes a variety of beginner through advanced routines.

Each yoga routine is designed by a team of professional yogis and trainers. In the video, you’ll receive expert demonstration and instruction on proper form, alignment, and breathing. 

In our Couple’s Yoga Challenge, you’ll start a free 2-week trial of Beachbody On Demand to test drive their Yoga Studio.

Our Couples Yoga Challenge is Perfect

The Couple’s Yoga Challenge is primarily individual yoga workouts completed together as a couple. 

The yoga challenge is similar to the couples yoga crash course that got Alex and I started on our partner yoga journey together.

In just two weeks, we learned a lot about our bodies and our yoga abilities. Putting aside 30-minutes a day for yoga together became routine.

We knew we were doing something good for our bodies, and we didn’t dread it like we would a challenging cardio workout.

Instead, our partner yoga training session was a time when we could relax and focus on ourselves. The benefits of couples yoga are instilled in us.

It’s right for you if…

  • You want couples yoga for beginners that can be done together at home.
  • You hate yoga, but know that you want more of it in your life.
  • One of you likes yoga, and the other does not.
  • You want to experience a new, healthy habit with your partner.
  • You don’t think it’s possible to gain confidence in your yoga practice in 2-weeks.

 

14-Day Couples Yoga Challenge

This challenge aims to reconnect you to your health and help you appreciate your body. Practicing yoga as a couple is an opportunity to connect and be present in a way apart from your normal, busy lives.

The customized yoga workout calendar was curated by us to expose couples to a variety of yoga styles and instructors as well as practicing yoga from home.

Or, download for free.

Step 2: Incorporate Easy and Medium Couples Yoga Poses (2-4 Weeks)

While you continue onto a second round of the Couples Yoga Challenge, or graduate to the 3-Week Yoga Retreat (in the Beachbody On Demand Yoga Studio), begin incorporating easy and medium couples yoga poses into your individual practice.

You can start with these easy, medium and hard couples yoga poses.

Step 3: Try Couple Yoga Routines and Hard Couples Yoga Positions

After a month or more of consistently practicing couple yoga, you’re ready to try the more advanced stuff. 

You may need a spotter, but you should be ready for the more advanced, acroyoga poses for two.

Also, now that you know how it feels to work together holding stationary yoga poses, it’s time to try doing a couples yoga flow routine. 

Give the below routine a shot. If you like it, let us know in the comments and we can create more. The yoga flow routine is pretty fast-paced so it will take some practice. Stay tuned for our next couples yin yoga routine.

Wisdom For a Successful Couples Yoga Journey

At Ryan and Alex Duo Life, we help couples live their healthiest and happiest lives. Since physical activity is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, we’re regularly asked, “How do I get my spouse to work out with me?” 

If you have a hard time motivating your partner to exercise with you, you’re not alone. 

There’s only one way to find out if practicing couples yoga is right for you and your partner. Commit to 2-3 months and then do a time-benefit analysis to see if your new habit is paying off. 

However, if you and your partner have never been able to get into a workout routine together, don’t expect couples yoga to be magic.

You might get lucky, but you’ll likely need to work to understand why working out as a couple hasn’t worked in the past. 

For more tips to navigate this challenge, we wrote a comprehensive guide to help you troubleshoot and learn how to create healthy exercise habits together. 

Recommended Yoga Mats

The only mat we can strongly recommend is pictured below. We use it for yoga and all of our workout routines. We love it because it’s travel-sized, and we need to be able to take our yoga workouts everywhere.

Shop Ryan and Alex Duo Life Yogo Yoga Mats

It’s extremely durable for indoor or outdoor use. The quality material is even resistant to bug spray and sunscreen. As former materials engineers, we know that’s a feat. Lastly, every mat sold equals a tree planted.  

We used our first set of these mats for over three years and only replaced them because they became less grippy. That says a lot because we use them daily (for HIIT, core, yoga, and lifting workouts) and clean them regularly.

If you only plan to use a home studio or don’t mind traveling with a larger mat, this mat is hands-down the best (our opinion but the reviews speak volumes). This mat offers the same quality but more padding.

Closing Thoughts

If you are ready to begin online yoga workouts at home as a couple, congrats. It’s time to take advantage of the many partner yoga benefits that you just learned about.

We recommended starting how we did, with our 14-day Couples Yoga Challenge. It’s a free program and allows you to discover your yoga practice at home, together. 

Do you have questions about couples yoga? Post them below and thanks in advance for the comment. We look forward to the discussion.

14-Day Couples Yoga Challenge

This challenge aims to reconnect you to your health and help you appreciate your body. Practicing yoga as a couple is an opportunity to connect and be present in a way apart from your normal, busy lives.

The customized yoga workout calendar was curated by us to expose couples to a variety of yoga styles and instructors as well as practicing yoga from home.

Or, download for free.

Featured On

As Seen In Feature Bar Ryan and Alex Duo Life

Hey we're Ryan and Alex

The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”

After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.

The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship as a couple.

Join our 120,000 monthly readers

Select your free gift and receive our newsletter bringing healthy couples practical tips and life-changing ideas based on science.

Pin It on Pinterest