how to teach partner yoga classes todayBy Jenny Park

Some instructors wonder how to teach partner yoga classes. Most yoga teacher training courses don’t go into running partner sessions. Many of us learn more about it after yoga certification. If you’ve never taught partner yoga it is a wonderful way to connect and bring people together, but it is also a great way for one who is very much into yoga to share the benefits with a loved one who may be a little timid about starting a routine. This could be a friend, family member, or a significant other.


What partner yoga is, basically, is a routine of positions that involves two people working together to execute them. There may also be massage incorporated as well as the benefit of extreme connection, fun, and positive influence between partners and instructor. With all that said, how to teach partner yoga classes depends upon the group and class objective. Our students are diversified and we are bringing them together for a purpose. The class objective could be enhancing family bonding time, providing a meeting place for couples, across yoga, or something else. Working with a partner helps both practitioners gain confidence while accomplishing a task.


Partner yoga training is not just a way of getting to the bottom of one’s fears and innermost thoughts as far as self-discovery, but a way of realizing that we are not alone. It tends to bring every student together in a common understanding that we are all in this together, and all entwined together as a whole on this journey we call life. It can be beneficial for those suffering depression and loneliness, as well as those who feel they are just skirting through life and missing the true meaning. It is not uncommon for those participating to cry or laugh out loud and it should be encouraged and welcome.


Partner yoga classes can also be romantic, or friendly depending on the partners involved. The following are some common basic partner poses, followed by some romantic poses:

• One practitioner is in easy pose while the other one gently pulls the outstretched arms back, and places feet gently onto the partner one’s back.

• One person gets into child’s pose while the other practitioner stretches over backward into a back bend.

• Practitioner one executes forward fold while practitioner two lays over them backwards with their sit bones aligned. First intertwine arms so practitioner one can pull them over when he or she goes into the forward fold.


Romantic Partner Poses:

• Partners stand back to back, and execute opposite warrior poses – They then bend forward and grasp one another’s arms.

• While partner one is in downward dog, partner two stands in front of them and leans forward, putting gentle pressure on their lower back.

• Partners face one another with legs out to the side, feet touching and lean forward to touch foreheads together. Arms can be placed over the other’s shoulders if desired.

These are common partner asanas, but of course, the yoga instructor is only limited to what he or she can create. Additionally, one’s creativity is not isolated to lesson plans and general formats. Here’s one bit of history about Dr. Paul, Marie Jerard, and partner yoga. About 20 years ago, they taught partner yoga to singles, so the singles could all meet each other. Much like the old dance halls, the singles would meet, practice yoga together, talk, have tea, and often they would pair off. This went on week after week for years. My point is there is no limit to how to teach partner yoga classes. An instructor could teach a family/partner yoga class for quality bonding time. Helping people find solutions and life skills is one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching classes.


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