11 Partner Yoga Poses For Couples To Build Intimacy

partner yoga poses for couples to build intimacy

Many of us practice yoga for mental and physical well-being. But did you know some yoga poses can also help to build trust and intimacy between couples? Partner yoga and its poses can be very effective if you are looking to build intimacy with your partner. It may not be the most intimate and romantic thing to do together, but it can be significantly beneficial for your relationship in the long run!

Our partners are mirrors of our true selves. By embracing a partner yoga practice with one another, we not only lean on each other for support – literally and metaphorically – but we also exercise our vulnerability with one another.

Science has found that by doing so, we’re strengthening our social connections and relationships, which leads to longer lives, healthier habits, reduced stress, and a deeper sense of life meaning.[1]

So how does yoga help with this exactly? In Sanskrit, “yoga” comes from the word yuj, meaning “to yoke” or “to unite”.[2] It’s only appropriate to mirror that definition with a partner, and in essence, begin to unite two people as a whole. Partner yoga also has its roots in building trust and communication, which are cornerstones of a healthy, intimate, and successful relationship.

Let’s break down some poses for a deeper dive.

Here Are 11 Partner Yoga Poses For Couples To Build Intimacy

1. Breathing Together

Breathing Together
11 Partner Yoga Poses For Couples To Build Intimacy

A great yoga practice begins with the breath. It’s a simple yet powerful way of connecting to your own body and noticing any sensations that arise.

Find a seated position with your partner, your backs touching. With eyes closed, tune into your breathing, and begin to deepen the inhales and the exhales.

You will feel the rise and fall of your partner’s breathing, as you tune in to each other’s rhythms. See if you can still maintain your own breath, even when it becomes tempting to mirror the breathing of your partner; allow this rhythm to lull you deeper into becoming present and aware of each other’s space.

Even in unity, you honor your own body and breath, and that honor extends outward to your partner. With this life force – prana [3] – you’re able to find a richer connection to each other with a simple act of breathing.

Do this exercise for 3-5 minutes, or as long as it is comfortable.

Related: 6 Yoga Mudras To Heal Common Ailments

2. Partner Twist

Partner Twist
11 Partner Yoga Poses For Couples To Build Intimacy

A twist is a great natural detox for the body. When the torso is twisted in the opposite direction, the movement acts as a wringing action for the internal organs, and via an exhale, built-up toxicity can be eliminated from the body.[4]

With your backs touching, take a deep breath in. As you exhale, gently twist, going in the opposite direction of each other. Take one hand and place it on your opposite knee, with the other hand reaching back for your partner’s. Use a yoga strap if this is not available.

Allow the breathing to once again sync you with your partner’s rhythm, and notice what it’s like to have the support of your partner’s hand to help ease a little deeper into the twist. Stay in the twist for 5 full breaths, and then switch sides.

3. Backbend/Forward Fold

Backbend Forward Fold
11 Partner Yoga Poses For Couples To Build Intimacy

While your backs are still touching, communicate who will fold forward and who will come into a backbend. You’ll have a chance to switch sides.

The person folding forward will reach their hands forward and either rest their forehead down on the mat, or place it on a block for support. The person doing a backbend will lean back on their partner’s back and open the front of their heart and chest. Breathe deeply here, and see if you can feel each other’s breaths again.

In yoga, the heart is thought of as the place in front and back of your chest, as it’s the same area opening. So in this pose, even though you’re doing the opposite move, your hearts are still connected. Think about how that translates to your relationship off the mat. Stay in this pose for 5 full breaths, and switch when you’re both ready.

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Aleksandra Slijepcevic

Aleksandra Slijepcevic is an international Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga and Meditation teacher, known for her authenticity, humor, and real-life approach to the body-mind-spirit connection in what she has coined as "YogaSouhl." She obtained her yoga certification under the tutelage of One-Yoga's Susan Smith. Since 2015, she has contributed content to a number of platforms, including Elephant Journal, Elite Daily, and Sivana Spirit, on the topics of yoga in the real world, as well as spirituality and self-development in the age of anxiety and depression. Aleksandra is the host of a number of meditation sessions on Insight Timer, and she teaches regular classes in brick-and-mortar studios around the world.View Author posts