Most yogis may be familiar with couples yoga and acro yoga even if they themselves have never practiced either, yet very few are aware of partner yoga. After witnessing the exchanging of energy, the deepening of intimacy and the broadening of communication in my couples yoga classes, I was determined to increase my understanding of this special interaction. I discovered partner yoga while looking to certify in couples yoga. Little did I know how much it would open my mind & heart.

I consider partner yoga to be the mother of its two more popular offspring. Couples yoga is practiced exclusively by those in an intimate relationship and acro yoga involved beautiful and intricate forms of balancing with another person or more. Partner yoga is about connection. A connection to one’s partner and to the Earth, a feeling of simultaneously being grounded and an uplifting of your heart & spirit. You can practice partner yoga with a friend, your child, family member or (my favorite) a stranger. Both of you need to come to the mat with a willingness to try something new, to communicate with another person in a new way and to free yourself from any preconceived notions of how you are supposed to behave within the boundaries of a human interaction.

Within the safe confines of partner yoga, we learn ways to safely touch another person with compassion explore new dimensions of non-sexual intimacy, thus allowing ourselves and others to trust, surrender and form a greater sense of community. It creates an opportunity for us to transform the way we look at others and ourselves, while having fun and fostering a greater sense of love in our world.

From a purely physical standpoint, partner yoga allows us to deepen our practice and explore familiar asanas in new ways. Physical touch is very healing to the body and soul when offered in a safe, platonic way. I have heard the term “therapeutic” used by one of my partners after a session. Having someone to act as a support, foundation and a guide, allows you to surrender to the practice in ways you are unable to do on your own. You can yield into the blissful feelings that accompany a supported Matsyasana (Fish) while your partner sinks deeper into Balasana (Child’s Pose).

I see and feel the energy in a room change greatly during the course of a session. The embarrassed, shy looks and movements give away to laughter, hugs and encouragement. Invisible walls collapse, hearts open and smiles widen. No yoga experience is necessary to practice partner yoga. All levels of experience are welcome.

It is an honour and a blessing that I am able to share Partner Yoga with my Winnipeg Sangha. I hope to see you out at Union Sound Hall on Feb 17th!


Andrea Robin is a Winnipeg born and bred Yoga instructor who loves helping people to heal themselves through yoga. In her spare time, she coordinates the Winnipeg Chapter of The Power of Movement, Canada’s largest yoga fundraiser.


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