My husband and I sit back-to-back on our yoga mats. As we breathe in, I can feel the expansion of his shoulder blades against mine. On the exhale, our bodies settle and rest gently into one another’s. So simple and powerful: to feel another being’s life force ebb and flow against your own.
Together we inhale, and stretch our arms up overhead. At the top of the breath, we twist torsos a quarter turn to the right. Then, on the wave of the next exhale, our arms fall gently.
My left hand rests upon my right knee. Mirroring opposites, my right hand falls upon Ash’s left knee. In the same instant, I feel the gentle, warm weight of his right palm settling on my left knee. Our lower bodies root down toward the earth, answering to gravity, while our spines lengthen and reach into space toward freedom.
Upper backs pressed, heads lightly touching, we’re wrapped in a backwards inside-out hug; hearts and limbs intertwined in conversation, articulating in the simple, sensual language of partner yoga.
I feel Ash’s strong, steady and reassuring presence, and melt into him. Letting go, I feel the cumulative tensions of mind and body yield, soften and evaporate.
The past six months have put our new marriage to the test: Ash sold his business in Edmonton, we renovated and sold our house, packed up everything, said goodbye to loved ones, and relocated to Kelowna; new coordinates, shifting identities, the day-to-day challenges of life, in general. Whereas, in some moments, I have forgotten to breathe, now, I remember.
A deep calm washes over me, followed by sweet contentment and genuine gratitude, then tiny bursts of pure joy erupting in my throat. I touch my inner goddess and warrior, once again. Although, at times, I’ve lost contact with her, she’s been there all along. Now, my husband lets out a sigh and leans into me; her.
As I feel him against me, I’m reminded of how much we need one another; how love is a delicate balance of give and take; that we must be strong for each other but also willing to be held, vulnerable, broken open. Intimacy is that sweet spot found within the folds between true autonomy and healthy partnership.
Breathing in, we lift our arms and unravel our twisted bodies. For a moment, we pause, held in the sacred silence and space before the next exhale. Then on the out-breath, we revolve a quarter-turn to the left, and settle in to stretch the other side; each supporting the other’s deepening while falling toward greater personal surrender.
Partner yoga is such a wonderful metaphor for relationships. We must both show up and offer equal effort. We must respect each other’s physical limitations, and never force the pose; we rely on one another for the very creation of it. Tandem yoga is, really, love in action.
But besides that, this duo practice is also fun, feels amazing, and a beautiful way to connect with your loved one – whether a friend, family member or romantic partner. Whether balancing, stretching, building strength or dropping into deeper states of relaxation, partner yoga opens your eyes – and hearts – to the transformative powers of giving and receiving.
I lean my head into Ash’s and smile, enjoying the moment completely.
There aren’t just two of us anymore, here, on our mats, stretching, breathing and being. We are now three! My hand moves instinctively to my abdomen. Inside my belly, our baby is growing. Soon our lives will be shifting again; forever changed by a force I can yet barely fathom. They say: you’re never ready. Now is perfect. And enough. I let myself fall in completely.
Join Jenn and Ash for Valentine’s Day Partner Yoga. Choose from several convenient sessions: Thurs. Feb 12, 7-9 p.m.; Sat. Feb 14, 1-3 p.m., 4-6 p.m. or 7-9 p.m.; and Sun. Feb. 15 1-3 p.m. Sessions are held in their cozy, intimate home space in Pandosy Village. $50+gst/couple. Wine and sweet treats to follow by Coconut & Chaos Café. Call 250-864-8401 to reserve your spot or email firstname.lastname@example.org