Article selected by Kate McNally, Certified Personal Trainer, FT Dedham from Livestrong
Yoga is a series of movements that help stretch, lengthen and strengthen your muscles. Many yoga instructors offer partner yoga classes for couples looking to improve their overall well-being and better their relationship. Performing yoga postures with a partner allows couples to learn to work together while providing support during stretches. There are a variety of partner yoga moves and stretches that can be incorporated into your daily fitness routine.
Double Standing Straddle
Stand back to back to your partner about a foot apart. Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend forward at the hips, maintaining a flat back, and reach through your legs to grasp your partner’s arms. Keep your head in alignment with your torso and hold the pose for the desired length of time. The double standing straddle targets your hamstrings and hip flexors.
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Sit facing your partner with knees bent. Sit close enough so your toes touch each other. Extend your arms to grasp your partner’s hands. Take your right foot and lift your toes off the floor so the ball of your foot is touching the bottom of your partner’s left foot. Extend your right leg up as you push your foot against your partner’s. Keep your right leg up — for your partner, the left leg — while performing the same steps with your left leg. Both legs should be up and straight. Maintain a straight back and tilt your head back to gaze upward. Hold the position and release. The double boat pose targets your abs and hamstrings while stretching your spine.
Supported Back Arch
Stand back to back with your partner. One partner stands with feet wider than shoulder-width apart and bends forward, while the other partner rests on his partner’s back, arms extended overhead. The partner bending forward should fall forward enough to place hands flat on the floor for additional support. Hold the stretch for the desired amount of time as you incorporate deep breathing. Switch roles and repeat. The supported back arch targets the thighs, hips and abdominal muscles in the partner who bends forward. Increased flexibility is gained in the back, neck, quadriceps and hip flexors of the partner who bends backward.
Stand back to back with your partner while keeping a distance of at least 1 foot from each other. Reach behind and hold your partner’s hands. Slowly move into a forward bend until your backs are parallel to the floor. Allow your chest to lengthen as you press your glutes into each other. Gradually move your hands to your partner’s forearms while you both bend forward deeper. One partner lifts the torso back to the parallel position while the other partner maintains the deep stretch. The partner in a deep stretch should bring the torso back to the parallel position while the partner bends forward into the deeper stretch. Continue alternating between stretches for one to two minutes and then slowly come up together.
Read more at Livestrong
Certified Personal Trainer
Kate enjoys an active lifestyle. She has been running competitively for eight years. This has made physical fitness a big part of her life. Looking to satiate her need to move, Kate found a fulfilling career in the fitness field as a Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor.
Kate attended Eastern Nazarene College, graduating in 2008 with a Bachelors of Science in Physical Education and Movement Arts. She has been a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Association of Sports Medicine since 2008. Kate also received certification as a Group Exercise Instructor through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.
As a trainer Kate likes to take a holistic approach, striving to carefully match a client’s personality and goals to their program. Specializing in body composition change and endurance training, Kate is prepared to use a wide variety of training styles to fit her client’s goals.
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