Sharing the Love on Valentine’s Day

Like the “runner’s high” yoga practice can connect us to “the bliss of the self.” It doesn’t happen every day, but when our concentration is good, and even breathing converges with conscious alignment, the inner body locks, and focused gazing, our senses stop pouring to the outer world. We invert the energy of our senses towards the vastness of inner space. Here we can experience a sense of wholeness, the feeling that we are complete as we are, and that there is nothing to add that will make us more perfect. Practicing yogis touch this truth at some point. It is a feeling of deep self love. This powerful feeling can be transmitted to and shared with our partners, children, friends, or even complete strangers.  It’s a fundamental truth that this feeling of inner bliss can be accessed by anyone willing to look within themselves for it. This Valentines day, practicing a few partner yoga postures with another is a great way to deepen your connection and appreciation for one another. You can try a couple of these postures with a friend or loved one! If you have not been training of late, stick with the simpler exercises.  Intent is easily transferred by touch, so have thoughts of connecting from the heart, and channel stability in your energetic core when practicing.  Remember to smile, have fun, and even be a little goofy for an extra good time.

Posture #1: Partner Uttita Hasta Padhangustasana

Difficulty Range: Easy

This posture is from the Ashtanga Yoga standing sequence. Standing side by side, you throw your arm around the waist of your partner, while pressing strongly into your middle leg. Grab the outside leg by the foot, calf, or even the knee, and draw the leg to the side. Press strongly into the standing leg, strengthening the front thighs. Lift the chest, smile, and breathe five even, deep breaths together.  Makes for a great instagram photo.  Modification:  Alternately, practice tree pose with that outside leg, if your hamstrings feel too stiff.

Posture # 2: Partner Boat Pose

Difficulty level: Medium

Sit facing your partner, a few feet apart.  Using your hands on the floor for stability, lift the legs off of the floor then connect your feet in the air. Reach one arm to the side, connect your fingers, then with a stable core connect the second hand. Balancing there, slowly extend the legs straight, pointing the toes to the sky. Look up, breathe together, five full cycles of breath.

Posture # 3: Backbird Pose

Difficulty Level: Advanced

The base needs good strength, and the flyer needs a stable core, so skip this one if you’ve been sedentary for a little while. While the base is on their back with the legs bent, the flyer faces away, so their back is facing the heels of the base.  Squatting down, the flyer places their bum on the feet of the flyer, tightens the core and goes into a back bend, reaching the arms backward and overhead. The base will lift the flyer and reach for the arms and shoulders to create stability. Once in the air and with a psychological connection to the base, the flyer can let go of the weight of the skull and the arms, to create a nice traction in the cervical spine. Take about 10 breaths together before coming down.

Posture # 4: Dreaming Together

Difficulty Level: Easy & Accessible

Join hands with your partner while standing up.  Breathe together, and visualize the same thing.  Keep the hips slightly bent and the knees soft as your feet root strongly into the earth.  This provides more stability for the mind to open up.  Then look to the sky and watch the clouds form hearts, or imagine a shared goal coming into manifestation, as your breathing synch’s up.  You can stay in this one for 10 breaths or up to 3 minutes.  For more intimacy, look into one another’s eyes.

Posture # 5: Earth and Sky Tree

Difficulty Level: Advanced

One partner does a handstand and puts the outer leg in tree pose, and the other partner does standing tree pose. Option for the standing partner to give an assist with by holding the shin bone that is medial to their inner arm. This gives balance and stability.   This pose is a beautiful illustration of how male and female energies are different yet totally complimentary.  It is polarity in dynamic form.

Posture # 6: The Team Snuggle

Difficulty Level: Accessible

A recent study at Stanford University found that 10 minutes of snuggling will immediately balance the dopamine, serotonin and norephenepherine in our heads so they function like the 3 tenors in harmony.  Snuggling is good for your health.

Posture #7: Sitting Meditation

Difficulty Level: Accessible

Sit up in a comfortable seat next to one another. Set a timer for the duration of your sit. Option to hold hands that are more medial to one another. In Stillness connect to the purity of your intention, seeing the highest and best within the other.  Let thoughts come and go, without attachment. Remain absolutely still as the breath enters and leaves the body.

Happy Valentines Day World!

Love,

Jai

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