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Frequently Asked Questions about Partner Yoga

1. Can I come without a partner?

Absolutely! Partner Yoga is for every body, with or without a partner. In fact, sometimes we have the most inspiring experiences with complete strangers. This happens because we have no stories or projections about the other person so we are free to meet them, and ourselves exactly where we honestly are.

2. Do I need experience with Yoga?

No. Although Yoga experience can be helpful to deepen your Partner Yoga experience, we are all basically beginners with Partner Yoga practice, so we can relax and have fun as we learn new ways to relate to ourselves and others. Because Partner Yoga practice includes nourishing touch, many find it a doorway into Yoga that has previously felt inaccessible.

3. What if my partner is a completely different size or level of experience?

We are all unique beings both physically and energetically, so each person we practice with brings a new and creative experience. With a few exceptions, most postures work surprisingly well regardless of differences in size, shape and levels of flexibility.

4. Is it possible to be injured?

Partner Yoga teaches us a lot about personal responsibility and provides tools for skillfully communicating our needs. We learn to take responsibility for our own posture as the foundation for balanced, nurturing connection with others. When we are aligned and present in our own bodies, the possibility to injure ourselves or another is radically reduced. It is very rare for injury to occur with skillfully facilitated Partner Yoga.

5. How can I create the most harmonious experience in Partner Yoga?

Partner Yoga is a powerful metaphor for the challenges we face in all of our relationships. The most important factor is to be willing to respectfully and kindly express your needs to your partner, without blame or judgment. If something feels uncomfortable in any way, we communicate this to our partner. Clear, compassionate communication is an important key for a great Partner Yoga experience.

6. What if I feel uncomfortable being so intimate with others?

Partner Yoga expands our understanding of what intimacy is, taking it out of the sexual realm to include different aspects of our being. It creates a safe space for us to explore authentic intimacy with ourselves and others, primarily through recognizing that we all share the same desire to touch and be touched – in body, heart and soul. The opportunity to share intimacy is often the biggest challenge, and, the greatest gift that Partner Yoga offers. Intimacy with ourselves and others is a pathway to experience our natural capacity for bliss.

7. Is Partner Yoga a substitute for traditional, individual Yoga practice?

elysabeth

No. Individual and partner practice work synergistically. Partner Yoga brings a deepened experience in posture, which we can then take into our individual practice. Likewise, when we spend time deepening into our individual practice, we bring heightened focus and presence to our partner practice.

8. What are some of the benefits of Partner Yoga for a Yoga Teacher?

Training in Partner Yoga offers many valuable skills that support us both personally and professionally. Perhaps the most important skill is greater confidence, clarity and compassion in the use of quality touch. Most Yoga students are very grateful to receive skillful adjustments as they awaken natural alignment and energy flow in postures.

9. What is the difference between Partner Yoga and Yoga assisting?

There are many different approaches to Partner Yoga – adjusting and assisting techniques are often the most accessible and least intimidating entry. As we delve deeper into the practice, we come to enjoy and appreciate the non-dual aspects of the practice. Experiencing simultaneous giving and receiving opens a direct pathway to the root principle of Yoga – union.

10. Does Partner Yoga work best for couples?

Partner Yoga provides a powerful non-verbal experience of connection that is very beneficial for couples, and yet, any two or more people can receive great benefit from the practice. Partner Yoga takes us out of our habitual mode of relating from persona to reveal our Soul attributes and essential sameness.

11. What is unique about Principle-Based Partner Yoga™?

Principle-Based Partner Yoga™ awakens our human potential through the integration of universal principles such as compassion, trust, balance and creativity. Simply holding these principles in our awareness provides intention and focus for our practice, and deepens our experience to include the different aspects of our being.

Elysabeth Williamson
May, 2015