I love yoga (along with the other 30 million women who practice in the U.S). And when I realized that I could combine my love for yoga and my love for James, my fiance, into a partner yoga session, I was honestly psyched.
The day of our lesson, I asked James if he was excited? “Excited is not the word I would use,” he answered. I think he wanted to say “tortured” but abstained.
He entered the room looking skeptical, while I was obviously excited. It was a private class (though there are plenty of open enrollment couples classes) and all the yoga contraptions were set out for us. For a yoga class, partner yoga seems to have a lot of “gadgets”—cushions of every shape and size, blankets, straps, even an eye pillow that smelled slightly of lavender. I later learned that many of the positions we were doing were restorative, so the cushions were there to help us relax into our poses.
To start, Clare, our teacher, told us to sit facing each other with our legs crossed. We did, and then we giggled—I felt like we were in kindergarten, but trapped in our inflexible adult bodies. Finally, we closed our eyes and stopped smiling at each other, sinking into the posture.
Our next positions consisted of twists using each other’s bodies, which felt really comforting. As the shorter of the two, I was able to stretch my arms very high, thanks to James’ help. For several poses we sat back-to-back, so I really had to feel his breath in order to be aware of what was going on. His back was warm and smelled of fresh laundry; I hoped the same was true of me. I did remember to wear deodorant right?
Then we had a chance to meditate in really comfortable postures. When it was my turn to go, Clare walked James through how he could pad me with pillows to help me relax—including using that eye pillow. It worked; I was so comfortable for those five minutes that I wondered why I couldn’t just sell my bed for a yoga mat and some cushions. But it was a little awkward to be so silent around a person with whom I usually blab my head off. And he did grab my ass during my meditation.
We ended our lesson bowing towards each other.
So would I do this again? Perhaps on Valentine’s Day. This class was definitely restorative, but there was really no flying going on, something I looked forward to and was disappointed with. I did have a nice time just getting into my well-cushioned positions and taking time out from a hectic day in the city. But for now, I’ll stick to my individual yoga classes where I feel challenged beyond belief.
After that, James and I went for milkshakes and burgers. And in the spirit of yoga, my shake was honey lavender.
Original by Alina Dizik