Valentine’s day, is a day to celebrate love and togetherness. Personally I don’t really believe in having just one day to show your partner how special they are to you. I think every day should be a celebration and appreciation of ALL the good things in your life but Valentine’s day is a great influence for an article.
So this month I am so happy to share with you a simple and fun partner acro yoga posture called ‘The Folded Leaf’. The word Yoga can be translated as “union” and in this circumstance, we are talking union of two people working together to create this fun partner pose.
Playing acro yoga with your partner has so many amazing benefits. It is a great way to strengthen trust and communication between you. As you work through the posture together, both parties are fully engaged in the process, heightening your connection with your special someone, enhancing the communication between you, enabling you to learn how to let go, have faith and build a trust that sees each of you have the full support of the other as you progress through the posture.
Acro asanas create fun shared moments with each other that strengthens the bond between you. Partner yoga is about learning to let go and enjoy life, creating a childlike approach to life and helping you to learn to live the life you love.
Partner yoga is fun and allows you to not take yourselves and each other too seriously as it creates a lighter situation between the two of you and whatever problems exist around you melt away while you are focused on supporting each other. In learning to trust each other you also deepen the trust in yourself, when we take a risk to become vulnerable in a partners presence, you are empowered to go much deeper with less effort, experiencing joy and ease when you support each other.
Physical touch is an important part of both relationships and partner yoga. Touch has an amazing ability to increase the awareness of each other, enabling you to open yourselves to the greater depths of your body and mind. It’s a great way to get the adrenaline pumping, the nervous system to calm down, and a boost of the libido, all great ingredients for a fun play date.
Ok, so let’s talk about the steps we follow in creating this fun posture. The first thing I want to discuss is some acro yoga terminology. We have the ‘Base’ and this is the person that supports and holds the partner known as the ‘Flyer’. As you can see from our photos, this posture is quite simple and not too physically demanding. Which means that both of you can take turns in being the Base and the Flyer.
1.BASE: lie back and lift the legs, keeping them straight and at a 90-degree angle to the torso. If you feel tight in the lower back or hamstrings, place a blanket underneath the base’s pelvis.
2. It is important to talk to your partner if something doesn’t feel right. If the flier or the base needs to come out quickly, say the magic word, “Down.”
3. BASE: Place your feet turned out on the soft part of the flier’s upper thighs, right at the hip crease and not touching the hipbones. Hold the flier’s hands as they are presented to you. FLYER: Fold forward, with your feet next to the base’s hips, and present your hands to the base.
4. BASE: Straighten your arms and legs at the same time. Stack your bones and your joints, keeping your wrists over your shoulders and your ankles over your hips. Feel your back and shoulders being supported by the ground. FLYER: Allow your body to be lifted. Stay passive, with your legs heavy.
5. Then we come into the first posture- ‘The Lifted Butterfly.’
6. BASE: Place your hands on the inside of the flyers shoulders near the chest. Keep a 90-degree angle between your legs and torso. The flyer will feel easy and stable when you have placed yourself in the right position. FLYER: bend your knees and pressing the soles of your feet together. Slowly lift your arms behind your back. Bend your elbows and hold the opposite wrists or elbows.
7. We then transition into the next posture, ‘The Folded Leaf’
8. BASE: Allow the flyer to hang passively, moving your hands onto the flyers back for support. Keep looking for the spot that feels balanced and easy, where you are at 90 degrees, and the weight drops through the leg bones. FLYER: Keep your legs wide and your feet heavy. Completely relax your torso and arms, with palms facing up and resting on the floor next to the base’s hips.
9. Then proceed into the massage
10. BASE: Draw your thumbs down either side of the flyers spine from lower to upper back, then squeeze down the flyer’s arms from shoulders to hands. FLYER: Let your body be passive and take long, deep breaths and enjoy the massage.
11. Then proceed into the dismount
12. BASE: Hold the flyer’s hands as they are presented to you while keeping your legs straight and at 90 degrees. FLYER: Keeping your torso heavy, lift your arms and present your hands to the base.
13. BASE: Exhaling, straighten your arms while bending your knees to bring the flyer to their feet. FLYER: On an exhalation straighten your arms to lift your chest, while lowering your legs and bringing your feet to the ground.
There you have it! If you feel confident, switch places as base and flyer and try ‘The Folded Leaf ‘again. I guarantee there will be some laughter shared and a beautiful moment created between the two of you. Have fun with it and remember:
“No relationship is all sunshine but two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm together.” - unknown
Metta Kim oxo
One of the main motivations that drive Kim to teach yoga is her desire to keep true, real yoga alive; the propagation of yoga for yoga. She strives to achieve this by teaching and helping people fall in love with yoga every day. She gives you her yoga mind and yoga heart to guide anyone wishing to traverse the beautiful journey that is yoga. Teaching group classes, private classes, yoga intensives and retreats across the island. A monthly subscription is also available on her online yoga channel at KimWhiteYoga.com and you can also listen to her yoga podcast “Let’s Get Bent”.