I have never been one for group work. I’d rather do it myself – I can have high expectations and I know who to beat up when it doesn’t get done. This has created a lot of independence and bullying of myself… and I’m often not good at really trusting others to come through for me. I can be the caregiver but have a hard time letting someone else take care of me. My parents, my partner, my friends… it all works better when I’m the one who is needed instead of needing. I often find I don’t even know how to express my needs which only continues the cycle of not feeling supported.
Partner yoga poses can help me learn that others are there to lean on. It means I have to learn communication – constant communication. It means I have to learn to trust. It means I have to put myself out there – parts of my body, areas of my strengths and weaknesses, my flexibility and inflexibility, to someone else. And while I practice not judging myself there, I practice letting go of others’ judgments of me, too.
This calm yoga pose is called Lizard on a Rock and has elements of support and of openness to the world. One partner is ‘covered’ and helped to stretch their back in child’s pose. The other partner gets support to open up through the heart.
Here’s how it goes:
Partner 1: Sit in child’s pose on the ground (no props). Settle your hips deep and stretch your arms long away from you.
Partner 2: Sit on your partner’s lower back facing away from them. Check in with your partner – does this feel okay? If so, slowly lower your back down along his/her back. You will be doing a supported and gentle back bend here. Let your arms open up overhead to either side. If you feel comfortable, extend your legs long.
Rest here until either partner is ready to get up. Communicate through the dismount, and always be gentle when getting up! Switch roles and notice how it feels to be supported, covered, and stretched with the help of another. Which role do you prefer? What do you learn about yourself in each position?