I consider myself a "yoga buddy". After all, there is nothing particularly earth shattering or groundbreaking that I am doing with Kate Beckinsale, other than showing up, being a listening ear, and lending a helping hand. You can be that for someone too, as well as ask a buddy to be that for you. Life is all about relationships. Relationships with humans, with our bodies, with ideas, and so forth. In a way, the word "yoga" means "relationship". Yoga is the union and relatedness of two opposing forces. Light and dark, masculine and feminine, strength and vulnerability. It is a constant dance of opposites emoted in the physical form.What better way to explore this dance than finding your body in relationship to another being's experience of the body?
I employed the help of my friend, and sometimes assistant, Lauren. In reality, we needed a third entity to capture the following photos. Let's call the third entity: neutral. Positive, negative, and neutral. (Luckily, good old Apple Mac Air was there to capture our posturing. Big brother lending a helping hand and a watchful eye – one of technology's most useful aspects.) Big Brother and I have an interesting relationship in my own mind...but that's another blog post for another time... Bottom line: getting into these postures within a 5 second timer was by far, the most challenging aspect of these shots. If you are trying this at home, all you need is a buddy, the willingness to explore, and a sense of humor.
1. Seated Twist
- Begin in a seated cross legged position, facing one another. Smile at your partner for a moment.
- Take a deep breath and extend your breast bone away from the sacrum, as each buddy twists to the right while reaching the right arm behind your back to hold your partners left hand.
- Just as you would in a regular twist, take an inhale to lengthen your spine, and exhale twist and wring out your spine. After 3-5 breaths, unwind and repeat on side 2. Twists are intense and detoxify the body, so this should be done after a warm up. Rest in savasana beside each other afterwards.
2. Two Chairs
- Stand back to back and link elbows.
- Press against your partner's back and walk your feet forward, while keeping the sacrum and spine touching each other until you are in a 90 degree seated position.
- Hold for 5 breaths and feel the dynamic energy when you are pressing against the other and breathing.
3. Assisted Butterfly or Cobbler Pose
- One person sits with a straight spine and soles of the feet together, while the knees fan open.
- Inhale, and while gripping the feet, lengthen the spine and fold forward.
- After several breaths, the assistant may gently press on the inner thighs.
- Maintain communication to make sure the assisted feels in control of the pressure.
- Release and switch partners. Give and receive.