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Use Your Yoga Timer when You Practice Partner Yoga

Choose a Gentle Zen Timer for Your Partner Yoga Practice

Choose a Gentle Zen Timer for Your Partner Yoga Practice

Partnering up in yoga class can deepen your practice and connect you to yourself and your fellow yogis.

We were only a few minutes into the yoga class when the teacher uttered the five words I dread hearing: “OK, everybody, find a partner!” As we students sized up one another with varying degrees of wariness, the teacher demonstrated what she wanted us to do by leaping lightly onto the thighs of a supine volunteer and balancing there, as gracefully as a cat, her feet grounding and rotating her partner’s thighs inward.

Full disclosure: My approach to partnering exercises in yoga class has generally been of the “Lie back and think of England” variety, though I usually participate as gamely as I can. But this particular caper was just too much for my inner Woody Allen. What if my partner or I slipped and fell? What if I had bone density issues I didn’t know about? What if my partner outweighed me, or I her? What about my bad knee? Where were the feet supposed to go? Concerned about my safety, and uncomfortable turning to the person next to me and saying, “It’s nice to meet you. I’m now going to place my bare feet on your thighs,” I declined to participate.

Unlike “partner yoga,” in which two people come together to create a single pose, often practiced with a friend or significant other, “partnering” takes place when your teacher asks you to consider the student next to you as a human prop to help you get into a pose more fully, isolate a particular action, or help you balance. A teaching tool in many styles of yoga classes, partnering tends to inspire strong feelings among practitioners: Mention the subject to a group of yoga students, and the room is likely to erupt in exclamations as people tell their stories of awkward moments, contact with another person’s sweat or stinky feet, and even injuries.

Dos damas paseando - artista Shunshô Katsukawa

Dos damas paseando - artista Shunshô Katsukawa

Here at the Yoga Journal office, where we practice yoga together every day, we ask that our teachers not do partnering exercises in class—not all of us are comfortable with the degree of physical intimacy involved in sharing sweat with a supervisor, or gripping a co-worker from behind. But the frequency of partnering exercises in the other classes I attended made me wonder whether my resistance to them could be holding me back. What was I missing by participating reluctantly, or opting out entirely? When I started asking around, I discovered that there’s no simple answer to that question, since partnering exercises themselves, and people’s attitudes toward them, vary greatly. A few teachers told me that they never teach partnering exercises in class, because of the risk of injury. For other teachers and practitioners, asking, “How do you feel about partnering?” was like asking, “How do you feel about yoga?”—so central does the one practice seem to be to the other. Still others described partnering, when done safely and skillfully, as a useful tool for deepening your practice.

Use our unique “Zen Clock” which functions as a Yoga Timer.  It features a long-resonating acoustic chime that brings your meditation or yoga session to a gradual close, preserving the environment of stillness while also acting as an effective time signal. Our Yoga Timer & Clock can be programmed to chime at the end of the meditation or yoga session or periodically throughout the session as a kind of sonic yantra. The beauty and functionality of the Zen Clock/Timer makes it a meditation tool that can actually help you “make time” for meditation in your life. Bring yourself back to balance.

adapted from by Charity Ferreira

Yoga Timer for Partner Yoga in Bamboo

Yoga Timer for Partner Yoga in Bamboo

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Posted in Meditation Timers, Meditation Tools, mindfulness practice, Yoga Timer, Yoga Timers by Now & Zen