When I first started practicing Hatha Yoga 26 years ago, my teachers always included at least two or more opportunities to pair up with a fellow yoga student in class in order to explore a given posture more deeply. I’ve always been comfortable working in pairs. If there was someone I knew in class, I’d make eye contact with that person as soon as the teacher started suggesting pair work. If I didn’t know others in class, I tried to find someone with a similar height. Sometimes it just worked out that I got paired with a 6′ tall guy and all was well!
Today, the trend is not to do pair work in class. There are many reasons for the trend and it may have to do with a popularity in a flowing faster paced yoga class where there is no time to pair up, or because instructors are afraid of students getting injured, or some yoga students might not like to touch people they are not married to (or real-life partnered with), or they may be fearful of germs, or disgusted by sweaty hands (their own sweaty hands or the sweaty hands of others).
At any rate, I do less and less pair work in my classes (and no pair work at all at OmCulture and Seattle Athletic Club) as I try to fit in with the times, with what is needed and desired in a Hatha yoga class, and would like my students to be comfortable. However, I do love pair work and, as a result, am devoting a whole workshop to Pair Work on Sunday, March 5 at the Seattle Gym at Queen Anne in Seattle (1-4pm).
Pair Work is a fun way to explore and strengthen Hatha Yoga postures. Not only can we improve balance, stretch more deeply, and strengthen muscles, but we can also build confidence, motive and inspire each other, and, at the same time, laugh and have fun. In my workshop, you will be guided safely into a variety of all-level poses.
10 Reasons to Rock your World Via Pair Work:
- Learn to let go
- Enhance your balance
- Go deeper in your yoga poses
- Concentrate on lengthening and grounding
- Pair Work will give you the confidence to go beyond perceived limitations
- Increase your sociability
- Pair Work produces oxytocin
- Reduce anxiety
- Add to your sense of adventure
- Improve self-awareness and trust