Partner yoga and the poses that come with it are very effective when you want to build intimacy with your partner. Not only is it a very intimate and romantic thing to do together, but the two of you are going to have a lot of fun together too!
Our partners are a mirror of our true selves. By engaging in a partner yoga practise with one another, not only do we lean against one another to support one another – literally and metaphorically – but we also practice our vulnerability together.
Science has found that by doing this, we strengthen our social connections and relationships, leading to longer lives, healthier habits, less stress, and a deeper meaning in life.
So how exactly does yoga help you with this? In Sanskrit, “yoga” comes from the word yuj, which means “yoke” or “unite”.  It is only appropriate to mirror this definition with a partner and essentially start by uniting two people as one whole. Partner yoga also has its roots in building trust and communication, which are the cornerstones of a healthy, intimate and successful relationship.
Let’s break down a few poses to delve deeper.
Here are 11 partner yoga poses for couples to help build intimacy
1. Breathe together
Breathing together is meant for one another
A great yoga practice starts with the breath. It’s a simple but powerful way to connect with your own body and be aware of any sensations that arise.
Find a sitting position with your partner with your backs touching. With your eyes closed, tune into your breath and begin to deepen the inhalation and exhalation.
You will feel the rise and fall of your partner’s breathing as you adjust to the other’s rhythm. See if you can hold your own breath even if it becomes tempting to mirror your partner’s breath; allow this rhythm to lull you deeper into the presence and awareness of the other’s space.
Even in oneness you honor your own body and breath, and that honor extends outward to your partner. With this life force – Prana  – you are able to find a richer connection to one another through a simple act of breathing.
Do this exercise for 3-5 minutes, or as long as you are comfortable.
2. Partner rotation
A twist is a great natural detox for the body. When the upper body is rotated in the opposite direction, the movement acts like a wringing out of the internal organs, and through exhalation, accumulated toxic substances can be expelled from the body. 
When your backs touch, take a deep breath. As you exhale, gently twist in the opposite direction of the other. Take one hand and place it on your opposite knee with the other hand reaching back towards your partner’s. Use a yoga strap if you don’t have one.
Allow the breathing to get you back in sync with your partner’s rhythm, and notice what it is like to have the support of your partner’s hand to help you get a little deeper into the twist.
Hold the rotation for 5 full breaths, then switch sides.
3. Backward bend / forward fold
While your backs are still touching, talk to us about who is bending forward and who is bending back. You have the option to switch sides.
The person doing the forward bend extends their hands forward and either places their forehead on the mat or on a block for support. The person doing the back bend leans on their partner’s back and opens the front of their heart and chest. Take a deep breath here and see if you can feel each other’s breaths again.
In yoga, the heart is viewed as the place in front of and behind the chest as it is the same area that opens. Even though you make the opposite movement in this pose, your hearts are still connected. Think about how this will affect your off-mat relationship.
Hold this position for 5 full breaths and switch when you are both ready.
4. Soul contemplation
This exercise is deeply personal and nurturing as you sit across from your partner and look gently into their eyes.
Put your hands on their knees or in their hands and allow them to do the same. This will further connect you to the power of touch. Once you’ve surrendered (and the giggles from direct eye contact have subsided), begin to really see your partner.
In the chaos of our days and weeks, we don’t often have the chance to sit down and take in the person we share our life with. Gently look at your partner’s traits, uniqueness, and energy and allow them to see you in return.
This is not only centering for the rest of your practice, but also deeply loving and compassionate.
Stay in this exercise for 5 minutes or more if you are both feeling attuned.
5. Sitting and supported cat/cow
While sitting, you grab your partner’s forearms and cross them.
As you inhale arch your back and lift your heart to the sky, you may even look up to expose and open your throat. As you exhale, round your spine and pull back, using the resistance of the other’s arms for support and bringing your gaze inward to your chest.
Repeat the movements 3-5 times, or for as long as you feel comfortable.
Allow this support from your partner to build trust and devotion, as well as communication. Talk about what feels good in this pose and ask your partner the same thing.
As the pose is performed in tandem, your experience in your own body will vary. Take the time to share these feelings and get curious about your partner’s.
6. Seated and supported forward bend
In relationships, we know that we don’t have to do everything alone. We have our best ally in our corner to help us.
Also in this pose come into a seat with legs apart, with the soles of the feet touching. Extend your arms forward and cross them, then alternately pull yourself gently past each other to the middle and use each other as resistance in this forward fold. Stay here for 5 full breaths at a time.
While this pose is a deep stretch, you might opt for a more playful approach! If the laughter comes by itself or someone cracks a joke, join in!
Enjoy training and being with others. It’s a surefire way to relieve stress or tension and remind one another of the simpler things that will make you both smile more.
7. Partner boat position
When it comes to postures that are challenging, having a partner who reflects and supports you can give you an extra boost in confidence and energy. And because he does it with you, you can both share the achievement of rocking that attitude.
Start in a sitting position, facing each other, a little further away to allow room for your legs. When you are ready, come into the Boat Pose one leg at a time until the soles of your feet touch.
Use it as a resistance to further stabilize this pose. Whenever possible, grab each other’s hands and find each other’s gaze. Smile and breathe. Communicate how you are feeling and support each other for 5 full breaths.
8. Double Down Dog
Speaking of building trust, this pose gives you and your partner the opportunity to work towards a common goal. This pose is also about communication and expressing your thoughts when you are ready to come down or feel a feeling that you would like to share with your partner.
If you’re in the traditional downward dog with your partner, you can get into a forward fold at the top of the mat. Lift one foot at a time and place your feet at the base of your partner’s spine. You may need to adjust your feet or bring your hands back to realign yourself.
Once you are in the pose, inhale there for 5 full breaths before switching. After you come out, talk about how it felt and what you experienced. Participate in the pose together by bringing in your specific perspective.
9. Reverse Warrior Partner Pose
In case it’s not apparent in the photo above, this pose is about creating love – literally and symbolically.
In the second warrior, start facing each other with the outside of your back foot touching. Allow this connection of the back feet to unite in the pose and form a common foundation from which to stabilize.
Inhale deeply and as you exhale you come into the Reverse Warrior by lifting one arm over your head and reaching back so that a heart shape arises in the middle of your common pose. Use a yoga strap if you cannot grasp your partner’s hand.
Take your other hand and clasp it behind your waist. Focus on your breathing and press into your partner’s foot as they do the same. Also reflect the support of her hand in yours.
The love that you create in a relationship is a road that goes both ways. Remember all the wonderful ways you give and take to build that love. Take 5 full breaths here and then let go when you are both ready.
10. Double Tree Pose
No human is an island, and neither can a tree grow without support.
In this partner position, you start in your own tree by lifting one leg and pressing the sole of the foot into the thigh or lower into the calf.
When you’ve found your balance, you reach out one hand to your partner’s and find it, touching the palms, in the middle between your respective tree poses. Take the other hand and place it behind your partner to give them a loving hug. Stay here for 5 full breaths before switching sides.
Even if your Tree Pose is your own, find the connection in the middle that brings the two of you together in unity.
Allow yourself to feel and appreciate the support you get from your partner, on and especially off the mat.
11. Standing partner bend back
Opening our hearts to one another is the rawest way of showing our vulnerability. That is why this pose is so strong in tandem. By supporting each other, you are reassuring your partner that anything is possible (and better) when you have each other.
Start standing, facing each other, and cross each other’s forearms. Inhale deeply while holding each other’s gaze and lean back as you exhale to open your heart to the sky, using the other’s arms as resistance. Stay here for 5 full breaths, or as long as is comfortable for both of you.
Let go and end with a hug to honour the space you created for yourself and the other.