We usually start the class with a grounding meditation and some simple warm-ups. We focus on breath, gratitude and intention in the beginning of class and I lay out a few guidelines for not pushing yourself or your part past their physical limits. The second part of the class, we do some more active poses, some balancing poses and some traditional and classic yoga poses but that are done with a partner so even people that have done yoga hundreds of times before will come into a familiar pose in an entirely familiar way. Then I will have a transitional pose that is more restorative or an inversion so people can start to drop down into the deeper part of the practice.
Then we will move into the massage-y part of the class. At this point the lights are pretty low. I like to keep the lights low during the massage part of class so that people do not feel like they are on display and it feels more intimate. We emphasize intention and not techniques or skills. I also encourage a lot of checking in on how the pressure is and to notice their partner’s breathing…it should be slow and rythmic. If their partner has fallen asleep then that means the massage giver is doing a really great job. After both partners have gotten a massage then we move into our final relaxation pose. Instead of it being a traditional relaxation I encourage silent cuddling and spooning.
We stay here for about ten minutes, usually my own partner has fallen asleep and is snoring at this point… occasionally I have to scratch his head or his fingers to gently rouse him without startling him. I then start to gently bring the room back to groundedness. At this point, everyone is feeling so relaxed and connected that I keep the light fairly low so it feels intimate and private. Before I close the class, I encourage people to linger and to just be focused on their partner and not the other couples and to not worry about taking direction from us once the class has closed. At this point, most of the couples are wrapped in a loving embrace. Sometimes, the emotion and love in the room is so strong that it moves me to tears and I feel my eyes starting to well up. This doesn’t usually happen and I do my best to regain my composure when it does.
As the couples leisurely start to clean up their belongings then we check in with them and encourage them to continue this connectedness with candles, wine, soft music at home…. no heavy metal music, no loud bars and I encourage them to avoid TV, the internet, computers and cell phones for the rest of the evening.
It has been trickier to teach since my hubby and I are dealing with a fair amount of health limitations. He can’t or shouldn’t do forward bends or inversions and I have been avoid squats and lunges….. those kinds of poses are about half of the poses so I’ve been feeling more limited lately.
Have an experience or a story you’d like to share about a couples retreat or workshop you did?
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