The Benefits of Partner Yoga Poses for Kids
Traditionally, for children as for adults, yoga is an individual practice to stretch, breathe, and focus on their mats in the present moment. Actually, this present moment is a time for self-reflection, for being quiet and achieving inner peace. However, partner yoga allows children to relate to one another through assisted poses. Partner yoga requires partners to really pay attention to each other in the moment and work together. In other words, it requires a different set of skills: communication, awareness of others and a sense of cooperation outside the self.
In this sense, to briefly mention some benefits of partner yoga for children:
1- It Improves alignment, balance and posture. One partner serves like a mirror, to help the other with proper alignment, balance and concentration. In order to construct the poses in a kids yoga class, the children must rely and lean on their partners both literally and metaphorically.
2- It accelerates stretching. It deepens the impact of a yoga posture, without any pain. One partner’s body weight can be used to increase the pressure of the other partner.
3- It strengthens communication. In order to construct the poses, the kids must communicate verbally and nonverbally. Through communication, children must rely on each other to stay balanced and strong in poses.
4- It deepens connection. The children need to be open and have full faith in each other for their full support in each of the poses. The flowing postures, the push and pull, and the reliance on someone else creates connection because children must be fully engaged in the moment and in the movements.
5- It increases FUN! It reveals the beauty of our interdependence. We can accomplish much more, with much more joy and ease when we support each other.
As you will see from the photos, my two daughters constructed the partner yoga poses. One is 8 years old and the other is 11. I especially wanted to present you the partner yoga poses with different size partners because we can’t always make the perfect match in kids yoga classes. Remember that it is about giving and receiving. Size doesn’t matter. It extends far beyond something physical. You may also notice some differences between the descriptions and the photos in some partner yoga poses. Because yoga isn’t about being perfect, it’s about being yourself!
And again, I also shared the poses that they had difficulty with in order to show you the difficult and easy poses more clearly. I focused on how they could connect with each other rather than how well they could create the pose. Because, partner yoga poses for kids require trust, support, and empathy.
As always, I would like to end by thanking my daughters. And enjoy the partner yoga poses for children!
54 Partner Yoga Poses for Kids and Teens
1- Seesaw Pose:
Sit facing each other with your legs extended forward, and the soles of your feet together. Reach forward and grasp your partner’s fingers. Slowly bend forward as your partner gently pulls back. Then switch roles.
2- Double Dancer Pose:
Stand in pairs facing each other at less than arms distance. While bending the leg at the knee, hold each other touching at the palms. Holding the toes of the bent leg, make sure that your shoulders are in alignment.
3- Elevator Pose:
Standing tall and facing each other, interlock your hands with your partner. Bend down like chair pose with your back straight and thighs parallel to the floor. Continue stretching your arms out.
4- Lean on Me Pose:
Standing in front of each other, bend your body and interlock your arms at the shoulders with your partner placing the hands on the partner’s shoulders. Do not push the partner but just take support standing comfortably.
5- Double Tree Pose:
Standing besides each other, bend your outer leg at the knee to stand in tree pose. Lift your arms up while the inner arm palm is touching the partner’s palm.
6- Warrior Friends Pose:
Standing away from each other at arms distance, you both step the right feet forward bending at the knees. The right feet are placed besides each other. Using the opposite hands, interlock your hands. One arms stretches front holding your partner’s opposite hand stretched from behind. Focus on the coordination of the movement of the body.
7- Open Heart Pose:
Standing behind your partner, hold their wrists. Put one foot forward and one foot back while your partner goes forward stretching the entire body opening their heart. It is a great pose to encourage trust and support.
8- Back to Back Chair Pose:
Standing back to back, interlock your arms with your partner’s at the elbows. Place your shoulders and backs close to each other. Bend your knees into chair pose ensuring that you are going down at the same time. Keep bending until you get the legs to the 90 degree. Feel the pressure against each other’s back. (It was one of the most difficult partner poses for my girls because of their sizes.)
9- Double Downward Dog Pose:
Your partner begins in the downward dog pose. Facing the same direction, place your hands in front of your partner’s hands. Lift up your legs and place your feet onto your partner’s lower back.
10- Double Boat Pose:
Sit facing your partner with knees bent. Holding your partner’s hands, start to place the soles of your feet together. Balancing on your sitting bones, slowly straighten your legs to form the boat pose. Keep your body in an upright position.
11- Partner/Supported Breathing Pose:
Sit with your legs crossed and your backs resting against each other. Notice how your breath feels as you inhale and exhale. Allow yourself to connect with your partner.
12- Double Seated Twist Pose:
Sitting back to back with your legs crossed, place your right hand on your partner’s left thigh and your left hand on your own right knee. Your partner should position themselves the same way. Sit up tall and enjoy your twist.
13- Double Standing Forward Fold Pose:
Standing back to back with your heels a little apart, fold forward. Reach your hands behind your legs to take hold of the front of your partner’s shins.
14- Lizard Sunbathing on the Rock Pose:
Your partner in child’s pose, lie over their back resting your head on your partner’s neck. With your legs long and stretched forward, take your arms over your head. Your partner can hold your wrists for further stretch. Synchronize with your partner’s breath.
15- Downward Dog and Child’s Pose:
Your partner in child’s pose arms reaching out, stand facing your partner and allow your ankles to be grasped. Walk your feet back until your partner’s arms lift off the ground. Bending forward, place your hands onto your partner’s hips.
16- Double Wide Leg Forward Fold Pose:
Standing a couple feet away from your parter with backs facing each other, open your legs wide. Folding forward with a flat back, find your partner’s hands between your legs. Feel the stretch.
17- Balancing Warriors Pose:
Standing and facing each other with fingertips touching, lengthen your arms overhead and lift the same feet off the ground with your partner as the diagonally opposite legs builds more support. Sending your back feet long and strong out behind you, hold your partner’s shoulders firmly and adjust your distance as needed. (Again one of the advanced poses!)
18- Supported Backbend Pose:
Start facing your partner with feet flat and toes touching. Taking hold of your partner’s forearms, slowly begin arching backwards, looking behind you and releasing your neck.
19- Double Reverse Warriors Pose:
Standing side by side with your legs wide, hold your inner hands. The outside edge of your inner feet touching, bend the knees of your outer legs. Lifting your free arms overhead, find and take hold of your partner’s hand.
20- Double Seated Sidebend Pose:
Crossing your legs and sitting back to back with your partner, extend your arms out to the sides and make them parallel with the ground. Either holding one another’s forearm or interlocking hands, lean to one side by raising your opposite arms up. As you bend, one set of hands will come in contact with the ground which you can use to stabilize you both. Keep your bottoms firmly planted on the ground.
21- Facing Butterflies Pose:
Facing one another, sit on your bottoms and bring the soles of your feet into touch with enough space. Taking hold of each other’s hands/wrists/forearms, start by slowly leaning backward to help pull your partner into a forward fold. As you deepen the fold of your partner, feel for the tension to know where their limits are. Let them sit in this position taking in deep breaths. Switch roles with your partner leaning backward as they bring you into a forward fold.
22- Wide-Legged Double Boat Pose:
Entering into double boat pose, slowly move your legs to the sides. Re-grab your partner’s hands now in-between your legs as you press against each other’s soles. Continue to move your legs outward as far as it is comfortable for you and your partner.
23- Seated Forward Fold and Backbend Pose:
Sitting back to back with your legs crossed, you both raise your hands up. As you forward fold, your partner enters into the backbend laying along your back with arms extended over your head. Then, switch roles.
24- Double Relaxation Pose:
Sitting side by side and facing in opposite directions, open your legs wide. Taking hold of each other’s inner hands, twist your upper body slightly away from each other and begin leaning backward. Continue supporting each other until your mid-back comes in contact with your partner’s upper thigh. Allow for a slight bend in the back as your upper body and head continue to lean back until they come in contact with the floor.
25- Bridge and Supported Shoulder Stand Pose:
Your partner lies on their back bending their knees and feet flat, arms down by their sides. With your glutes at your partner’s feet, raise your legs and place them on the upper shin of your partner. Grab onto the ankles of your partner and then lift your hips upward to enter into the shoulder stand while your partner presses into their feet, arms and hands to lift their bottom up.
26- Double Camel Pose:
Kneeling high with your backs facing each other, align yourselves by placing one foot in between the feet of your partner. Engage your core and take your hands down to the ankles. Keep rolling the shoulders back and guide your heads back until you reach each other’s shoulders. (Please also take a look at other Double Camel Pose #52)
27- Double Revolved Chair Pose:
Stand facing each other at a distance and extend your right arms forward. Taking hold of your partner’s right hand, you both sit back into the chair pose. Begin to twist your body by extending your left arms. Rotate and open your chests by looking at your extended arms.
28- Cobra with Chair Pose:
With your partner lying flat on the floor, stand over them with your feet just outside their knees. Your partner will begin to arch their back while lifting their head and shoulders. Your partner beginning to extend their arms behind them, take hold of your partner’s hands and begin to squat and sit back into the chair pose. Stay within the limits of what your partner can handle.
29- Facing Heroes Pose:
Facing each other, sit on your heels with your kneecaps touching your partner’s kneecaps. Lean forward, keeping a straight spine, so that you are able to place your hands on the top of each other’s thighs, palms open. Press gently into each other’s thighs. You may keep your eyes closed or look into each other’s eyes.
30- Backbend Balance Pose:
Standing and facing opposite direction and backs of your heels touching, reach to take hold of your partner’s hands so that your inner elbow is pointing forward. Gently begin to lean forward, so partners are pulling away from each other to open their chests.
31- Double Thread the Needle Pose:
Begin in tabletop position, a little closer than arms length to your partner, as close as to touch each other’s forearms. Slide your outside arm underneath your inside arm with your palm facing up. Let your outside shoulder come all the way down to the mat as you turn your head toward your partner and rest your ear and cheek on the mat. Walk your inside arm forward so that it’s extended over your head. Take hold of your partner’s hand that’s on the floor. Enjoy having a lovely stretch. Unclasp the hands to rise back to tabletop, then turn around to repeat on the second side.
32- Plough and Seated Forward Fold Pose:
Lying back lift your legs up and over your head, bringing your toes down to the floor. Extend your arms overhead toward the toes. Your partner sits directly in front of your feet, taking hold of your hands and leaning back to allow space to lift the legs off the mat and extend them on top of your legs. It’s a great hamstring stretch!
33- Double High Lunge with Backbend Pose:
Facing away from each other, step one foot forward and come up onto the toes of the back foot. You both bend into the front knees, back foot in line with your partner’s back knee. Lift your arms up to the sky as you backbend gently to reach for your partner’s hands.
34- Double Child’s Pose:
Your partner starts in child’s pose. Kneeling onto your partner’s back, place your shins down on either side of your partner’s spine. The tops of your toes rest on your partner’s tailbone.
35- Double Plough / Halasana Pose:
Lying back, lift your legs up and over your head, bringing your toes down to the floor into Plough pose. Your partner moves their body closer to you lifting their hips upward and overhead into Plough. Partners lower backs will be pressing into each other. Place your hands on each other’s shoulders.
36- Supported Shoulderstand Pose:
From Double Plough pose, lift the tailbone to be in line with your shoulders, pressing into your partner’s back to assist. Stay with both legs extended to the sky. It’s very important to never EVER turn your head that you literally never get a chance to see if your alignment of pelvis over shoulders is even close!
37- Double Hand to Bigtoe Pose:
Standing side by side, wrap the inside arm around your partner’s back. Each partner takes hold of the outside foot, extending the leg forward. Make sure you’re both stable before rotating the leg outward.
38- Staff Pose and Supported Handstand:
Sitting tall with your legs out forward, lift your arms up to the sky. Your partner places their palms on the mat, outside of your feet. One at a time, your partner raises their legs up while you take hold of your partner’s ankles.
39- Lifted Plank Pose:
Lying flat on the floor, bend your arms with your elbows next to the side body. Your partner in plank pose with their hands on your shins, places the top of their shins onto your hands. Taking hold of your partner’s ankles, press upward.
40- Double Side Plank Pose:
Facing away from each other, your partner’s feet will line up with your wrists. Press into the bottom hand to lift into plank as you extend your top arm diagonally upward to meet your partner’s. Gaze toward your fingertips.
41- Seated Forward Fold and Lifted Locust Pose:
Beginning in seated staff and your legs extended out in front, your partner stands on shins, pressing their front body into your back. You both extend arms upwards to the sky and grasp hands. While you fold forward, your partner extends legs straight backward. If possible, your partner may lift the feet off the ground.
42- Standing Forward Fold and Half Handstand Pose:
Standing back to back with a one leg long distance, you fold forward if possible touching on the ground. Your partner places their palms on the ground and one at a time lifts their legs up, resting their shins on your hips.
43- Double Triangle Pose:
Facing away from each other with your backs glued to each other, step one foot to the same side. If you step your right foot, your partner will step the left one. Stretch your arms wide and move your bodies forwards at the same time as if someone is pulling the front hands. When you can’t go further, tilt down and take your hands of the front arm to the inside of the ankle. Open your chests and look up to the top hands. You may hold your top hands.
44- Seated One-Legged Twist / Integrated Butterfly Pose:
Sitting tall next to each other, take your legs out long in front of you. Bend your outer legs, bringing your heels to your groins. Bending forward, hold your partner’s long leg foot with your outer arm. Twisting and looking at each other lift your inner arms up and try to bring your palms together in touch.
45- Rest on a Cat Pose:
Placing your palms and knees on the ground in tabletop position, your partner gently sits on your hips carrying the weight of their body mostly on their upper legs. As you push hard on the ground, your partner slowly lowers their torso onto your back and your heads come together.
46- Rest on a Dog Pose:
On all fours tuck your toes and lift your hips up to the sky – to the Dog pose. Your partner places their feet in between your palms, their toes pointing in the same direction with your fingers. Lifting their arms, your partner gently lie on your upper body resting their head on your lower hips.
47- Double Door Pose:
Coming onto your knees next to each other and your inner legs touching, take your outer legs out long to the sides. Placing your same side hands on your long legs, lift your inner arms up and lean over towards your stretched legs in the opposite directions.
48- Supported Camel Pose:
High on your knees, put your hands on your lower back and press your hips forward. Your partner lies on their back their hips in between your feet. Bending their knees, your partner places their feet on the middle of your back. Reaching back with your arms, grasp your partner’s wrists. Lift your heart to the sky and look up.
49- Warrior 2 Friends Pose:
Standing next to each other your inner feet touching, open your legs wide. Turning your outer toes to the sides, bend your knees. Spreading your arms out wide, hold your inner hands. Look past your outer fingertips.
50- Double Horse Pose:
Kneeling high and facing opposite direction, place your feet next to your partner’s knees and your partner’s feet next to your knees. Step one foot forward at the same time reaching your hands up above your head, try to hold your hands.
51- Double Moon Pose:
Standing side by side with a little distance between you, hold hands. Sweeping the outer arms up over your heads, find your partner’s hand over the top. Arch your bodies inwards.
52- Double Camel (2nd Variation) Pose:
Kneel facing each other about one or two inches apart and grasp on to each other’s forearms. With your knees and the tops of your feet firmly planted on the ground, gently push your hips forward, open your chests, drop your heads back, and lean back. As your move into the pose, your arms will naturally straighten to support each other. (Please also take a look at other Double Camel Pose #26)
53- Double Pretzel Pose:
Sitting cross-legged and knees to knees with your partner, you both take your right hand to your partner’s left knee, left hand to your back. If you can go around, you can take hold of your partner’s hand. Sit up tall and twist away from each other. You can lean back a little bit to increase the stretch.
54- Rooftops Pose:
Standing up and turning your face towards one another, arms distance apart, bring your hands together palms to touch. Stretching and pressing your hands up as high as they will go, look towards one another.