No pair is immune to the challenges of coupledom. While counseling may be the typical go-to resource for guidance, some counselors with yoga backgrounds are taking sessions to the mat, encouraging people to bolster their relationships with asanapranayama, and meditation through partner yoga therapy.

Using Our Bodies to Bypass Our Brains

During sessions, couples may synchronize their breathing, assist each other with asana, or link their bodies together to create one pose. Given the therapy’s cooperative nature, partners are forced to rely on each other, which makes communication necessary and builds trust in the process.

Where traditional talk therapy relies on gaining perspective through conversation, somatic-based techniques put the mind and body in concert to address well-being through prescribed movement, awareness of physical sensations, and, in the case of partner yoga, various poses. It’s a scientifically-backed approach: Research indicates that this kind of body-oriented psychotherapy can decrease stress, reduce symptoms of depression, and lessen anxiety, while the practice of yoga can enhance sexual intimacy, improve relationship satisfaction, and cultivate compassion—evidence enough to invest in a mat (or two).