Those that know me know that I love how partner yoga and Acroyoga take personal practice to the next level and into the realm of ‘how we relate’ du, du duuuuhhhh!  This is fascinating to me as how we are in ourselves is one thing, but if we are not challenged (by having close personal relationships) we can be fooled into believing we are evolved, or that we’ll never be – depending on what the ego is telling us at that time.  What I mean to say is, the ego complex is the tendency to feel inferior or superior to another human – it is the comparison aspect, feeling less than or more than.  When we tap into compassion, into the aspect of ourselves that looks out for one another, that is altruistic – we show the best of being human. And partner yoga and acroyoga helps that along nicely!   In acroyoga, you literally cannot have any incling of failure in your psyche as you lift another human above your head, or hand your life into your partners hands and fly – you MUST trust eachother and say what you need for it to work. Fantastic training for the mind, as well as the body.

In partner yoga and thai massage – this tunes our awareness of touch, now powerful it is – the qualities of sensuality, layers of relaxation, the comfort of the simple contact of another human. All this is so very healing and transformational.  Especially in adulthood where unless we have young kids, a pet or an affectionate romantic partner – many people go days without any touch at all! This has HUGE baring on our mental health if we are deprived of that fundamental human need. Check my social for articles on the science of that – I love sharing those, and soon to be on my blog. 

There are health recommendations saying we need 8 hugs a day to stay healthy and 12 hugs a day to thrive.  And these aren’t quick pat hugs either, they have to be long enough to trigger oxytocin and trickle down the body to lower heart rate and stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine. So these hugs a looong breathy hippy hugs of 20 seconds or more – colloquially known in the UK as, ‘the awkward hug’!! And that simple turn of phrase goes to show how normal it is to neglect it. 

There is a condundrum though – how do we do this without sending all the Brits screaming for the hills, or getting arrested? Having best practice and codes of conduct that are consensual, sensitive, light hearted and relaxed in context – clear boundaries, confident teaching, safe practices = relaxed atmosphere.  Hence this training. We not only do the poses together and learn flows, techniques, how to build your pyramid of success from foundation to flight! But we look at how to create the right vibe, the anatomy and physiology, the psyche and the framework of the practice.  Then you can guide yourselves and your students into the amazingly lush and gorgeousness of partner yoga when you practice as a couple, or the fun, active side when you practice with friends or as a family. We create sacred geometry with human-mandalas that can be used in masse ceremony, small group yoga parties and make for incredible drone footage too!  There are lots of ways social yoga can be applied – but the main aims are to nourish us on a soul level, have fun together and bond.

On the training we address key topics the #metoo movement took the lid off including consent, touch and boundaries.  How we read boundaries, or create them professionally and personally, how we speak them and receive them.  Equal voice – whatever your gender, age or authority – what that is, how we communicate to understand eachother, rather than wait for a space to reply!  All this we cover in our work with social yoga, with the aim to enable healthy connection and empowered communication from an early age.

Yoga teachers are often expected to be physio’s, councellors, doctors, therapists, PT’s as well as friends and of course floating gurus that waft into the room to evolve all who come in contact, with only the will of their intention!  Too much pressure! We look at how focussing on your strengths, knowing your limits and receiving coaching can not only help you feel more grounded in integrity – but help you grow as a teacher.

Social yoga teacher training bring to life the principles, practices and philosophy of yoga in the modern world and adds the power of connecting people. We enable people to build connection and trust on a deep level much faster and in fun ways.  They say you learn more about a person from an hour of Acroyoga than a year of conversation. You can apply this training to youth work, play therapy, teaching, training, yoga parties as well as the yoga studio.

So in a nutshell, social yoga combines the benefits of yoga asana, with the social integration and communication of working well with others. It has the capacity to uplevel the way we relate with one another.  Not to put too finer point upon it – it gives us a forum to evolve together.   The interesting part is – how you’ll choose to use it.

If you resonate with this or want to discuss it further please do comment below, share and tag @ninelivesyoga on social #socialyoga. I’d be happy to engage in any constructive discussion on this topic.

Thanks for reading.