One of the lesser reasons I enjoy yoga is the fact that it can be done totally on my own. Of course, that doesn't mean that I don't love and appreciate my (former) yoga buddy of 4 years - but she was a luxury, not a necessity. A partner in any kind of activity is a bothersome requirement, as compatibility in competency and level of commitment and/or passion in the activity is very important to me. On top of that, most physical activities are best done with partners of about the same size, and I don't find people my size very often, if at all. Therefore, when I stepped into class the other day and saw the setting made for practice in pairs, I was slightly irritated.
The mats were placed two together, and at a glance, all were already occupied by, well, couples. I was about to drag my own mat from the pile at the end of the room when I heard someone calling me. I had no idea how I figured it was me she was calling out to, for she didn't know my name, so she didn't say it. It was just "Hey, hey! Come here!" while gesturing to the vacant mat beside hers.
The irritation I felt just moments earlier vanished as suddenly as it came. She was a regular in the class, always friendly with everyone and totally fun-loving. She's also about the same height as I am. So yea, if I must have a partner, I would much rather have her than anyone else in the class.
We started with some basic stretches, pulling each other by the arms into sitting forward bends. Then, we moved on to standing balancing poses, each supporting his/her partner by holding hands, arms, elbows et cetera*. Reader, you must have noted the inclusion of the masculine possessive pronoun in the previous statement. There were two pairs of men in class that day. One was right in front of me.
Don't get me wrong - I have absolutely nothing against men not minding holding each others hands with fingers interlaced et cetera* - but those being such uncommon sights simply made me giggle. I know my behaviour was probably inexcusably distasteful. We moved on to poses involving more arm-to-arm, back-to-back, butt-to-butt... and a crazy back bend which required a partner to hug, I mean, support, the waist of the other while he/she bent backwards. I felt a wee bit awkward doing that with my female partner, so I was quite amazed at the men, really. Oh well, maybe I'm just awkward. Ha!
We always ended the class with an inverted pose - shoulder-, head- or hand-stand - and that day, we did head-stand. I've always felt it precarious to do head-stands with a partner, specifically for the partner supporting the inverted one. Obviously. Fortunately, both my partner and I could manage on our own without support, so that was easy for us. *Phew*
I guess partner yoga isn't so bad when you have a good partner. But then, I suppose partner anything isn't bad when you have a good partner. The getting a good partner bit is the tricky one.
*A couple of days ago, I told my roomee that there is a kitten called Etcetera in the musical Cats, and she developed such a sudden liking to that word she wouldn't stop using it in our conversation. It made me laugh every time =)