This Partner Variation on Boat Pose Is a Serious Abs Burner

Photo: Stocksy/ Kate Daigneault
Thanks to bendy, uber-toned Insta-stars flaunting partner poses that are equal parts delicate-looking and strong-seeming, social feeds can become an infinite scroll of partner yoga FOMO... even if you've never done yoga before (or you know, barely).

If you're not a self-identified yogi, some one-on-one time with your mat could do your body and mind good, and sharing that first-time excitement with a workout buddy makes it all the more motivational. "Partner yoga can be a joy-filled, intimate way to exercise, and you don't need to be as advanced in your practice as you probably think," says yoga instructor Francesca Valarezo, who's leading our next Well+Good Retreat in Miami. "It all comes down to communication."

To do so, Valarezo recommends starting with a partner yoga 101. "Partner boat pose is a beginner move that strengthens your core, hamstrings, and quads." Of course, if you're going it solo, you can totally use the wall as your BFF for the exercise or take the proper form of boat pose, and challenge yourself by alternating foot taps to the floor.

Otherwise, sit facing your partner with your knees bent and feet pressed flat into the floor. Reach out for your partner's wrists and hold onto them snugly. If you're brand new to the movement, grab wrists between your legs; if you're more advanced, you can hold wrists outside of your legs.

Using your hold as leverage, lift your chests up and towards each other by engaging your core. Leaning your upper body back slightly, both partners should lift their feet 45 degrees and touch the soles of their feet together.  From here, partners can try to straighten one leg at a time to intensify the hamstring stretch and core activation. Hold for seven to ten breaths, then release.

Have you heard the news? Francesca Valarezo is leading our annual wellness retreat. To get more yoga and meditation intel from her in person, email to book your spot in Miami. 

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