There are some things that just go together in life. Romeo and Juliet. Coffee and cake. Pooh and Piglet. Cheese and…Well yeah, okay, cheese pretty much goes with anything.
And just like those pairs of excellence, I find that there are certain yoga poses that just feel delicious to practice together. They might not be the most surprising combos, but for the reasons listed below, these pairs are some of my favourites.
1. Camel and Child’s Pose
Camel Pose is a powerful heart opening backbend that can create a surge of energy. Being a backbend followed by a forward bend, this isn’t an unusual combo, but practicing these two poses with a deeper focus than just the obvious physical one can make the experience even sweeter.
Regularly practicing Camel can encourage feelings of love and compassion. Though, if we’re not accustomed to opening our heart space, then it can make us feel quite vulnerable, making Child’s Pose a soothing follow-up pose.
And if you’re the type of person who spends a lot of time giving your energy away to others, then folding yourself forward in Child’s Pose and absorbing all of that energy you’ve generated is like giving yourself a beautiful and often much needed gift.
2. Bow and Child’s Pose
In a similar way to Camel, my body needs me to take Child’s Pose for at least 10 breaths after I’ve been in Bow. Again there’s the obvious counter-pose thing going on, but beyond just the incredible physical experience, energetically and emotionally you’ll probably feel really balanced.
Both poses work the Solar Plexus (Manipura) Chakra. While Bow has a stimulating and energising effect on your fire centre, Child’s Pose has a soothing and nourishing effect, making these two an all-round balancing combo.
3. Pigeon and Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Amazing! If you’re a bit tight in the hips, then Pigeon may create a bit of noise in that region. You’re getting into the external hip muscles of the front leg, as well as your hip flexors of the back leg, so there’s potential for sensations aplenty here.
Even if your Pigeon experience is a bit hairy, your hips will probably start singing when you launch your leg back to Adho Mukha Svanasana! Try pausing in Downward Dog for a few breaths between sides, so you can feel the difference in your hips.
Realising what the pose is doing for you might help you unclench your teeth and appreciate the pose a little more.
4. Warrior II and Reverse Warrior Pose
This is a really obvious pair because the transition is easy, given the legs and feet stay the same. I just really like the strength and stability that I cultivate in Warrior II, followed immediately by the sense of openness and expansion that Reverse Warrior offers.
5. Bridge and Reclined Bound Angle Pose
I do really enjoy practicing a full backbend like Wheel, but Bridge Pose is more often my go-to heart opener. It’s a Throat Chakra pose, so the energy it cultivates is more relaxing and soothing.
If you like practicing in the afternoon or evening, spending a minute or two in Bridge, followed by a nice, long rest in Reclined Bound Angle is incredible. In Reclined Bound Angle, you can take one hand to the heart centre, and the other to the navel centre, and just feel the effects of the backbend.
So, how do you like these twosomes? If you’ve got other favourite pairs of yoga poses that make you feel fantastic, let me know in the comments!
Image Credit / Yogi: Anna Coventry