When I first saw the yoga couples’ workshop being promoted at my yoga centre, I had dismissed the idea of trying it out – not because I didn’t think it was a good idea, but because I was pretty sure that my boyfriend didn’t want to (he isn’t a fitness class freak like I am). However it was something I really wanted to try, so I asked him anyway, and it was a pleasant surprise when he instantly said yes – without me having to beg or bug him!
I must admit that even though I have been practising yoga for about eight years (not consistently though; due to work commitments sometimes I miss class for months, which brings my level back down to beginner), I was still rather apprehensive about the class. I have never done partner yoga before, which I’ve heard can be more challenging than the solo yoga. My poor boyfriend was more apprehensive than I was, since he had never done yoga at all prior to this.
Promotion by Surya Yoga
The yoga couples workshop that was offered by Surya Yoga in Aman Suria was supposed to be released in conjunction with Valentine’s Day, but this year, Valentine’s Day coincidentally fell in the same week as Chinese New Year. Due to the major holiday celebrations, they anticipated that there were not going to be enough signups, hence they delayed the workshop dates to weekends that were not going to coincide with any other holidays.
The yoga couples workshops were held on 10th and 17th March 2013, and were promoted both at the yoga centre as well as on Groupon.
I found the offer to be very affordable – it was only RM78 per couple, held from 11am to 4pm and even included lunch!
My boyfriend and I signed up for the first session which was on 10th March.
The workshop started at 11am sharp, and was led by Josephine Chan, who is the owner and principal of Surya Yoga. There were 9 couples who attended the workshop including myself and my boyfriend, and we started with a brief introduction to ourselves. Some of the couples were already married, and most of the guys claimed they were “dragged” by their girlfriends, although in a few cases it was the guys who had initiated the suggestion of the yoga couples workshop to their girls.
We didn’t start off with yoga immediately. Josephine first led us through some simple meditations to rid ourselves of negative energy and to open our hearts to love. It was a very calming and peaceful experience, although when Jo asked us how we felt, most of us were too shy to admit to anything!
We were then supposed to “play a game”, although thankfully it wasn’t one of those physical games that involved embarrassing interactions with complete strangers. Josephine handed out questionnaires to each of us that we were supposed to answer. Each questionnaire had more than 50 questions which tested us on our knowledge about our partner. They ranged from easy questions such as “When is my birthdate?” to questions that require indepth knowledge such as “What is my most memorable childhood moment?” Not only were we supposed to write the answers for our partners, we were also to write the answers for ourselves.
This section was very private, of course. After the 25 minutes allocated for us to fill up the questionnaire, we privately exchanged our answers with our partners. This was not something that we needed to discuss in public, because many of the questions were very personal. It was an eye-opening experience for everyone, because it made us realise how well we know our partners, how well our partners know us, and how well we know ourselves.
After that Jo split the guys and girls. The girls stayed in the studio while the guys went out to the waiting hall. Each of us were given a card where we were to write a private message to our partner. When we were done writing, the guys came in, each of them bearing a rose for their beloved, and we exchanged cards. This was the most touching section for all of us. I think most of us never really expressed our love or how we feel for our partners, and getting us to write a love note made us think of what we wanted to say and how we wanted to say it. I must admit that I was not the only one who teared up when I read my own message.
We then broke for lunch, which was provided by Surya Yoga. It was a simple but tasty meal of fried bee hoon, baby sausages and curry, with green tea on the side.
After lunch came the real workout, led by real-life couple and yoga teachers Regine and Xiang. If I had to be very honest, it looked like a mismatched couple because Regine was a skinny twig, while Xiang was more than double her size! But I thought it was also very inspiring and motivating, because Xiang’s size was not one that most people would typically expect in a yoga teacher; yet he was flexible and he executed the moves perfectly. This combination also showed us how partner yoga can still be executed between two people of very different sizes.
Regine and Xiang led us through a series of different poses. They were quite gentle with us, and explained every move with clear instructions. They also came around to correct our technique to ensure that we did not injure ourselves or our partners. Having done yoga before, I found that the poses were beginner poses, but doing them with a partner made them a lot more challenging. Partner yoga requires us to learn to trust our partner, and to strengthen our own balance so that we did not throw our partner off.
At the end of the two-hour session, we were all quite exhausted!
All in all, this was one of the best workshops and best yoga experiences I have ever had. Definitely something I would recommend to any couple who wish to get a closer bond with each other, and to also learn partner yoga. I’m not sure if Surya Yoga will offer the package at such a low price again in the future, but regardless this is still something you should try.
About Surya Yoga
Surya Yoga is a privately-owned yoga centre which offers yoga classes ranging from beginner to advanced, as well as prenatal yoga and yoga for kids. For more information, please visit www.suryayoga.com.my and mysuryayoga.blogspot.com.