Pose Breakdown: Queen’s Pose for Couples

Cuddle yoga with both partners in queen’s pose with bound-angle legs.

Queen’s pose is one of my all-time favorite relaxing restorative yoga poses. Sometimes I joke that it’s like being in a yoga La-Z-Boy. As soon as I lie back into the welcoming arms of my props, it’s a signal to my brain that I’m about to get some serious chill time — and if I’m lucky, a nap. When people start snoring in my restorative yoga classes, chances are it’s in queen’s pose.

And I say, go for it!

In addition to being relaxing, queen’s pose is a heart opener. With support and comfort, it allows us to gently expose our hearts to the world around us. This is both physical and metaphorical. When we feel threatened, our instinctual animal response triggers us to round forward to protect our hearts and bellies. In queen’s pose, we do the opposite. We lift our chests; we let the arms and legs go slack; we close our eyes; and we surrender with trust to the world around us.

Relaxation, open hearts, trust? — What could be better concepts for a couple to explore together!

I hope you’ll try our “cuddle” version of queen’s pose:

  1. The Big Spoon sets up first. If possible, place one of the skinny ends of the mat against the wall. Build a supportive ramp using two blocks staggered in a stair-step position (one block on the lowest height and the other on the second-highest setting). Place your stairs near the wall-side of the mat for more support. Place a big bolster on top of the stairs to create a ramp. The highest end should touch the wall, unless you’re tall and need a little more head room.
  2. To get into the pose, the Big Spoon backs up to the base of the ramp. With the knees bent and the soles of the feet on the mat, hands on the knees, slowly lie back onto the ramp. Leave the legs open.
  3. The Little Spoon gets into place. Back up to the Big Spoon. With the knees bent, slowly lie back onto the Big Spoon.
  4. Explore the details! There are as many different ways to get comfortable in this pose as there are combinations of big and little spoons (endless!) and their body types (infinite), so find what works for you. In the photo, you’ll see that Cliff opted to fold up blankets for his arms to rest on. This can make the stretch through the chest less intense and also protect you from the jarring sensation of cold floor. You’ll also notice we both chose to align our necks by placing folded up blankets under our heads. And we chose to take our legs into double versions of butterfly/bound-angle pose, with the soles of the feet together and the knees splaying out. This often feels best with a little support under the knees in the form of a rolled up blanket, small bolster or blocks. With the legs, you could also extend them, or find a way to rest the feet on the floor with the knees bent (especially great for cranky low backs).
  5. Additions: this is the perfect position for the Big Spoon to give the Little Spoon a shoulder rub while you settle in. (Just sayin’ — Here’s looking at you, Cliff!) Plus, queen’s pose is great for listening to a guided meditation. You’re open, a little bit vulnerable and receptive to exploring ideas. Try out your favorite meditation in queen’s pose.

I would love to hear your experiences with this double queen’s pose for couples, especially how you made it work for your specific body type(s). Happy cuddling! Namaste.

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