Put Your Love in Motion
Casting about for a new way to spend time with your sweetie? Put some zing back in your love life with one of these couple-friendly activities.
You and your partner are gliding down the Rideau Canal Skateway, linked arm in arm. The two of you are making your way along the world’s largest outdoor skating rink under a blanket of stars, your path illuminated by lights along the canal. You can hear faint music emanating from the rest stops and the sound of your blades on the ice. To conclude, you skate over to a rest stop for a beavertail.
The canal is an entranceway into a refreshing and romantic environment. The demands of daily life suddenly feel far away. “It [provides] a time to focus on each other and to get acquainted with nature,” says Kathryn Keyes, spokesperson for the National Capital Commission in Ottawa.
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Along with 15 other couples, you and your guy are executing back-to-back triangle poses on your mats at Lion’s Breath Yoga Centre in Edmonton. As the class progresses, you and your mate strike the same poses simultaneously, work together to create one pose and act as a support and resistance for each other, explains Lion’s Breath instructor Clare Newman. Partway through the class, couples embrace in a “happy hug” for five deep breaths. Calm and serenity prevails.
“Yoga allows people to connect body and mind, and a partner class allows partners to connect with each other,” says Newman. And let’s not forget the romantic aspect to the class. What with the happy hug and all, the level of intimacy is bound to rise northward. “It’s a very happy feeling,” Newman says. Yep, we’re sure it is.
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Indoor Rock Climbing
You and your honey have come to Cliffhanger, an indoor climbing gym in Vancouver, for a little adventure – and that’s exactly what you’re getting. Tied in to a safety harness, you slowly navigate your way up the wall, using the climbing holds. While it helps to pull with your arms, your legs are doing most of the work.
Your partner, who is acting as the belayer (the safety person), stands on the ground holding your rope and taking up the slack, so that if you should lose your footing, you won’t crash to the ground. As you reach the top, you feel exhilarated. You tell your partner that you’re done and ask, “Okay, got me?” When he has taken up all the tension in the rope and says, “got you,” you come off the wall and he lowers you down slowly. Now it’s time to switch roles.
“Hopefully, you trust your partner,” says Colin Whyte, owner of Cliffhanger. No kidding. Nothing is going to build trust (or show that it’s lacking) like putting your life in your partner’s hands. You’ll also improve your communication skills. But scaling the wall is also a great bonding experience. “I’ve seen a lot of relationships and marriages form, just being the owner of a climbing gym for 15 years,” Whyte says.
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The upbeat meringue music at Toronto Dance Salsa Inc. immediately puts you in the mood to dance. In a studio with about 20 couples, you and your honey practice moving back and forth, side to side, right turns and reverse turns. Then your guy moves you into a sweetheart hold, turning you clockwise, but keeping hold of both hands, so you end up wrapped in his arms. While you may wear the pants at home, the man always leads in salsa.
“If a gentleman wants a woman to spin, he lifts his arms up and gives her a certain amount of pressure in the direction he wants her to go,” explains Sharon Galor, president of Toronto Dance Salsa Inc. But ultimately, you and he are moving in synch, reading each other’s body language and working up a sweat.
In addition to the exercise benefits: improved coordination, muscle toning and a cardio workout, salsa can spark or rekindle romance. “It’s a really romantic, sexy dance. There’s a lot of touching…you feel the music together, there’s a sexy element to it,” Galor says. You’re also learning to communicate non-verbally, and you know where else that skill will come in handy!
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At the Spirit Spa in Halifax, you and your man slip between the sheets on separate but nearby massage tables. (You’ve both disrobed to the point you feel comfortable.) Massage therapists rub on aroma oil – an energizing, relaxing or balancing scent -and then the full-body massages begin.
The massage-therapists work on your backs, shoulders, arms and legs, while you and your honey hold hands across the beds or simply close your eyes and enjoy the experience together. Soft, meditative music plays as the knots are worked out and your body relaxes.
“When people book in for a couples massage, what they’re looking to do is pamper themselves, and their loved ones,” explains Linda Brigley, owner/manager of Spirit Spa. That it does. But sometimes, couples are so inspired by the experience, they want to do massage at home. So Spirit Spa offers couples massage workshops around Valentine’s Day to teach basic massage stroke techniques. Then at home with your sweetie, your hands can do the talking!
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