Partner Yoga is a fairly big area of the yoga world. I’ve always wondered where it came from, or if it is a new creation. The earliest photographic evidence I am aware of is the 1938 Krishnamacharya film (2:45 in point) , which is available on youtube. Did Krishnamacharya invent this? Or was it passed to him from his teachers? If so, was it part of older yoga traditions that may have entered Bali during the period of direct contact with India – from the 4th century until the 15th century, approximately.
Mangku Pogog had his own variation of “partner yoga” that involved lifting and balancing patients. What made him particularly extraordinary was that he could put people in the air, turn them around, invert them, crack their backs, etc…Normally, this takes a lot of practice, and trust needs to be built up. Pogog was able to put patients in a relaxed mental state that allowed him to do his thing – even when the patient weighed more than he did! (Physical strength clearly counts!)
I find it interesting that Partner Yoga in the west didn’t really get popular until the late 1990’s – after the Shaman’s Drum article and after Pogog’s practice had been the subject of an Australian documentary.