I love partner work and I believe that even though it may be awkward for students at first 99% of people relax quickly and end up having at lot of fun. Generally when I am incorporating partner work into regular flow style classes I save it for the last 20 to 30 minutes of class. This way people have had time to relax and get comfortable in their own body before having to share their personal space with others. There are a few great and simple poses that can be done that don’t require a lot of physical contact between students. Flying dog is always a big hit, it looks cool and is easier then it may seem at first. One person goes into downward facing dog and the other person does down dog about a foot to a foot and a half in front of them with their feet placed gently on the top of their partners pelvis/sacrum area. With all partner work it is important to have students pair up with someone similar to their own size and this is very true with this posture. Also assisted folds or twists can be done with students only holding each others hands or wrists, which isn’t very threatening.
I always encourage students to ask and give lots of feedback during each posture that way they stay connected to their partner and it stays safe as well. Encourage people to have fun and explore how partner yoga can enhance their experience of some regular postures.