Photo Credit: Carly Bish Photography
My significant other sweetly proposed to me during a restorative yoga class in late June. Since agreeing to marry the man of my dreams, life has been an absolute whirlwind. I am so excited to tie the knot with the one that I love, but I think all brides (and grooms!) can relate to feeling ridiculously overwhelmed during the wedding planning phase (is eloping on a beach still out of the question?! wink, wink!).
For me, and I imagine many others can empathize; our engagement has been a roller coaster. The highs of celebrating our love, spending time with friends and family, fantasizing about our future and developing a deeper connection have been incredible. The lows of juggling schedules, dealing with the financial and time crunch of planning a wedding, being tossed into a sea of change and feeling the pressure to plan a life together in what feels like a short time can cause a lack of connection to one’s self, fatigue, overwhelming emotions and in my case, the grumpies.
I do not think I have ever been more grateful for my mat. During the last six months, my yoga practice has slightly decreased due to life and planning commitments but my appreciation for the flow has been amplified! There seems to be nothing a yoga class can’t soften by the end.
Just in the last couple of weeks, I feel like I have finally found my personal flow. Yes, I am still juggling a bit much (working on that!), but yoga and reflection has caused me to look inside and remember why this time is so magical. For my fellow stressed out brides, please let yoga help you with the following:
- The ability to stay present. I know that you can get lost in your million to-dos but think about why you are planning a wedding and enjoy the moment! Don’t follow in my footsteps and lose that time with your partner. Savor, smile and have fun! I know it’s hard, but you can do it! Use your breath as a guide and glide through Surya Namaskar A or Sun Salutation A. Think about each connecting asana and stay mindful through the movement.
- Let it go. Yes, there is a lot to get done, but sometimes just put it aside and love on yourself with a little mat time. I promise you will never regret it and it will bring clarity to what needs to get done with a more peaceful approach. Sink into Balasana / Child’s Pose while opening the hips and stretching the back.
- Connect to the prana. When you are stressed, you often forget to breathe. Inhale and exhale deeper to send a message to the brain to calm down and relax. Start with a little Deergha Swasam / Three Part Breath and use your full lung capacity to mellow out.
- Periods of reflection. Wow, you have oodles of change being sent your way and it’s ok to feel sorta lost. Appreciate your past through your practice (you are still you!) and let that propel you into the future with some gentle back bending and heart opening like Ustrasana / Camel.
- Get super hot. Yoga is the gift that keeps on giving. Every bride wants her arms, shoulders and back to look stunning in her dress. Let yoga help get you there with Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana / Plank and variations like lowering down onto your forearms and pushing the body back up or lowering down 1-2-3-4 inches and using the core and arms to lift the body between pulsations. Also play with “swimming” your Makarasana / Dolphin by bringing the head forward just above the hands then pushing back and up to work the shoulders.
- Sweat out the stress. Core cultivation is going to be your friend. It’s mine! For those days when wedding planning is getting the best of you, increase your internal heat or tapas and move (great to do between craft sessions)! Try some variations with Navasana / Boat and lower the legs and arms overhead until you are just an inch from the mat, then lift up firing those abs. Bring the hands behind you in Boat to help support the body and make big, sweeping circles with your legs – way more fun than your typical sit-up. Practice a variation of Vasisthasana / Side Plank by lifting and lowering the hips – you will have earned that cake on your big day!
- Consciously focus on staying calm. Your wedding day will come and it is natural for something to not go your way. Practice staying grounded and peaceful by ending your practice with Savasana / Corpse Pose. Let your stress melt away and fill your heart with love. No matter what happens – your day and the start to your journey is going to be wonderful if you make it wonderful.
Thanks to Yoga Journal for the links!
Happy wedding planning and remember,
“Our stresses, anxieties, pains, and problems arise because we do not see the world, others, or even ourselves as worthy of love.” – Prem Prakash
YOU are worthy of love, an incredible celebration and marriage!