Here are my Top 7 ways Yoga will help in the lead up to your Wedding Day!
Your Wedding Day – immortalised by photos – is one of the biggest events of your life.. and the beginning of your marriage. Starting with your Wedding Day itself in mind, I have put together my Top 7 Ways that I Use Yoga to help Brides before their Wedding Day.
On the Day…..
1. Stand tall! On your wedding, you want great posture. All the practice of the past few weeks is on show today. The crown of your head lifting towards the sky lengthens your neck, lengthens your spine. This Yoga technique is called ‘seeking’..as if the top of your head was seeking to touch the ceiling, drawing the rest of your spine up with it.
2. Stretch your ‘Space’! Before you shower and put on your dress, stretch your arms up high. Swing them around (carefully) like a windmill to work your shoulders. Feet apart, bend your legs and let your arms swing around your body in a twist with momentum. Legs bent, flop your body down into a forward bend and let the blood go to your head. Breathe upside-down. Stand up and do a couple of side bends, lengthening down the side of your body. Unless I have written you a specific Yoga routine to do on the day, these couple of simple moves will ‘expand your space’ and help you feel calmer. With stress, the body wants to shrink. Stretches your personal space before nerves hit really helps in case you have nerves….even good nerves.
2. Breathe! Any breathing is good, but the breath ‘down low into the belly’, is the breathe that calms your nerves. All the practice in the weeks leading up to your wedding pays off today. If you haven’t practiced yet, when you get a private moment – getting prepped, in your limousine, between photos, breathe and expand the part of your belly below the navel. There is a reason that women in beautiful corseted gowns used to fan themselves and faint – they couldn’t take a full diaphragmatic breath! A few breaths in this style on the day, will keep you feeling energised, alleviate nerves, and can help ward off tension headaches and exhaustion.
4. Plank It! Especially if your arms and shoulders are on show, Yoga Plank brings tone to this area as well as your core. Yoga Plank and Downward Dog combo will bring bloodflow to your arms. This will make you look more toned – and build on whatever tone you already have been building leading up to this day. If your wrists don’t like to bear weight, make sure you check with me for the forearm versions of these. Half Dog Pose for beginners, handstands for more advanced Brides. They are all variations on a theme. The variations offer the same benefits, but I modify them for your body, age, and need so that all the Yoga you will get through me is achievable and stress-free.
5. Do Yoga for your FACE! My Face Yoga helps prepare and relax muscles around the eyes and mouth. This is similar to the ‘Expand your Space’ technique for your whole body – but specifically for your Face. Just like the rest of you, there are muscles that go tight under stress and they want to contract and shrink you in. Relaxing and stretching them sends a signal to your brain that there is no real stress. Consequently, your brain releases relaxation hormones instead of stress hormones. It really works. Do these 15 minutes before you put your makeup on, or 30 minutes if your skin is sensitive. Each of the 5 points below starts from a ‘neutral’ face.
-With a tall spine, open your mouth wide in a ‘silent scream’.
-Stick your tongue out and down, stretching it as much as possible.
-Purse your lips and scrunch your face as much as you can.
-Raise your eyebrows and roll your eyes around – both directions – slowly. Breathe. -Massage your face with your fingertips, moving the flesh over the bones of your cheeks, your mouth, eyebrows, forehead.
-Smile wide, wider. Stay in a wide smile and push the corners of your mouth into your cheeks and up towards your ears. Use your hands to hold your big smile for a couple of breaths.
6. Connect! Of course your Wedding will be about some Big Moments of connection. Put more heart into your day, by practicing how to “BE’. Use Yoga skills to help you stay centred and connected: mind and body. Bring in your practice of grounding, centring, breathing. When you are grounded, and breathing consciously [yoga breath], you will be calmer, more serene, more relaxed – and happier. Staying connected to your heart means that your head can’t steal you away into worrying thoughts. Trust that everything is prepared, and lean back on your helpers. Your job is simply to ‘BE’, not to ‘DO’ on this day. Seek to connect to the feeling of your own breath in your body. In Yoga, we might call this ‘connecting to your Heart’. Then seek to greet every guest from that connected space. Your guests, your family, your catering…. everyone who sees you on the day, will feel your presence when you connect in this way. A connected bride is a bride who is brimming with – something tangible. She touches people…..not to mention her man.
7. Take a Moment. This is it. On this day, as you transition from single to married, take a moment for yourself. Give yourself a symbolic hug, and savour the farewell to the former you, and welcome the phase to come, symbolised by your Wedding. Speak to yourself out loud and state your intention to marry. Allow the tears to come up, tears of joy, tears of transition. Breathe, take a moment. There is no rush. Yoga teaches us to love the cycles of our life, and our emotions. Imagine your minds’ eye is taking a photo of you in this moment. Keep it as a precious and very personal souvenir of your inner self. In a few days, on your honeymoon, or next time you have a quiet moment of relaxation or meditation, go back to that ‘snapshot’ of yourself. Let your married self share her joys and highlights of the wedding with that bride who paused for a moment….Congratulations!