Planning your wedding is an exciting time, but can be overwhelming with the sheer busyness of preparing for your ceremony. Selecting your dress, choosing the flowers, deciding on the wedding theme along with the venue, and then still taking care of everyone else’s needs, it is easy to lose sight of what is in your interests - taking care of yourself!
Ensuring that you do not succumb to the inevitable stresses by the time it comes to saying “I Do”, and that you’re not at the end of your emotional and mental resilience, it’s important to create space and put some distance between the planning events, endless to-do lists and yourself.
Simple yoga techniques can help bring back some much needed balance, release tensions, and relieve stresses in the run up to your wedding.
Focused breathing is the quickest way to calm the nervous system. Begin on your back, ensuring that you are comfortable, release any tension in the lower back and pelvis. Settle in and connect to the feeling of the physical heart floating on the movement of the diaphragm.
Bring your attention and awareness to the breath. Allow the breath to naturally slowdown, soften and deepen. Breathe through the nostrils if possible and focus on the rhythm of slow deep breathing, keeping comfort and ease throughout. Helps relieve the ‘flight or fight’ mode, calms the mind. Continue for 3-10 minutes.
Movement is equally important to draw your attention away from the busyness of the mind and place it in the moving body. A few yoga poses will help to ease tension building up in the body and bring back ease and balance to the mind-body.
Start by resting sit-bones on your heels. Place a blanket underneath the sit-bones for comfort. Settle the torso between the thighs and extend the arms out in front of you.
Take long slow breaths into the front, side and back of the ribs, opening the back and lengthening the spine. Repeat 5-10 breaths.
Cat and Cow pose
Draw up on to all fours, hands underneath shoulders and knees underneath hips. Inhaling gently draw the sternum forward and slowly lift your chin, softening between your shoulder blades whilst lifting your tailbone upwards. Exhaling drop your chin and tailbone and hollow out the front of the torso by rounding the spine and releasing the neck. Repeat 4-5 times.
Downward Dog or Puppy Dog
Curl your toes underneath, press into your hands, lift knees of the floor, straighten your arms, elongate your spine, and lengthen the neck. Keep the feet hip-distance apart and hands shoulder-width apart. Slowly press back through the legs equally and broaden behind the knees, straighten the legs. Ensure the spine is not rounded, bend knees if necessary. Hold for 10-20 breaths. Drop back to knees.
Glide forward, lie on your front, legs extended behind you, place your elbows under or slightly ahead of shoulders and prop yourself up on your forearms. Draw your sternum forwards to engage the back muscles, softly compressing the spine and extend the chin forward allowing for a natural arch to the neck to help open the throat. Hold for 5-20 breaths. Lower chest to the floor.
Roll on to your back and end in Corpse pose. Close eyes, allow the weight of the bones to become heavy and sink into the floor. Let go and relax. Remain for 3-10 minutes.
Jennifer is the founder of The Yoga Wellness Company a new London based company that works to develop and share the mind, body and well-being benefits that flow from the practise of yoga.