The date is set and let the countdown to your wedding begin! I’m sure there are a million and one things on your “to-do” list, from selecting invitations, choosing the perfect dress and everything in between. With a long list to accomplish things can easily become overwhelming. While it is important to squeeze in every minute you can planning the big day, remember it is equally important to make time for yourself.
Yoga is a great way to help stay focused and balanced during this busy time. It is especially great during those rough times when the florist accidentally orders the wrong flowers or when your bridesmaid loses three dress sizes and needs to have her dress resized again ASAP! The bottom line is, yoga is a great stress reliever. If you are unable to make it to a yoga studio or if it is not in your budget to purchase a membership, no worries! You can still de-stress before the wedding and from all of the preparation.
If relieving stress didn’t convince you to try yoga, maybe this will: yoga helps get you fit. It is great for strengthening the muscles. It is gentle on the muscles/ bones- ideal for those with injuries to still have an effective workout. Additionally, yoga is great for cardiovascular health. One of the most important things is to make sure our hearts are healthy. Plus, yoga is great for weight loss! If you set fitness goals for the wedding, you can achieve them with this form of exercise.
The benefits of this pose are many. While laying on your back, be mindful of tight or clenched muscles. Allow your hands to gently lay facing open. As you inhale and exhale sink deeper into the floor, as if you are becoming your yoga mat (or floor if you are not practicing with a mat at this time). Focus on your breathing. Try not to think of the wedding to-do’s. If you find your mind drifting to your call or shopping list, redirect your mind. This pose relaxes not only your mind, but the body as well. Plus, it is great to relieve any pressure in your head (ahem, that migraine from dress shopping). Not to mention it helps lower the blood pressure, helps relieve depression, reduce inflammation and more!
Lay in this pose for 10-15 minutes or as desired (try not to fall asleep- I know it’s relaxing).
The official or Sanskirt name for this pose is Viparita Karani (vip-par-ee-tah car-AHN-ee) talk about a mouht full!
For this pose, make sure your behind is 5 to 6 inches from the wall, before raising and straightening out your legs. If you are prone to lower back pain, or have a gap between your back and the ground, place a small pillow, a yoga block, blanket rolled up or bolster in the small of your back for additional support. Now, all you have to do is extend your arms to the side (as wide as you would like), lay there, breath and enjoy the moment.
This pose conquers it all and is great for: anxiety, arthritis, digestion problems, headaches, high and low blood pressure, insomnia, migraines, varicose veins and menstrual cramps. Plus, it is great for relieving lower back pain!
Hold for 5-10 minutes.
For a gentle spine stretch, lower to your knees in a tabletop position. Place your hands underneath your shoulders and separate your knees hip distance apart. Be sure to lift your head up in a neutral position, allowing for your neck to extend straight out without bending and causing strain. This is your start and ending position. Once you have found this, slowly curve your spine to touch the ceiling as you exhale. Allow your head to gently fall between your shoulders and your back to round. On the inhale, come back to you neutral tabletop position. Repeat at your desired pace.
This pose helps with stretching your back and neck, while gently massaging the spine.
Repeat 5 to 10 times.
For an energy boost, pair this with Cow pose.
Again, start in the neutral tabletop position, with the wrists in line with the shoulders and knees hip distance apart. As you inhale, lift your chest and bottom to the ceiling, while the stomach to sinks to the floor. The head should be looking straight ahead and not bent or turned to the side. On the exhale, come back into neutral tabletop and or go into Cat pose.
Similar to Cat pose, this helps to stretch the back and neck, while gently massaging the spine.
Repeat 5 to 10 times
These are merely snippets of poses you can do at home to calm your mind and relax your body. For guided yoga, YouTube has many amazing instructors.
Photos Courtesy of Yoga Journal.