Weddings are all about connecting. First and foremost, with your future spouse, but also with your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and random plus-ones you later realize probably didn’t need to be there in the first place. So, why is it, that with all this connecting at weddings, most yogis forget to bring the one thing that they need to connect with most to their own wedding planning – their yoga practice?
In modern-day weddings with over-the-top budgets, centerpieces and floral arrangements, inviting our ancient, sacred, minimalist yoga practices in might seem like a bit of a contradiction. But, trust me, whether you are a life-long practitioner or a newbie yogi, it will be the best decision you ever made! And here is why…
1) You Want to be a Zen Bride, not a Bridezilla. Your Wedding Day should be all about you, but as we all know from experience, that’s usually not the case. Carve out just one hour where you can focus fully on you and your needs before all the festivities begin. You will emerge out of Savasana and float into your wedding day as a calm, glowing Bride instead of a freaked-out and frazzled Bridezilla.
Imagine crafting your perfect yoga class – all of your favorite poses, just a few chaturangas and the music and quotes of your choice. Or, if after months of planning the big day, you are feeling more hands-off, just ask your favorite yoga teacher to create the perfect class for you. I recommend lots of Sun Salutations, heart openers like Camel and Wheel, and a long, restorative ending with Savasana.
My now-husband and I had been taking class with the super soulful Zoe for the year leading up to our wedding, so we approached her and asked if she would lead our Wedding Day Flow. She was honored and put together the perfect class for us, complete with an unexpected acoustic rendition of “Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones. It was truly magical. Those lyrics will stay with me forever, “And I want to walk with you on a cloudy day in fields where the yellow grass grows knee-high, so won't you try to come?”
2) Something will go wrong; it always does! The caterer is running late, my sister and bridesmaid are in a fight, my other bridesmaid is begging to bring a last minute date, and our Chuppah (wedding arch) just flew off the back of my husband’s truck. And it’s only 9:30 am.
Disclaimer: including yoga in your wedding won’t exempt you from having day-of blunders. But, it will help immensely with how you react to what is going on all around you. Like being in the middle of a tornado and sitting in Lotus pose, breathing smooth, calm Ujjayi breath. That’s exactly how I felt at 9:30 am as I was getting my hair and makeup done, and it made me ever-so grateful for my yoga practice.
3) Weddings are all about connecting. I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Weddings are supposed to be all about connecting, especially with your fiancé, as you embark on a new life together. And for those of us who live in different states or countries than our families, weddings have also evolved into family reunions of sorts. But, the whole idea of connecting with loved ones can quickly get overshadowed by missing RSVPs, seating charts and last-minute rehearsals. So, taking a precious hour to experience a heart-based practice alone with your future spouse or with your entire bridal party (like we did!) will bring everyone back to remembering the importance and sacredness of the day.
4) Share a deeper side of you. When I originally extended the invite for our Wedding Day Flow to the bridal party, I expected my bridesmaids, my mom and a few other “active” family members to participate. Surprisingly, over 30 close friends and family members joined us – including my 81 year old Grandma! People come from far and wide to honor you and your fiancé as you embark on a new journey and want to be a part of the entire experience. This was the biggest lesson I learned that weekend. I spent months and months thinking about what other people wanted out of my wedding – when I was forgetting to see that everyone was there simply to support, honor and connect with us. Allow them in. Let them experience the depth and beauty that is you and your yoga practice.
If all of this sounds too overwhelming, arrange a fun, upbeat yoga class for just you and your bridesmaids, or an intimate partner yoga session for you and your future spouse. No one looks back wishing they hadn’t included yoga in their wedding day. I know lots of yogis who now regret not having made the space for it…
5) Keepin’ it Classy. If the spiritual and lovey-dovey stuff just isn’t doing it for you, then consider this, purely on a physical level: One hour of movement on the morning of will jump-start your metabolism, so you won’t get nearly as drunk on all that champagne or nearly as bloated from the delicious catering and cakes you will definitely indulge in. And nothing is worse than looking back at your beautiful wedding photos to find a messy, drunk, not-at-all Zen Bride.
Did you include yoga in your wedding? If so, what poses resonated most with you on that day? Did you arrange a class the day before or morning of? Please share your experience below!