Summer’s coming, and along with it is wedding season. That means some of you are now preparing for what is expected to be one of the most memorable and special days of your life. Naturally that’s really exciting, but it can also bring a fair amount of extra stress. This month I’m sharing three key ways that yoga can help you prepare; both mentally and physically, for your wedding day.

Of course, you don’t have to be getting married to find a reason to give yoga a try. These benefits apply to anyone who’s looking to cope with the expectations, pressures and dramas that go hand-in-hand with any big event, or just everyday life.

1. A physical practice to get you into shape and feeling great.
Whether you are looking to tone up, trim down, or have more energy and less tension, the physical practice of yoga has so much to offer. Yoga classes vary from strong, sweaty, flowing classes that help you build strength and fitness while toning and detoxing the body, to more gentle and relaxing forms to help you destress and release tension.

Yoga is an excellent low impact form of exercise, ideal for all bodies and fitness levels. It works your entire body and has a dual effect of promoting relaxation, helping with issues such as stress or sleep problems, while also naturally boosting energy levels by activating energy channels throughout the body.

It’s an ideal practice to develop better movement, poise, radiance and confidence in your body (and what bride doesn’t want to shine with all these qualities?).

2. Learn to breathe better
Yoga is a breath-centred practice and can teach you breathing habits that support relaxation and wellbeing.

The way we breathe reflects our state of being and has a direct impact on our nervous system, and therefore our ability to relax; as well as influencing many other processes in the body that support health and wellbeing.

Full diaphragmatic breathing is becoming a lost art, but is one of the most simple and effective ways to de-stress and promote relaxation. Some yoga breathing techniques could really support you on your wedding day, especially if you have a tendency towards anxiety or panic attacks.

3. Establish a meditation practice to become more mindful
With so much riding on creating the ‘perfect’ wedding day, there is a risk of becoming so swept up in a whirl of excitement, or micro-managing details on the day, that you actually forget to experience it to the fullest.

You want to be able to look back on your wedding day and know that you savoured every moment completely. This means really being ‘present’ – taking in each spoken word, and all those unspoken moments of exchanged looks, smiles, embraces, and all the interactions with your nearest and dearest.

Sometimes we are not very good at ‘living the moment’ and being present and embodied in ourselves and our experiences – in other words, being mindful.

Establishing a basic meditation practice in the lead up to your wedding can help you develop these skills.

Meditation will help you slow down your rushing mind, to really ‘be’ in the present moment, and pay attention to the little details that truly enrich our experience of life.

If you have a couple of months’ lead-in time to establish a yoga practice now, you’ll get to your wedding day in better physical form, more relaxed and mindful.
So you can go forth and fully enjoy one heck of an amazing day.