How Yoga Practices Can Lessen Wedding Planning Stress

Planning a wedding is probably one of the most stressful parts of being in a relationship. There are so many moving parts to coordinate and communicate, making it really easy to feel overwhelmed and out of control. Even with help from family, friends, and wedding professionals, stress can build quickly! With that in mind, I want to share another passion of mine with you that can help you lessen some of the stress of wedding planning.

While Kyle was deployed for most of 2022, I completed a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. Our little cohort spent Tuesday evenings and one weekend a month together learning the history and cultural significance of yoga, how to safely guide others through a yoga practice, and how to share our love of yoga in a way that honors and respects that history. Our lead instructor, Christine Griggs (check her out at Yin Traveler), is passionate about sharing the stories of yoga in order to have an authentic practice that embraces the roots of yoga teachings. She fueled my passion for bringing yoga into every facet of my life so that I can share some of this wisdom with you!

Woman in reverse warrior yoga pose | How Yoga Practices Can Lessen Wedding Planning Stress

Photo courtesy of Maurice Kleinman

Yoga Is More than You Think!

First things first: Yoga is more than you think it is! When people hear “yoga” they often think it is about going to a class at a gym or studio and following the instructions of a teacher. In reality, yoga has many parts - 8 in fact - but I’m only going to cover a couple here. The rest deserve more in-depth teaching than a simple little blog post! The two limbs of yoga I want to share with you today are Asana and Pranayama.

Asana is most likely what you’re picturing when I say “yoga”. Asana is the Sanskrit word for “seat” as in taking a seat to meditate, but it has evolved to also mean “posture” or “pose”. If you’ve ever taken a yoga class you may have heard your instructor say some things that end with “asana” such as Tadasana (mountain pose) or Savasana (corpse pose). In that scenario, “asana” is added to the end of a Sanskrit word to indicate the name of a yoga pose. When you take a yoga class, you probably leave feeling a bit lighter and more relaxed because one of the benefits of yoga practice is lessening stress and anxiety.

Sadly, as much as we would love to take an hour or more every day to take a yoga class, it isn’t always a priority in our busy, get-things-done lives. So I wanted to share a couple brief techniques with you that come from another limb of yoga - Pranayama - that can be done in just a few minutes! Pranayama has many translations, but in its most basic form, it is all about our “life force” aka our breath! In the thousands of years of yogic tradition, many breathing techniques have been developed to enhance the body’s health and help it function optimally. When practiced regularly, pranayama techniques can aid in stress reduction and help you have a clear, focused mind.

Woman holds crow pose (yoga) | How Yoga Practices Can Lessen Wedding Planning Stress

Photo courtesy of Maurice Kleinman

Alternate Nostril Breathing - Yoga Practice to Lessen Wedding Planning Stress

My favorite Pranayama practice for lessening stress is Nadī Shodhana, alternate nostril breathing. To practice this, get in a comfortable position, preferably seated (on the floor, at your desk chair, whatever works) and bring a gentle close to your eyes. Place your left hand on your left knee, allowing it to relax. Prepare your right hand for the breathing exercise by tucking your middle and pointer fingers down - you’ll use your thumb and ring finger for this! Exhale fully, then lift your right hand up and use your thumb to close your right nostril. Inhale. Use your ring finger to close your left nostril, release your thumb from the right nostril. Exhale. Inhale. Use your thumb to close your right nostril, release your ring finger from the left nostril. Exhale. Repeat!

It can be a little tricky to get the hang of at first, but once you read through it a couple times while practicing the motions, it becomes mindless. There’s a lot of differences in thought regarding how many cycles you should do, so I typically recommend checking in with yourself during your practice. If you are feeling more relaxed and at ease, do 3-5 more rounds to really solidify it!

As I become more grounded in my yoga education, I hope to share more insights with you so you can be happy, healthy, and stress-free, all while getting some photos of your gorgeous self!

Disclaimer: Yoga is a culturally and spiritually significant practice with a long and rich history. This post is intended to bring one of the benefits of yoga practice to an audience that may have not been exposed to it otherwise. My hope is that I provide an authentic and honest representation of yogic philosophy and history, but I acknowledge that I am human and I make mistakes. If any part of this post feels offensive, inappropriate, etc. please send me your feedback using the form below.

Woman holds king pigeon yoga pose | How Yoga Practices Can Lessen Wedding Planning Stress

Photo courtesy of Maurice Kleinman