Yoga is a great way to help prepare your body physically and mentally for your wedding day. Not only does it tone you up, but it also relieves the everyday stresses of wedding planning and difficult family members. Here are 9 yoga poses that will help you achieve your wedding bod while also getting peace of mind at the same time.
Novice Yoga Poses
Three Part Breath
Start your yoga session out with the three part breath. This part does not require you to sit in a certain position but instead focuses on calming down and slowing your heart rate. Simply get into a comfortable position (sitting down or lying down), place one hang on your belly, and close your eyes. Now is the time to start focusing on your breathing pattern. As you begin to feel your stomach rise and fall, gently place your hand on you collar bone and feel your chest rise. When you are aware of your breathing, put your arms to your side and continue to breath for 5-10 minutes.
The Cobbler’s Pose is a perfect pose that helps stretch and relax your muscles. This pose stretches your inner thighs, groin, and hips while improving oxygen flow in your chest. To do this pose, start off by bending your knees and drawing the heels of your feet inward toward your body. Then, if you are able, put the soles of your feel together and hold them with your hands. Lengthen your spine and relax your buttocks to experience a nice stretch. Close your eyes and focus on your natural breathing. Assume this position for 5-10 minutes.
Reclined Spinal Twist Pose
Experience a full body stretch, and perhaps some pops and cracks, when doing the reclined spinal twist. A pose that is normally chosen to wind down a yoga session, it is best known for releasing spinal tension and calming the mind. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground, feel free to take a pillow to rest your head on if needed. Slowly put your arms to the side while simultaneously keeping your shoulder blades glued to the floor. Exhale and put you needs to the left side of your body while gently turning your head to the right. As you hold this pose, allow yourself to feel gravity pull you deeper and deeper into the pose. Hold this pose for several breaths and then turn your knees to the right and head to the left. When you are finished, pull your knees into your body and slowly sit up.
The puppy pose is similar to child’s pose but with a bit of a lift that opens up the heart. To begin, get on all fours and make sure that your shoulders are above your wrists and your hips are above your knees, once you have done this, walk your hands a few inches forward and curl your toes. Then, as you exhale, glide your buttocks back toward your heels while keeping your elbows off of the ground. Allow your head to slowly touch the ground and keep your back at a slight curve. Hold this pose for a good back, arm, and neck stretch.
Start this pose on your hands and knees with your shoulders above your wrists and your hips above your knees, similar to the puppy pose above. Have your knees your hip’s width apart and gently let your head fall towards the ground with your gaze fixating in between your hands. Inhale and allow your stomach to sink towards the mat as you shift your gaze towards the ceiling, then relax your shoulders and exhale as you draw your belly in and life your spine to make your back round. Relax the nape of your neck as you full stretch. Repeat this movement 5-10 times to experience improved breathing and stress relief.
The dolphin pose is basically a modified downward facing dog. Instead of placing stress on your wrists, you will being using your forearms. This pose is especially great with those who suffer from carpal tunnel. The dolphin pose will help with headaches, stress, insomnia and fatigue and can also help improve your memory. Begin with sitting down with your hands on your knees. Move into the position with your shoulders above your wrists and your hips above your knees. Slowly lower your elbows to the floor, keeping your arms parallel with one another and distributing your weight evenly between them. When you are ready, lift your pelvis up to the ceiling while keeping your legs straight and extending your spine. When feeling your spine begin to round, bend your knees until it is straight once again. Allow your shoulder to be pulled in towards your hips and have your ears touch your arms. Hold this pose for 5-25 breaths.
The plow pose is one that takes practice to fully master. Start on your back and slowly bring your toes around to the floor above your head. Keep your torso perpendicular to the ground at all times if possible. While your toes are on the floor, lift your hips and upper thighs toward the ceiling in a deep stretch. Draw your groin into your pelvis and start to relax your neck away from your sternum. During the pose you can choose to use your hands to support your back or you can lie them down on either side to create stability. Hold this for 1-5 minutes and then place your hands on your back and slowly roll your body back to resting position.
The most difficult part of the handstand pose is the natural fear of falling, so to help with that, it is often practiced against a wall to support and stabilize the pose. Put your hands on the ground a shoulder widths apart and keep them parallel with one another. Make your shoulders firm and pull them tight to your torso and press your palms against the floor when making a few practice hops. When confident, fully launch yourself upside down in one fluid motion. Stay in this pose for 10-15 seconds and breath deeply before going down from the handstand.
Feather Peacock Pose
Normally performed at a wall, the feathered peacock pose is one that requires concentration and relaxation. Place your fingertips at the base of the all with your forearms parallel to each other at a shoulders width apart. To ready yourself, pull your shoulders towards your hips and broaden your shoulders by bulling your elbows into your body, press your wrists firmly against the floor. Bend one knee and step that foot closer towards the wall, extend your heel in the other leg. Take a few practice hops before sweeping your right leg in an arc form towards the ceiling. Kick off with your left leg and straighten both legs once you regain balance. Stay in this pose for 10-15 seconds and try to reach up to one minute eventually. This pose will help with balance and relieve stress and calm your mind.
All of these yoga poses can serve an important role in remaining calm, cool, and collected on the days leading up to your wedding and even the wedding day itself. Yoga provides a natural way to relieve stress and to keep your mind and body healthy. Well you are a novice, intermediate, or advanced at yoga, it will always have a calming affect on you that will help you keep your cool and help others stay calm in stressful situations, like when the caterer cancels one week before the wedding.