Real Advice From a Real Bride: YogaBabes

I love this segment we do every so often!  My former brides pass on advice now that they have been through it all!  A bride very near and dear to me, Jessica, shared some of her advice with me to post and I think it is so awesome.  She was working on becoming a yoga instructor during the planning process and she has passed on some fabulous poses and advice....although I don't think it's possible to look as good as she does in the pictures...gosh darn her!  Anyways, enjoy!

"In one month and one day I will have been married for one year! With our anniversary fast approaching, I have recently found myself reflecting back not only on the magical day itself but also those hectic last few weeks leading up to our wedding. The work it takes to make your wedding so special and flawless is, as all of you brides-to-be already know, tremendous. I was blessed to have found Holly early on in my planning process, so I had plenty of help along the way. Yet even with all the help in the world, planning a wedding can still at times a very arduous and emotionally draining process – am I right ladies?

Holly has asked me if I have any advice for her beautiful brides and I do. My biggest piece of advice is to make sure you take care of yourself. It is easy to forget about ‘you’ while busy taking care of day-to-day errands, taking care of the wedding contracts, and taking care of addressing all the save-the-dates (because let’s be real, your husband’s handwriting just won’t do). Do make a conscious effort to take a break from all things wedding at least once a day and do something just for yourself. This doesn't mean take a break from wedding stuff to work on other 'work' or chip away at your non-wedding to-do list. Taking a break really means taking a break! It can be journaling, knitting, reading, running, surfing, baking… anything that brings you happiness.

While I was wedding planning, I really relied on yoga as my 'break'. I found yoga to be cathartic, calming, grounding, and it left me feeling more positive. Participating in exercise of any kind is a fabulous way of effectively managing stress since exercise produces endorphins (your happy hormones). Interestingly enough, yoga made such an impact on my life, that shortly after my wedding I became a yoga teacher!

I have created a Simply Sweet and Stress-free series of asanas (poses) that you can try next time you feel like taking a break from wedding planning! I hope you enjoy the poses and my advice and they bring some peace to your very busy life. Never forget that all of your hard pre-wedding work will be worth it come your big day."
Simply Sweet and Stress-free Yoga
1.    Child’ Pose –. Bring your knees out wide, big toes to touch and sit on your heels. Lay your torso forward between your thighs. Extend arms out. Stay as long as comfortable.
2.    Puppy Pose- come onto all fours, so that your shoulders are above your wrists and your hips are above your knees. Walk your hands forward a few inches, engage your arms and keep them where they are as you gently pull your hips back and up. Maintain this pose for 15-30 seconds.
3.    Cat Cow Pose- Again start on all fours. Inhale to Cow, arch your back so your navel reaches for the ground and your tailbone and gaze reach up to the sky. Exhale to Cat, arch your back so that your tailbone points down and so does your gaze. Repeat Cat-Cow 3-5Xs.

4.    Bridge- come onto your back. Bend your knees and bring your heels right up to your bottom. Send your hips up high, tuck your shoulders under and grasp your hands under your torso. Gaze is straight up at the ceiling. Release your hands when ready to release the pose. Hold for 15-30 seconds before your slowly lower.

5.    Standing Forward Fold. Come up to standing and with a flat back slowly fold forward. When fully folded, arms can rest on the thighs, shins, or floor (but never on the knees). Stay in this stretch for 15-30 seconds and rise ever so slowly.

6.    Reclining Bound Angle Pose- Come to your back for our final pose. Bend your knees and let them fall open and bring the soles of your feet to touch. Close your eyes and focus on your breath (not on wedding planning hehe) and enjoy!

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