How Yoga Saved My Wedding

The wedding industry makes us feel like everything should be glossy and romantic.

But the reality is that the high-stakes stress of planning “a perfect wedding” can transform even the calmest yogi into bridezilla. As a highly-sensitive yoga teacher and introvert, I knew my wedding had the potential to drive me over the deep end.

Planning held the promise of fun and excitement, but quickly became tension-fraught as various family members (as well as my fiancé and myself) had dramatically different ideas about where the big day should take place. Once we survived securing a location, I found myself project-managing an endless to-do list involving vendors, save-the-dates, fittings, and budgets.

Luckily, I had my yoga practice as a powerful tool to combat all the commercialism, coordination, and crazy. Through it all there were a few lessons that shined through. Here are my top three tips for yogini brides-to-be:

1. Plan Less, Feel More

Minimize Pinterest for a moment, dim the lights, and meditate on the "energetic vision" for your big day.

In planning a huge event like a wedding, it’s easy to get lost in the details and to-dos. Take a deep breath, and allow your yoga practice to remind you that it’s what’s on the inside (your own prana or energy) that counts.

Consider: How do you want to feel on your wedding day? Serene? Confident? Calm? How do you want your guests to feel? Excited? Comfortable? In awe? What’s the energy you’re cultivating?

Once this is clear in your mind’s eye, many of the decisions on your checklist become easy.  

My vision was for serenity, a sense of timelessness, and a state of extreme calm for myself and my guests on my wedding day.

With this clarity, a lot of subsequent directives were immediately clear:

  • Serenity dictated that any venue where our guests would have to bus from the ceremony site to the venue (or any similar logistic complication) were eliminated.
  • Timelessness meant never rushing in any conversation with a guest (even when six people wanted my attention at once), as well as ultimately adhering to some of the traditions we initially weren’t that excited about, like cutting a cake.
  • The desire for a state of calm meant incorporating meditation into our ceremony and having no loud music at dinner so that people could easily hear one another

If you’re not sure about the energy you want to manifest, talk about it with your fiancé, journal on it, or do my Dream Wedding Guided Visualization, available free on my site.

2. Self-Care to the Nth Degree

I flew my yoga teacher in from another state to be with me for the whole week leading up to my wedding.

This might seem extreme, but I was 100 percent committed to doing an hour-long Kundalini practice every single morning during the busy week leading into my wedding in order to ground my energy. I knew if I had her physically with me, my 6 a.m. morning practice would never be skipped.   

When you use your yoga practice as a way to take care of yourself, you’re able to show up as your highest, most authentic self for your friends and family.

When you use your yoga practice as a way to take care of yourself, you’re able to show up as your highest, most authentic self for your friends and family. Your wedding is not a time to skip your practice because you’re operating in overwhelm and everyone wants your attention. Make the time for extreme self-care, even if it means getting up at 5 a.m.

Whether you choose to center yourself through yoga, meditation, running, or getting a massage—splurge. Build extreme self-care into the week leading up to your ceremony and into your budget. Why plan and pay for your dream wedding if you’re not also planning to feel fantastic?

3. Take Care of Yourself First

Many people asked me if I was offering yoga classes for my guests during my wedding weekend, having my husband to do yoga with me, or teaching a yoga class myself. (Answer: no, no, and no!)

If your personality is such that teaching your friends and family yoga on your wedding weekend would be relaxing for you, go for it! For me, I wanted to use my practice as a refuge from all the busyness and create a sacred space to recharge. I would have loved to offer yoga classes for my guests the morning of my wedding (taught by someone other than myself), but the logistics of my particular venue and situation made this difficult.  

Instead, I like to think that yoga touched every single one of my guests through my own calm, grounded energy. I made a goal that I didn’t want to lose my cool, raise my voice, or snap at anyone the entire week of my wedding—and I didn’t!

Your wedding is not a time to skip your practice because you’re operating in overwhelm and everyone wants your attention.

This is 100 percent because I focused on taking care of myself first through my morning yoga practice. From this centered place, I was able to handle whatever came my way with grace, including three last-minute guests, a broken microphone for my ceremony vows, and unexpected 95-degree weather.

It is possible to be so fully present that your wedding actually doesn’t whiz by you in a blur. Thanks to a disciplined yoga practice, my wedding was the most amazing, memorable day of my entire life.

For a step-by-step guide on how bring the grace and awareness you feel on your yoga mat into your wedding, check out Brett’s course for yogini brides-to-be.

Photo by heidi-o-photo

Brett larkin

Brett Larkin teaches yoga and meditation on her YouTube channel, where thousands of students study with her for more than two million minutes each month. Find her "yoga hacks," yoga teacher training tips, and free yoga/meditation classes at Brides-t...READ MORE