Posted on January 24, 2017
It’s almost time to walk down the aisle. Dozens or hundreds of eyes will be focused on you, and everything you’ve planned for will lead up to this moment. Does this scene wake up the butterflies in your stomach? You’re not alone—wedding nerves are almost as common as weddings themselves.
In the weeks leading up to my wedding, I worried about whether the best man would embarrass us in his toast, how everything could possibly live up to my expectations, and whether I’d cry during the ceremony and ruin my makeup—among other things. If you’re harboring worries about your upcoming wedding day, you’re likely experiencing some of the physical symptoms of anxiety, too:
• tension knots in your neck and shoulders
• headaches that come from that tension
• sweating more than usual
• breathing that is shorter and quicker
• a dry mouth
Of course, these symptoms are bound to give you more cause for worry! I struggled to practice my vows with my mouth so dry and my heart beating so hard in my chest. Every time I sat down to check something off of my wedding prep list, this nervous energy just came flooding in, and I struggled to get anything done. Luckily, I was able to clue into this roadblock a few weeks before my wedding day, and come up with a solution that would not only calm my nerves, but also bring me back into the present moment. For years, I’ve enjoyed yoga’s calming effect—especially when I’m stressed about work or other hangups—so it seemed the perfect response to the anxiety I was having about my wedding.
A Practice to Replace Your Time Spent Worrying
I chose four gentle yoga poses and paired them with positive affirmations to address my anxieties and symptoms together. I didn’t choose very challenging or active poses because those might serve to fuel my nerves more than calm them. (And, as an added bonus, these poses are very accessible even if you don’t have yoga experience.) I made sure to take ten minutes each morning to do this short practice, but I would also take a break in my day, if I ever felt the nerves creeping in, to repeat the practice and center myself again.
You’ve given so much energy and attention to the happiest day of your life; now give yourself some energy and attention.
This guided practice leads you, step by step, through the movements and mantras. Let’s also take a closer look at the meanings and benefits of this connected flow.
I Am Beautiful
Standing Lateral Bends: Sway with your breath to stretch the spine side to side, freeing up tension in the ribcage that might be limiting your breath. This series of movements happens as a slow dance to the rhythm of your breath. After a couple of repetitions, say silently or out loud, “I am beautiful.” Let this affirmation take the place of any concerns about your hair or makeup or how pictures will turn out. Repeat the affirmation as you repeat the flowing pose.
I Am Balanced
Dynamic Rooster Pose: Transitioning smoothly from the last, this pose allows you to play with your balances, waking it up slowly and gently. Again, you’re flowing with your breath, and when you’re ready, invite the new affirmation, “I am balanced.” Bring any worries about tripping on the aisle or losing your patience with family drama down to the ground, and breathe it away.
I Am Loved
Hug the Tension Away: Give yourself a hug while stretching out the stress in your neck and shoulders. As you hold this stretch, repeat the affirmation, “I am loved,” and let the intention warm your body and melt away the emotional and anxious tension. Remember who will be standing at the other end of the aisle waiting for you and that your family and friends are all coming out to support you in this moment.
I Am Soft
Cat and Cow: Return to awareness of your breath’s free flow—now deeper and slower after stretching out the space for your lungs to expand. This dynamic stretch will loosen up the spine and encourage smooth and soft movements as you affirm, “I am soft.” Align your intention with your breath and body to prevent any more tension from sticking around.
It’s never too early to start this healthy habit. By channeling your worries into a positive yoga practice, you’ll feel empowered as your wedding day approaches. On the big day, you’ll need only to tell yourself, “I am loved,” or, “I am soft,” and your body and mind will be reminded of relaxation and harmony—rather than worry and stress. Then, you’ll be ready to walk down the aisle, glowing from the inside out.
At Kennolyn, it’s our business to bring your wedding together with as little stress to you as possible. Part of that promise is easing the burden of planning and coordinating the details, and part of that is making way for you to be more present for yourself and your loved ones. Reach out to us to find out more about how we can make your wedding come together smoothly and peacefully.