Namaste, beautiful people! I’m so stoked to be talking yoga with you babes this morning! Now, don’t run a mile if you’re yet to become a seasoned yogi! Yoga is for everyone, no really everyone! And whether you’ve been practicing daily for years, or have never set foot on a yoga mat, it could be the very thing your wedding festivities need!

Today we’re talking all things wedding yoga. Be that a soulful, centred hen party, a much-needed calming addition to your wedding prep, or even a festival-favourite activity for your wedding guests! However you choose to incorporate yoga into your wedding plans, we’d like to highly recommend and endorse that you do!

 

Who?

So, while wedding yoga is quite the thing in America and Australia, it’s pretty new in the UK. So you better believe I jumped at the chance when the lovely Beverley Wass asked if I’d like to attend a pre-wedding yoga session she was teaching (the evening before, in a field at their outdoor venue – the dream!) for a sweet bride in the Cotswolds.

Beverly blew my mind a little when we first met; she drew the beautiful parallel between yoga, meaning ‘union’ or ‘yoking’, and marriage… I mean, it’s a match made in heaven! And let me tell you, she does such a beautiful job with wedding yoga. From the fresh flowers courtesy of Let Love Bloom, to thoughtful choice of incense, to her Mantra tree (a beautiful tree with little hanging affirmations to choose from and be mindful of throughout the class).

The class is tailored to how you (as the bride and/or groom) want to feel. For example, the bride at the session I attended knew she would feel best on her wedding day if she felt like she’d worked out – she wanted to feel strong! – and Beverly’s Yoga totally catered to that! A beautiful, perfectly paced Vinyasa flow class, focused on engaging the core while also steadying the mind, culminating in an assisted Savasana (which is the super relaxing ‘Corpse’ pose, laid prone on your back) whereby Beverley gave all those opting in a gorgeous (trust me, it felt so good!) forehead/neck/shoulder massage with a lavender and chamomile balm. Leaving the bride (and her team) feeling empowered and grounded, ready for her wedding the next day…

Sound appealing? Read on, yogi babes!

Guys, it was so beautiful! And fear not, if you don’t live near Beverley (GL52 8BA), try approaching you local yoga teacher, or if you attend classes, ask your teacher if they’d be up for catering to your wedding yoga needs.

 

Why?

It’s a very good question, and the answer isn’t simply because ‘yoga’s so hot right now’ (although, damn straight, it is!)

The practicing of Asanas (or postures) has incredible benefits, even in the short term, for your body and your mind. In just one hour long yoga class, your body has the potential to experience cardiovascular exercise (releasing the happy hormones, endorphins, into your system!), toning of the major and more intricate minor muscle groups (show me a bride who doesn’t want that?!), increased flexibility, but also strength (amazing for keeping the body in top condition in the lead up to your wedding!), and also a sense of mindfulness: as yoga both elevates the mind while also grounding and stabilising it (perfect right? You’ll be on Cloud 9, while your feet remain firmly on the ground).

Ideas + Things to Consider

  • How do you want to feel and when? For example, you might want to focus you practice on feeling energised in the weeks/days leading up to wedding (brides be hustlin’), but then shift the focus to a more calming, grounding practice the night before/morning of your wedding
  • It’s a great idea to set an intention before you begin a practice. Maybe think about writing down your intention for your wedding yoga, so you can read it back periodically to remind yourself why you’ve chosen to do Yoga during this period, and to be mindful of that during your practice. Yoga can feel so much more meaningful when practiced with specific intent
  • Choose a yoga teacher who you feel ‘gets you’. They understand why you want this focus for your wedding, and they’re keen to facilitate and guide you in that! *Warning self promo about to commence* …If you’re in the Midlands area, give me a shout! I recently qualified to teach!

What?  

You say ‘Yoga’ and invariably, most people jump into a tree pose, or close their eyes, pinch their finger and thumb together and say ‘ommm’, when in fact Yoga can be a million different things, and knowing what style of practice and what vibe you want for your wedding yoga is gonna be vital to your enjoyment and success.

Ideas + Things to Consider

  • What style of yoga do you want to do? From Ashtanga (a demanding, athletic practice), to Bikram (that’s the sweaty, hot yoga!), or something much more chill, like a restorative Yin class. Explore all the main styles here, and try them on for size wherever possible
  • What will you need – surprisingly little! You’ll need a yoga mat (not an exercise mat!), some fairly form fitting clothing if you’re comfortable in that, and potentially a yoga strap and block to aid with your poses, and a blanket if you’re prone to getting cold!
  • What other yogic elements would you like to include in your wedding yoga? Be specific with your teacher (if they’re open to that) to make sure you get the exact experience you’d like:
    • Consider practicing the salutations and asanas to music (if so, what music?)
    • Do you have favourite poses? Maybe you love a Crow pose, or you’re a forward bend lover? Or is there something you really don’t enjoy? Remember this is your wedding yoga – so ask your teacher to tailor it to you!
    • Would you like a scent burning (if so, what scent? And would you prefer it to be diffused, rather than burnt?)
    • If your wedding yoga takes the form of a hen party, or weekly gathering with your bridal party, maybe also consider introducing some yogic snacks or drinks (read more about a yogi diet here)
    • How long do you want to practice for? And how often?
    • Do you want to include meditation, Pranayama (breath work, super important and crucial for focusing the mind), or an assisted Savasana to finish (treat yo’self!)

 

Where?

Where you yoga is a surprisingly crucial aspect to your practice! And while it’s great to dream about beautiful outdoor spaces (and do take full advantage of that opportunity if it arises!) it’s best to get your practical head on when considering your practice space.

Ideas + Things to Consider

  • Depending on when you plan to practice, you might need to identify the perfect space at your venue (inside or out), or local to home if you plan to practice with team bride (or private sessions) in the lead up to the big day, or maybe enquire about a space at your hen party location, or even during your honeymoon?! (Couple goals AF)
  • What makes a good yoga space? A relatively flat, hard surface, a warm temperature (nobody wants a pulled muscle!), the ability to change the lighting to suit the mood, enough space for x number of mats (staggering the mats can really help with this!) and finally as few distractions as possible (noise wise!)
  • Think outside the box – we’re talking rooftop yoga, yoga on the deck, stand up paddle board yoga, aqua yoga (so nice!!), yurt yoga… Maybe you could hike up a mountain then yoga with a view?! The possibilities are endless!!
  • If practicing in a group, it’s also a really nice idea to consider how you’d like the class to be laid out: do you want to be in lines facing your teacher? Or with mats arranged in a crescent moon shape (nice for smaller groups). Do you want the mats to face the teacher (which may be your teacher’s preference) or a focal point, such as a statue, candle, or maybe one of these beautiful mantra wall hangings from Urban Outfitters?

When?

Sorry to get down and practical on y’all, but this is another logistical element. I find a lot of people never quite get around to yoga (myself included sometimes!), we seem to take a rather abstract approach toward it: ‘Oh I’ll practice at some point today, when I feel like it’ …Sound familiar?

The answer is to a) prioritise it, and b) schedule that bad boy in! Like you would with any other important appointment, your time with your yoga mat won’t just manifest itself, you need to carve out that time for yourself. So get planning!

Ideas + Things to Consider

When might you plan to practice yoga during your wedding experience?

  • You could ask your maids to plan it into your hen party, or the groomsmen for the stag do!
  • Consider booking in a pre-wedding 6-10 week course with a teacher, either privately, as a couple, or as some bonding time with your maids if they’re game!
  • Then there’s the day before the wedding, to calm any jitters and breath away any tension
  • The morning of the wedding (I think this is an essential!) in the same way you prepare yourself with your hair + beauty treatments, prepare your mind and body ready for this incredible day
  • You could even consider including a little yoga session during your festival wedding?! It’s a festival favourite for sure, and it’d be such a fun activity for guests, or maybe even just the kids!
  • You could also consider a practice the day after the wedding, especially if you have guests staying/camping. It’s a fab hangover cure (not that I’m advocating alcohol as part of a Yogic diet! Ha!) and a lovely, mindful way to complete the festivities
  • What about a yoga retreat honeymoon?! Perfect for the seasoned yogi couple, or to maybe kickstart your yoga journey?!

And there you have it, my loves! Our guide to the who, what, when, where and why of your wedding yoga practice! Remember to check out Beverley Wass Yoga for Vinyasa flow based wedding yoga to suit your desires! She’s a total babe!

And for anyone who’s looking at all this and thinking, ‘Yeah that’s all well and good, Clare, but BUDGET.’

I hear you, babe, but you can totally set up yourself (even with very little experience) at home! Grab your maids or fiancé for a bit of moral support, get your hands on a mat if you can, and check out Yoga with Adriene for incredible free yoga tutorials to suit your every mood. Just be careful, and listen to your body!

Now take a deep inhale through your nose, and a nice long slow exhale through the mouth.

Namaste, babes. Namaste.

 

Peace + Love 

 

Clare XO

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