Let's face it: Your wedding is arguably one of the most important days of your life. Sadly, the pressure to make it so can take a toll on your mind and body, leaving you feeling stressed, run down, and impatient. Between hiring a photographer, finding the perfect wedding dress, and booking your venue, you could forget to just breathe and relax. One great way to combat those negative feelings is with a little yoga. "Yoga is a great way of staying on top of your stress while you plan your wedding," says Patricia Friberg, a yoga instructor and the creator of Belly Beautiful Workouts. "It can also help to calm you and keep you feeling present."
Luckily, there are quite a few yoga poses you can do (even in your own home!) to help you unwind and find your zen. Here three yoga instructors give you their favorite moves for staying cool, calm, and collected.
Balasana (Child's Pose)
To ease the mind Alice Jong, a yoga instructor at the New York Health & Racquet Club, recommends starting with child's pose. "It can reduce stress and helps you to reconnect to the inner self," she says. Kneel on the floor with your big toes touching. Keeping your hips pressed towards the heels, fold your body over your thighs and extend your arms in front of you. Stay in this position for at least 10 deep breaths. During this time close your eyes, focus your attention on your breezing, and just relax.
Adho Mukha Svasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Friberg likes going from child's pose into downward dog, since inversions can help with digestion, fatigue, and tension in the upper back and neck. "It also calms the mind and prepares you for a good night's sleep," she says. From extended child pose come onto your feet with straight or slightly bent legs. Press your hips up and away from the shoulders into and inverted "v" position while keeping your toes, feet, and knees parallel. Then, press your palms into the floor, draw your shoulders away from your years, and hold the pose for five breaths. Once you're finished, then come back into child pose and then repeat again.
Alissa Dandrilli Laterza, yoga instructor at Babylon, New York's, Fitness Incentive, loves a good vinyasa flow. "The sound of your breath, plus rhythm and repetition of the flow stimulates peace, calm, energy," she says. "It can also improve flexibility, cardio fitness, and muscle tone." Stand tall with your feet together and hands in prayer position at your heart. Inhale, then raise your arms overhead, pressing your palms together and reading towards the sky. Lean back with an arched back, then exhale and dive forward. Relax at your lowest point before inhaling as you unfold halfway.
Exhale and step your left foot back into runner's lunge position, then float your right foot back to meet it. Pause in plank position before slowly lowering down halfway into push-up position with your arms in at your ribs, elbows at your waist, and your back flat as a table. Drop your legs to the floor and straighten your arms to come into upward dog. After taking a deep breath, lift your hips towards the sky and move into downward dog. Float your right leg forward to lunge position, then pull your left leg forward to meet it. Inhale, lengthen, and rise to begin the sequence again on your other leg.