Managing Stress

Featured in Bridal Fantasy Magazine:2020 Edition

I’m sure you have dreamed about this moment your entire life. The day when the person you love gets down on one knee and says those four words, “Will you marry me?” Time seems to stand still, and all you feel is pure bliss. Happiness. There is nowhere else you would rather be. It is moments like this where you are experiencing being in the “now”. Fully immersed in the present. But what follows after can sometimes pull you away from this. Wedding planning.

Planning a wedding can be one of the most exciting yet stressful times for brides and grooms. From choosing a venue and wedding cake to coordinating the guest list and décor, it requires a lot of your attention and energy. It is at this time where practicing self-care, staying centered, and remembering your “why” is so important. The solution? Mediation and yoga.

What exactly is meditation and yoga?

Simply put, meditation is a mind and body practice that has a history of use for increasing calmness, improving mental and physical health, reducing stress, and enhancing overall wellbeing. We can classify meditation into three streams;

  • Concentration meditation is focusing our full attention on a word or mantra, an image or our breathe.
  • Mindful meditation is when we become fully aware of the present moment without creating attachments or judgments.
  • Guided meditation is when a teacher leads you through the meditation process. This can be experienced through hypnotherapy or yoga Nidra.

Yoga is a mind and body practice with over 5000 years of history from India. Various styles of yoga include hatha, power, kundalini, and yin, to name a few. These different styles combine physical postures, or asana, breathing techniques, meditation, and yogic philosophy. According to the Yoga Alliance, “Millions of people use various aspects of yoga to help raise their quality of life in such a diverse areas of fitness, stress, relief, wellness, vitality, mental clarity, healing, peace of mind and spiritual growth.”

Where and when should I practice?

Now, this is the great thing; yoga and meditation can be practiced anytime, anywhere! Firstly, I recommend checking out your local yoga or meditation studio. The benefits of going to a live class is foremost safety. The yoga or meditation teacher is able to address any injuries or aliments that you may be facing and offer personalized modifications for you. A live teacher will also be able to explain the breathing, asana, or meditation techniques and providing instant feedback for an effective or safe practice.

We have so many great yoga studios and instructors in YEG, so I know you’ll find one that fits well with your lifestyle, goals, and schedule. If you are too busy in between dress fittings and cake tasting to attend a live class, I recommend downloading apps such as Alo Moves or Headspace. Both give you access to a large variety of classes and exercises to choose from.

Why Meditate and Do Yoga?

Research has shown that meditation and yoga can help improve sleep, decrease anxiety, and increase muscle tone. These are physical benefits that I am sure every bride and groom would enjoy; however, the real benefit is something is much deeper: presence

As you are busy preparing for the wedding day, your mindset is on the future moment and not here in the “now”. Because of this, it is easy to miss out on the remarkable experiences that are happening throughout the process; like your best friend rocking the karaoke to Spice Girls on your bachelorette, your mom’s face when she sees you for the first time in your wedding dress. It’s cliché, but the saying, “it’s not about the destination but the journey” couldn’t ring more true. You are going to create once in a lifetime memories during this time, so it’s important to practice being present. Incorporating meditation and yoga into your daily or weekly routine will help you enjoy these moments even deeper, keep you calm on your wedding day, and help you live life to its fullest during this special time in your life. Most importantly, meditation will help you come back to your “why”. Weddings are incredible life events, but at the end of it all, it’s not about the dress or the ring, it’s about the person who said those four special words and make time stand still.

Interview Subject:

Danielle Champagne: She is a yoga teacher, a freelance writer, and a socially responsible entrepreneur. She teaches private yoga lessons, public classes at Oxygen Yoga & Fitness in Sherwood Park and teaches chair yoga sessions at a local retirement home with 2 G Fitness. She is the founder of Ombition, an ecommerce store that offers self-compassion products and gratitude journals, as well as Karma Social Marketing, an online marketing company. Danielle believes that everything starts from within and is passionate about helping others come back to their true selves. Through her work, Danielle aims to help others feel seen and heard and encourages the practice of self- love and gratitude on and off the mat.

Follow her on Instagram at @danielleanayah

Or @ombition to find out more.

Citations: http//www.yogaalliance.org/About_yoga/What_is_Yoga

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