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One Year Plan – By Liz Swenton

Yoga is a part of my weekly routine because of its ability to help me through life’s stressors and challenges. In exactly a year, I will be celebrating one of the biggest and happiest days of my life – my wedding! While exciting and joyful, I am aware that some moments this next year will be stressful, chaotic and overwhelming.

imagesI recently created a “One Year Plan” which includes personal goals to help me look and feel my best on the big day. Number one on the list is to continue with my weekly yoga practices and not letting anything get in the way.

Here are three benefits of a yoga routine to help prep brides for their big day:

  • Breath – Vendors (florists, DJs, hair/makeup), cake tastings, spreadsheets…Having a perfect wedding requires a lot of planning and can often cause you to feel overwhelmed. By taking three deep lions breaths, you will suddenly feel at ease and back in the zone.
  • Reduce Toxins – A heated, sweaty yoga class helps release toxins from the body (think champagne toasts at the engagement party and bridal shower) leaving your skin glowing and beautiful.
  • Toned – It’s no secret that yoga has the ability to give you a strong core, toned arms and an overall leaner look.

Some brides-to-be may strive to lose ten pounds by their big day. My “One Year Plan” is to rather gain all of the benefits yoga can offer so I can look my absolute best in my wedding dress – both mentally and physically.

As the Health Yoga Life sisters approach their three year anniversary, I would like to thank you all for your support to date and I look forward to practicing with you leading up to my wedding!

Franken-Bride?? by Siga Bielkus

WITHIN moments of announcing my engagement to the man of my dreams,  my family, friends and loved ones asked “so, have you set the date?”…  did that ever take me by surprise!  I was not even engaged for more than a few hours and I felt rushed into the future negating my present enthusiasm.  After experiencing what I believe is the best proposal ever, I wanted to stay present and revel in love, adoration, and of course the new sparkly ring on my finger!  I wanted to rewind his proposal and live it again moment by moment.  Time plays a big role in our relationship. Our pasts were complex but it was perfecting timing when we met. I knew very early on in our relationship that with him I was home, for when I’m with him time seems to simply stand still.

WITH the proposal still fresh every time someone would congratulate us they would quickly follow with “so have you saved the date?”  It seems people ask this out of habit, as opposed to really caring. But nevertheless, I would jump into thinking about “THE date” and my brain would go into an analytical rant…am I a June bride? What sort of flowers are in June?  Would it rain on the day of my wedding? Maybe not June …maybe a winter wedding… but, what if a blizzard hits and the airport shuts down. What a mess that would be! Must review the venue contracts carefully for natural disasters….!  Stopping my train of thought took more muscle than anticipated. But the muscle had to outweigh the thought, because the last thing I want is to be the Bridezilla: validating outrageous thoughts, even to the point that I could control the weather on my wedding day!

INSTEAD, I force myself to return to the present moment and simply respond, “not sure …just enjoying our engagement!” The truth is always the right answer. We are in love, and we love being engaged! Since his proposal in December 2012 our lives have been full of so many lovely moments and experiences; even the small things, like introducing each other as “my fiancé” to a new person, set us over the moon.  My fiancé and I do privately discuss our wedding plans and potential dates. [between us we actually have a date pencilled in!]

PART of the fear about announcing the date is that Bridezilla& Groom will return, and our cover of engaged love-birds will be blown.  The date implies ….guest lists, invitations, dress, tux, catering, rings, music… and on and on. Then I remember to BREATH!  I clearly see these two parts of me, one being very present when I’m with my fiancé and the other a stressed out bride controlling every last detail, which lets the wedding take on its own life, like Frankenstein.

STRESS is natural. It happens. But perhaps, there is a lesson we can all take from Mr. Frankenstein – breathing. It makes us alive. It makes us think. It makes us choose. I do not have to react to stress but can choose to notice and replace it with breath.  Like my yoga practice if I stay in the flow, and breath, I stay present. It is my life, with a wedding. Not a wedding in my life.