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Friday, February 7, 2014

15 Things I Learned About Weddings; 1 Important Thing I Learned About Myself

1.) As much as this is supposed to be your big day, it's also your parents' big day.  The sooner you succumb to this fact the better.

2.) Hire the officiant who wants to know all about you guys and how you met and not the one who skips over this entirely.

3.) Definitely have a videographer film the ceremony.  As the bride, you make your entrance last, so unless you have this video, you'll never get to see your flower girl, ring bearer, and bridal party do their thing; these moments are precious and not to be missed.  Watching your dad's face as he walks you down the words.

4.) You and your fiancĂ© just may have the worst fight in the history of your relationship the week of the wedding.  Don't lose your head; you guys are not yourselves at this moment in time.

5.) On the day of the rehearsal dinner, do nothing.  The only commitments you should make that day are to the nail salon and your yoga mat.

6.) Do not hem and haw over which shade of cream for the tablecloths or obsess over a certain kind of flower.  On the day of, these details will seem arbitrary, and you'll feel really silly for ever getting emotional over swatches at a place called The Cloth Connection.  Flowers are fickle; there's no sense in getting attached because there's a chance the flower you dreamt about won't even be at the markets that day. Just go with your intuition, make a decision, and keep it moving.

7.) Don't buy a thing for the honeymoon.  You just got married; you're broke.  You will be gifted plenty of lingerie and just ask your bridesmaids and girlfriends to loan you some of their favorite bikinis and cover-ups.  If you're going somewhere cold for your honeymoon, I can't talk to you.

8.) Take dancing lessons!  Learning to dance together properly is an important skill to have all your life.  Our five lessons of learning to follow, lead, communicate, and trust were better premarital counseling than any therapist could have given us.

9.) Break in your shoes around your house at least three weeks prior to the big day.

10.) Take your honeymoon right away!  After your wedding, you will be exhausted in a way you've never experienced before, and to do anything else but get on a plane and go far away from everyone
you know, would feel downright wrong.

11.) Go ahead and get some ambien from your sister-in-law.  Even if you don't take it, you'll find comfort in the fact that it's there...but you'll take it.  What kind of yoga blog is this?

12.) Make sure your wedding planner or someone wraps up cake for you guys to eat in bed... with your fingers... while wearing your wedding dress.

13.) Paying for a hair and makeup trial ahead of time is an absolute must. You can't leave that up to chance; you want to look like a bride, not like Miss Oklahoma.

14.) Wear something on your head: a veil, a flower crown, a birdcage... a tiara if that's your journey. It's now or never people!

15.) Something will go wrong.  Nothing is perfect except for love, the love you share for each other and the love that everyone in the room has for the two of you.  It's momentous and beautiful, overwhelming and emotional.  It makes everything worth it.

This whole wedding planning process taught me that I like control... a lot.  The desire to over manage certain aspects of my life comes from the scary realization that in this world, I actually control very little.  If you're like me, and from time to time you need a reminder to loosen your grip and go with the flow, here are my Yogic Solutions:

1.) On your mat, before you begin your practice, Set the Intention to Let Go! The next time you're struggling in a pose, ask yourself, "What am I holding onto that I can let go of?" Maybe it's your shoulders, maybe it's the conversation you just had with your mother; with your next exhalation, release whatever it is that is holding you back.  Learning to soften our approach in a pose, to grip less, and surrender more, can help us do the same in our lives.

2.) Do a hip opening practice.  The hips are related to the second chakra, the sacral or Svadisthana Chakra.  This energy center governs our ability to go with the flow.  The next time you're feeling a little too set in your ways, just drop and give me pigeon :)

3.) Rest in a cozy restorative posture like Supta Badha Konasana.  It can feel vulnerable at first to be
so open, relying solely on the props to support you, but soon it will feel blissful to just Let Go.

4.) It is also beneficial to try an exercise that Judith Lasater recommends in her book Living Your Yoga. Give someone, your significant other, friend, son/daughter, etc., control over one evening.  Let that person choose the restaurant, movie, activity, etc. and pay attention to what comes up for you.  I did this with my husband, and right away I wanted to jump out of my skin, into his head, and make his brain sway in the direction of my preference.  Just breathe and remind yourself that it is your intention to let go.  I promise you will still have a lovely evening, and he won't make you watch Sports Center all night.