Recently, while attending a rehearsal dinner, I listened to a toast given by the grandfather of the groom. Among his many gems of advice, one stuck out the most: “Just show up” he said.
“When you are nervous at the alter tomorrow, just show up. When you have your first fight as a married couple and don’t want to go home, just show up. When your wife is exhausted and falling apart, just show up.”
I was struck by how similar this speech felt to my experience with meditation and yoga. Whether it’s the showing up at the studio, on your mat, or simply in your breath, one of the most valuable lessons in yoga is in the showing up. This is often not an easy feat. Our easily distractible minds provide us with plenty of excuses to look the other way.
I recently had the pleasure of spending some time with the fabulous ladies at Yoga Roots in Shelburne, VT. I decided to reach out to the very wise Heidi White Kvasnak, co-owner of Yoga Roots, to ask her more about this topic.
Why is the practice of yoga beneficial as you prepare to get married?
Simply put, yoga helps you stay present and available to yourself, and hence, to your partner. It also helps you to stay present to what is truly important on your big day. Wedding planning, and all of the details that go along with it, can be overwhelming and exhausting. Practicing yoga reminds us of the love and the interconnectedness of friends, family and all things.
How are marriage and yoga similar?
The word “yoga” means to join or “yoke,” mind, body, and spirit. Yoga helps us to remember that we are more than our jobs, our to-do lists, and our roles in life. Yoga connects us back to our true nature or essence. Our true nature feels much like those first dates and months of getting to know another person: we feel open, beautiful, sweet, youthful and loving. Marriages stay strong when couples remember their unique connection to each other and take the time to honor that bond, their love, and commitment. Practicing yoga and meditation together is a way to connect back to the space of your true nature, and in that space, you feel that deep love and respect renewed again and again. It is much easier to be forgiving and patient when you reside in that space.
Have you ever hosted a yoga party for a bride-to-be and her bridal party?
YES! It is a beautiful time to teach yoga before the wedding. Everyone attending is so open-hearted and joyful. Practicing together creates a bond that unites you when you are in the midst of the service and also helps to dissolve any tension or nerves. Yoga helps keep everything light. Additionally, it also helps you to be able to take in your special day, as opposed to being so distracted that you can’t thoroughly enjoy it.
Do you offer a “wedding package” for brides who are looking to practice leading up to their wedding?
YES! We love working with brides (and grooms if they wish!) to customize experiences for them to practice yoga, meditation, chanting, intention setting and more! We have many options available and can create a package for you whether you live locally or are from out of town.
What advice would you give to new couples, as it relates to your work?
Carve out time for yourselves each day. Look at each other and just breathe together.
Make Yoga dates and then go out for dinner after – maybe invite another couple to join you. Try a Couples/Partner Yoga class. Sit at home back to back, close your eyes and breathe together. This time will reconnect you to the quiet space beneath the stress and noise of your day and leave you refreshed and ready for whatever is next.