There are all kinds of workouts you can do before your wedding, but yoga is especially beneficial for stressed out brides! We spoke to yoga instructor Annabel Fitzsimmons to get the low down on a workout that includes downward dog!
Today’s Bride: What makes yoga such a good form of exercise?
Annabel Fitzsimmons: Yoga is an excellent form of exercise because it is an overall body workout that builds strength and flexibility, while maintaining a balanced body. Yoga also builds a strong core, which is essential for good posture – and what bride wants to be slouching in her wedding pics?!
TB: What makes it especially good for stressed out brides before their wedding?
AF: Wedding planning can be overwhelming, and yoga offers various ways to combat stress. Breathing exercises, meditation, and relaxation techniques are all components of a yoga practice that can help alleviate wedding worries. Brides can use these techniques to maintain perspective, calm their minds and bodies when anxieties creep in, and to help let go of unnecessary stresses and stay focused on what is truly important.
TB: How do you know which type/style of yoga is right for you?
AF: There are many different styles of yoga and every yoga teacher has their own individual approach.
If you’re seeking a vigorous workout or a faster-paced class, look for descriptions like: vinyasa yoga, Ashtanga yoga, power yoga or vigorous flow yoga. A hot yoga class is also a guaranteed way to break a sweat.
If you’re particularly stressed and in serious need of relaxation, search out a slower-paced class with descriptions like restorative yoga, gentle yoga, a Hatha class for beginners or yoga for relaxation.
If you’re looking for a more spiritual or meditative class (which also works the body physically), you might try Kundalini yoga, Kripalu yoga or Jivamukti yoga.
Since each teacher and class can vary greatly, it is recommended you try a few different styles to find the yoga that best suits your needs.
TB: What kinds of equipment do you need to do yoga?
AF: The beauty of yoga is that it can be done anywhere, and all you need is a mat (although some styles of yoga do work with props like blocks, straps, and bolsters). If you don’t have access to a yoga studio or local classes, there are countless DVDs, yoga apps, and online yoga classes available.
TB: How often should you practice to reap the benefits?
AF: There is no fixed number for how often you should practice yoga. Most people begin by doing yoga one or two times a week, and begin to see and feel positive changes within a month. But there are some yoga disciplines that encourage you to practice daily. Obviously, the more you practice, the more you will feel the benefits, both mentally and physically.
Pictured here – Our Editor’s Pick: The BMat is a great mat that prevents slippage even in hot yoga classes!