The Gift of Presence -

FitnessHealthThe Gift of Presence

December 10, 2018Maggie Aynsley

Planning a wedding can stress you out. No bride envisions her big day as being anything less than perfect, and with so many responsibilities it can be overwhelming. It is understandable that you may get swept up in it, worrying about the weather, the menu, the guest-list, the music, the photos, the decor, the dress and so much more – all the while fretting over if everyone is having the best time. You need to take time for yourself. You need to de-stress.

Leading up to my own wedding, I immersed myself in Power Yoga Canada’s 200-hour yoga teacher certification program. The training gave me the time to reflect and ask myself what was truly important in my life. At the time, I remember thinking I had maybe bitten off more than I could chew. I was working full time as a school teacher, planning a destination wedding for a whopping 85 guests, and completing an intensive yoga teacher training course. Looking back though, I have such clarity that my yoga training was no hindrance.  Taking time for myself and my yoga study provided me with the greatest gift of all: the practice of presence.

During the months leading up to my wedding, I was fully committed to my yoga practice. I was hitting my mat at least five times a week. The physical act provided the benefits of feeling healthy, while also helping me meet my personal goals of what I wanted to feel and look like when I put on my dress on the day I had dreamed of for so long. What was even more apparent, during the week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with my family and friends, was that I had gained so much more than physical benefits. The emotional clarity was tremendous. I was fully present for every moment and every person that was there to celebrate my husband-to-be and me.

Yes, it is true, yoga strengthens your muscles and improves your flexibility. Beyond the actual asanas, the gift of your yoga practice moves far beyond your yoga mat. Yoga teaches you that you are in control of how you react and perceive your surroundings. Yoga teaches you to surrender to what is, and to let go of the idea of everything needing to be perfect. Yoga teaches you to celebrate the abundance in your life. You need to let go of obsessive perfectionism on your wedding day so that you can truly celebrate with those that you love. Yoga will help get you there.

During my practice, I was gifted the opportunity to move my body, breathe deeply, and ground myself. Your yoga practice can offer the same, whether it be before, on the day of, or after your wedding, yoga will give you the gift of recognizing all that you already have and are, rather than what you “need” to be or how you “need” your big day to look. Yoga is the gift. Unwrap it and enjoy.

by Maggie Aynsley
Certified Yoga Instructor
Power Yoga Canada

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