Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Yin Yoga For Brides

I have been to a few bridal showers in my life. Bridal showers come in a lot of flavors, from a very girly spa date, to a dance lesson, to the ever-so classic with strippers and naughty games.

I was contacted by my pole friend Val for a bridal shower gig last weekend. This bridal shower was different because it will be a yoga class. I told her that my practice is yin yoga instead of the active yoga that makes us sweat. Val assured me that yin yoga would be perfect because the bride would need to destress since her wedding would be this Thursday.

With that intention in mind, I created a sequence for relaxation, destressing, and detoxifying (the detox may not necessarily mean physical detox but it can be mental or emotional detox) sequence that's beginner-friendly and consulted with Kit on my sequence. I added a few hip openers too, for emotional release and to stick with the bridal shower theme. I also prepped the students for them to bring their yoga mat and necessary props. I brought all my blocks and my YYTT bolsters and asked them to bring throw pillows, bolsters, and probably yellow pages or heavy books as makeshift blocks.

Just like every face is different in makeup, every class is different, even if you teach the same sequence. The theme for my class is detox, destress, and let go, very similar to our theme last month with Yoga For Life. While they were in their Ananda Balasana or Happy Baby pose,  I talked about inhibitions. Inhibitions may prevent us from reaching our full potential. When we limit ourselves, our potential to grow is also inhibited. Since this is a very uninhibited pose (google it if you want to know how it looks, as I assured my class that their happy babies would have no photos), I thought of  putting the idea of inhibitions here, and how it comes in many forms - judgement, self-doubt, stress, and even the total opposite, which is ego, which instead of empowering you, can actually hold you back, especially if channelled wrongly.

Let go is always an underlying theme for my yoga classes. I kinda felt like Elsa singing as of this moment.

I realized that brides also need yin. Being in the supplier side in weddings for quite some time, I have been witness at how stressful wedding preparations can be. There's the sleepless night before due to anxiety and excitedness. And during the day, our lovely bride while in the makeup chair is still answering calls and making last-minute checks or worrying about teeny tiny details. Yin is very important for a bride-to-be for the following reasons:

1. Calms the mind.
"Oh no, I have a pimple!" "Oh no, Tita X is not yet here". or "Oh no, what did I miss?" A calm mind will let you focus more. Before a big gig, I do a quick yin practice if I need my brain to focus. A good meditation to clear my thoughts of worries, a few asanas to calm my center and and with a good pentacle pose. I shared this experience to Monica, our bride. "If you remember some of the poses in the session, you can do that the morning of your wedding." A calm mind will let you focus better on how to deal with those details.

2. Relieves stress
Wedding preps take months or years and it's a whole year of yang energy of all the preps and errands. Yin yoga brings you back to your center. Driving around and walking and carrying things gets you tight on the body too and releasing the kinks on the back, hips, and shoulders feel good.

3. Softens and relaxes the body.
When the body is stiff and tense, it shows and it shows well in photos. This is the day where we will have our photos taken and we don't want to look like we're so stiff and tense. Let yin soften the body for that effortless poise. I included the swan in my class because it can be symbolic for the body's transformation after the tensions are released. From ugly ducklings, we blossom into beautiful swans once all the negative energy from our bodies are released.

4.  Nice skin!
Of course there's the wonderful fairy godmother of your makeup artist and hairstylist to make that swan her most beautiful come wedding day. But remember, I quote from the legendary makeup master Shu Uemura that beautiful makeup starts with beautiful skin. Yin yoga does wonders to the skin (notice how these yogis have this lovely glow in them)  by stimulating the growth of cells responsible for producing collagen and elastin. In traditional Chinese medicine, yin yoga balances our energy flow in the body, removing the blockages enabling energy to flow freely.

5. Restful sleep
Because you need it and you will thank yourself for it. Sleep is important and now is not the time to caffeine-load your system. Caffeine makes you jittery and may enhance the butterflies that are already there in the belly.  Sleep is important as well for the first four reasons. Yin yoga will help train your body to sleep better and keep your energy in a steady flame instead of the firework jolt.

Thanks to my other pole sister Marsy for this group photo.

Our bride, Monica is at the center. It's her first yoga class ever and I'm so glad she started with yin. I'm sending her lots of good vibes as tomorrow shall be her wedding day!

I definitely hope that I get to do a yin yoga class once again for brides-to-be. It's a great way for the bride and her friends to give their body some love and take some time off from the stresses from all the wedding planning as well as help them during the big day ahead. I'm also thinking of adding this to my wedding supplier credentials.

Interested to have a yin yoga class before your big day? Then contact me at

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