Your Bridal Body: A Yoga Sequence to Prep You For the Big Day
On your wedding day| you want to be feeling your best| and yoga is the perfect way to cultivate the ultimate version of yourself. This full-body toning sequence is designed to help you tone up and wear your special dress with confidence. Beyond the physical benefits| this sequence will also calm down a mind busy with important plans for upcoming nuptials. Breathe deep| and flow through each of these powerful postures.
| Downward Facing Dog
- Begin on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders| and your knees should be underneath your hips.
- Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips| coming into an upside-down V shape called Downward Facing Dog.
- Spread your fingers wide| and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Relax your head between your arms| and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Hold for five breaths.
| Three-Legged Dog
- From Downward Facing Dog| step both feet together so your big toes are touching.
- Shift your weight onto your hands and your feet equally| and raise your left leg into the air. Try to keep your shoulders parallel with the ground| and gaze at your right thigh or up toward your belly to help you stay balanced.
- Stay here for five breaths| lower your left leg down| and switch sides. Once you’ve finished on the right| lower your leg down back to Downward Facing Dog.
| Warrior 1
- From Downward Facing Dog| pop your right leg back up for a quick Three-Legged Dog| and step your right foot forward between your hands. Turn your left heel in| press into your feet| and lift your torso up.
- Lift your arms up and press your palms together. Draw your shoulder blades down toward your hips| and gaze up at your hands.
- Stay here for five breaths. Then come back to Downward Facing Dog| lift up into Three-Legged Dog on the left| and step your left foot forward to do Warrior 1 on the other side.
| Warrior 3
- From Warrior 1 with your left knee forward| lower your torso and lift your right leg| bringing your body parallel with the ground.
- Extend your hands out in front of you| pressing your palms together firmly. If it bothers your shoulders to press your hands together| separate your arms so they’re shoulder-width apart. If extending your arms creates pain or pressure in your lower back| rest your hands on your hips.
- Engage your abs| holding this position for five deep breaths. Then lower your right leg| returning to Warrior 1. Release your hands to the mat| and come into Downward Facing Dog. Step your right leg forward| coming back into Warrior 1. Repeat Warrior 3 on the right side| stepping back to Warrior 1 once you’ve finished and then releasing to Downward Facing Dog.
| Half-Moon Pose
- From Downward Facing Dog| step your right foot forward between your hands| and rise up into Warrior 1. Open your hips| arms| and chest into Warrior 2.
- Place your left hand on your left hip| and stretch your right arm straight out| creating length through the right side of your body. Shift weight onto your right foot| and lift your left foot up. Plant your right palm flat on the ground under your shoulder.
- Distribute your weight evenly between your right hand and foot. Lift your left arm up| and gaze toward your left hand. Hold for five breaths| and then release the pose| coming into Downward Facing Dog. Then try Half Moon on the left side and come back to Downward Facing Dog.
| Warrior 2
- From Downward Facing Dog| step your right foot forward between your palms and come back to Warrior 1.
- Extend your arms out in T position as you rotate your torso to the left| coming into Warrior 2. Ideally| your front thigh should be parallel to the ground and your right knee directly over your right ankle. Make sure your shoulders are stacked directly above your pelvis.
- Gaze past your right fingertips| holding for five breaths. Then return to Downward Facing Dog. Step your left foot forward| and do this pose on the other side.
| Open Triangle
- From Downward Facing Dog| step your left foot forward for Warrior 1| and open up into Warrior 2.
- Straighten your left leg and turn your right toes slightly to the front of your mat| making a 45-degree angle. Lower your left hand| resting it on your left shin or a block| or place your palm flat on the floor. Extend your right arm straight up| and gaze at your right fingertips.
- Stay like this for five deep breaths. Then lift your torso up and switch sides. Step your right foot forward between your hands| and repeat this pose on the right side.
| Wide-Legged Forward Bend C
- From Open Triangle on your right| slowly roll up vertebrae by vertebrae until you’re standing up tall with your feet apart.
- Make sure your feet are three to four feet apart| placing your heels slightly wider than your toes.
- Bring your arms behind your back| clasping your fingers and pressing the heels of your palms together in a fist.
- Fold forward| hinging at your hips| drawing the crown of your head and your hands toward the floor. Relax your toes| and try to shift the weight of your hips forward so they’re in line with your feet.
- Stay here for 10 deep breaths. Then press into your feet| engage your quads| and inhale as you stand up.
- After Wide-Legged Forward Bend C| turn to the front of your mat and step back into Downward Facing Dog. Then| step both feet together so your big toes are touching.
- Move your left hand over to the right so it’s at the center of your mat (still at the top of your mat). Roll over to your left side| and plant your left heel down so you are balancing on the outside edge of your left foot| stacking your flexed feet. Reach your right arm up above you| and| if you can| gaze up at your palm.
- If this feels easy| play around with grabbing hold of your right big toe. Lift your right leg up| bending your right knee| and hold on to your big toe with the first two fingers and thumb of your left hand.
- Stay here for five deep breaths| trying to keep your core strong and the pose steady.
- Lower your upper hand to the mat. Repeat this pose on the other side.
- After Sage Pose on both sides| gently lower down and come to lie on your belly. Bend your knees| and hold onto the outside edge of your right ankle and then your left.
- Once you have a firm hold of each ankle| try to keep your toes together| either pointing or flexing your feet. Lift your feet up as high as you can| and shift your weight forward so you’re resting on your navel instead of on your pubic bone.
- Hold for five deep breaths| and then slowly release.
- After Bow Pose| keep your belly on the mat and bring your legs together. Place your arms by your sides so your palms are facing up.
- As you inhale| lift your legs| head| and upper body off the floor. Your hands remain on the floor for support.
- As you breathe| try to relax your shoulders and the muscles in your booty. Extend the crown of your head away from your toes| lengthening as much as you can through your spine.
- Stay for five breaths| and then release back to the mat.
| Camel Pose
- From Locust Pose| come toward the top of your mat so your knees are under your hips. Reach your right hand back toward your right heel| and then reach your left hand toward your left heel.
- Your hands are there for balancing support so don’t lean all your weight onto them. Try to shift your weight forward onto your knees| which will increase the stretch in your quads| belly| and chest.
- Lower your head behind you| and stay here for five breaths.
| Corpse Pose
- After Camel Pose| sit on your bottom and slowly roll down| vertebrae by vertebrae| until you’re lying on your back. Close your eyes. In order to relax and open your body fully| extend your arms a few inches away from the body| with the palms facing up.
- Bring about 15 to 20 inches between your feet| allowing your feet to fall open with the toes pointing out. Actively shrug your shoulders and shoulder blades down toward your hips. Lengthen through the spine as much as possible| and try to press the small of your back toward the ground.
- After you’ve found a comfortable position| stay here for as long as you want| around 10 minutes or more if your schedule allows for it.