Young woman practicing yoga

Breathe Easy: Pranayama Techniques to Reduce Wedding Stress

By Chahna Gupta

Young woman yogi practicing yoga

Weddings are joyous occasions, but the preparations can sometimes leave brides, grooms, and even their families feeling overwhelmed. Amidst the flurry of planning, pranayama — the ancient art of breath control in yoga — offers a serene oasis. The word Pranayama can break down into “prana” (life force) and “ayama” (expansion/extension) or “prana” and “yama” (control/restraint).

“The breath, our prana, works as a bridge between the body and mind, influencing emotional responses and mental states. Shallow, rapid breathing can be a quick way to recognize that you are stressed and anxious. Deep, slow, purposeful breathing promotes calmness and can put you into a relaxed state.”

When we regulate our breathing patterns through pranayama, we can influence our emotional state and gain control over the mind instead of allowing our mind to control our feelings, mood, and actions and makes us less reactive and more reflective and purposeful with our moves. Here’s how incorporating simple breathing exercises can help alleviate stress as you approach your big day.

Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

This technique is excellent for restoring balance and calming the mind. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. Place your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of your inhalation, close off the left nostril with your ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril. Continue this pattern, alternating nostrils after each inhalation. Nadi Shodhana helps harmonize the two hemispheres of the brain, promoting clarity and peace.

Bhramari (Bee Breathing)

Bhramari is known for its immediate soothing effects on the mind, perfect for relieving pre-wedding jitters. Close your eyes and deep breathe in. As you exhale, gently press your fingers onto your ears and make a loud humming sound like a bee. The vibration of the humming can help calm your thoughts and ease anxiety.

Kapalabhati (Skull Shining Breath)

This energizing breath can be used to clear the mind and invigorate the body when wedding fatigue sets in. Sit with your spine erect and take a few deep breaths. Then, forcefully expel the breath from your lungs using quick contractions of your lower belly. Focus on the exhalation; the inhalation should happen passively. Kapalabhati is great for refreshing your mind and awakening your senses.

By spending just a few minutes each day practicing these pranayama techniques, you can significantly reduce stress levels, enhance your focus, and maintain your calm. Embrace these breaths of peace as you prepare for a memorable day ahead, ensuring you stay present and joyful throughout the celebration and also allow you to help guide others that may be stressed and anxious during this time. Wishing you a beautiful wedding season filled with love, good vibes, and ease! 

About the Author:
Chahna TailorChahna Tailor Gupta, an Ayurvedic Practitioner and certified yoga teacher, has a background in occupational therapy and health science with a focus in public health. Chahna was yoga trained in Rishikesh, India and had ayurvedic clinicals in Kannur, Kerala. Chahna provides yoga, pranayama, meditation, 200-hr yoga teacher training, and ayurvedic health counseling services through her company Namaskar To You. Chahna is a volunteer for Ekal Vidyalaya, American Association of Ayurvedic Professionals (AAAP), and Ayurveda Association of Florida (AAF). She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Ayurvedic Medicine while continuing her self-studies in yoga.

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