Engaged yoginis, let’s talk about:
- MANIFESTING instead of planning
- Your wedding as vehicle for spiritual development
- Your engagement as a sacred time of transformation
- Ways you can integrate yoga into your wedding ceremony and reception
- The books, resources, and concepts that saved my life
Get my “visualize your wedding” meditation + tons of yoga wedding videos that aren’t on my public Youtube channel.
Dream Wedding Visualization
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Yoga Wedding Diaries Transcript
Hi, I’m Brett Larkin and welcome to Yoga Wedding Diaries. When I got engaged, I was so excited, it was one of the best days of my life. I cried, my mum cried, I jumped up and down, but the first thing I did once I got home was I googled “engaged yoga”. I don’t even know what I was looking for, but I just figured there had to be a resource out there to help me, because I really wanted to move through wedding planning and my year being engaged in a really yogic, present, mindful way and I was just sure there was going to be a plethora of sites and books and Web courses to help me do this. Nothing. There was absolutely nothing. I couldn’t find a single thing about how to do yoga as an engaged person, yoga poses for engaged people, how to move through your wedding mindfully, how yoga can play a part in your wedding and your wedding ceremony; there was just nothing, it was just a complete desert. Crickets. Nothing.
So, of course being me and having my yoga channel on YouTube and loving to make videos, I thought that this is a calling for me, perhaps, to set up a resource for women who want to not just get married, but really understand the transition from single woman to becoming someone’s wife. So, I decided to start a show called the Yoga Wedding Diaries, which documents my process of planning my yoga wedding, so every few months I check in and I let you know how my wedding planning is going, and I give you the tips of things that I would have done the same or differently with all the different yoga things I’m trying out.
If you are a yogi and you were engaged or if you think you might be getting engaged soon, you have to join me on this journey. Episode one starts thirty days after I got engaged, with me already telling you in those first thirty days everything I would have done differently, and it goes through all the way to my wedding where you’ll get to spend parts of my wedding with me getting ready and seeing how I incorporated yoga into both my ceremony and my reception.
The goal to this series is for me to realize and for women to realize that wedding is not just about planning, and shopping, and flowers, and dresses, but it is actually an opportunity for your own spiritual growth and development. It took me a minute to figure out what a big step this actually was and how much was actually going on inside me as I made this transition, and this program is really just me putting out what I wish to exist.
If nothing else, hopefully it’s going to be entertaining, and I’m not putting these videos on my public YouTube channel. I want these videos to be special, just for me and the other women who are on this journey, so if you want access to the Yoga Wedding Diaries series, enter your e-mail below. You’ll get the first episode with my four tips on what I would have done differently the first thirty days of being engaged right away delivered to your inbox, and then you’ll get access to each additional video as it comes out. So, your first step is to enter your e-mail below, get episode one, and I can’t wait to see you on the other side. From my heart to yours. Namaste.
End of Transcript
Hey, I’m Brett Larkin and this is episode one of the Yoga Wedding Diaries. So the first thing I did when I got engaged besides cry and scream and be really, really, really happy, the first thing I did when I got home and was in front of a computer again, and being a normal person, was I googled “engaged+yoga”. I was like, “There has to be resources for people who love yoga and who just got engaged, about the next steps they should take, how to deal with it.” I thought there’d be this plethora of information for me. [emphatically] Nothing. There was absolutely nothing. I couldn’t find anything about what it’s like to do yoga while you’re engaged, how being engaged transition for you as a woman… I literally couldn’t find a single thing.
So, being me, I decided I would make something, hence the beginning of this series. And now I can share with you, because I’ve done it through trial and error, all the things that I wished I had done the first month of being engaged. So here we go.
Number one is I wish I hadn’t started planning. You are going to want to start planning so badly especially if you’re like me and you’re type A and you like to execute and feel in control; that’s just so me. Whether you’re like that or not, there’s going to be the opportunity to choose to start the planning process or not. And so many women told me they were like, “Just enjoy being engaged, don’t plan.” And I was like, “What does that even mean? What does enjoy being engaged even mean? I’m planning right now.” I just didn’t listen to them and now I really wish I had.
So my biggest piece of advice is to take the first month as an observation period to observe how you are feeling about being engaged, because there’s going to be that first week or two of elation and then some other emotions are going to creep in. It’s different for everyone, but it’s definitely interesting. And most importantly to observe your partner, to observe your fiancée and see how are they coping with this big change that you guys just went through. If you start just immediately planning like I did, you’re going to be so cut up in the planning and execution that you’re going to miss the opportunity to observe yourself, the changes, and your partner, the changes.
Because I just rushed into planning, I didn’t notice that I was having a very strong reaction to this new “state” that my boyfriend and I were now in and that he himself was going through this process — even though he had proposed, there was this process after where it was like, “Whoa, we really have to plan a wedding. What is a wedding? What does a wedding mean?” He really needed some exploration time. Me jumping into the planning made me so heads down that I didn’t notice he needed that time. And I didn’t even noticed that, hey, maybe even I need that time.
So I would say, first 30 days — observe. Don’t plan, don’t do anything, you’re going to want to. Fantasize, make Pinterest boards, but don’t concrete plan stuff yet. Put on your investigative reporter hat and start figuring out how attitudes are shifting, not just for you and your boyfriend, but also for your family. Everyone in your wedding is going to have an agenda and an emotional process, an arc that they go through from finding out you’re engaged to after the wedding. Weddings are just very emotional like this. So the more you can take time to observe like, “How is my mom reacting? What’s her emotional arc going to be? What’s her MO? What’s my mother-in-law’s?”
The more you can take the time to just take notes about all these things and be your good yogi observer self instead of jumping into action, I think that’s going to hugely help you. Just having the awareness that people are going to go, like characters in a book, through a story arc and trying to observe and figure what arcs people are starting to go through, it’s going to be so helpful to you. So do that, no planning, observe.
Second thing I would do is go to your computer, get on Amazon.com, and order this book right away. I didn’t hear about this book until almost a month after I was engaged when some female yoga friends at a yoga party I went to mentioned it to me. They had all been through the whole marriage process, and they said that this book saved their life and it’s going to save your life. This book looks weird. It doesn’t look like a yoga book. It says Women Unveil Their True Feelings about Getting Hitched. You’re like, “What does that mean?” Just buy this book, trust me. It’s absolutely amazing.
What the author does is she starts breaking down the different archetypes involved in a wedding, so the different, as I mentioned, arcs and transformations that people go through: you, your fiancée, family. And she explains how in our consumerist American society, the only thing people focus on with weddings is planning. All these chaotic energy we have in our body about this huge shift that’s happening as a woman, you’re leaving your family, your nuclear family to go start a nuclear family with someone else. It’s a great thing that you’re getting married and it’s the celebration, but what she talks about that no one ever mentions is it’s also a huge loss. It’s a loss for your parents, it’s a loss for you. It’s just a huge shift. You’re going from being a single woman to someone’s wife. It’s one of the biggest identity shifts that we go through, the other one being when we become a mother. But it’s a huge, huge transformation and that America doesn’t really like to look at the complicated transformation stuff. They’re just like, [emphatically] “Flowers, cake, choir, planning, smiling, dresses, prices…”
I found nine million books on how to plan my wedding from the standpoint of vendors and saving money or spending money. I didn’t find anything about the actual emotional upheaval and what we go through during this process. As she says at the beginning of the book, America just expects you to arrive at the altar with no psychological preparation whatsoever, just smiling, being like, “Let’s do this!” And then if a bride has any doubts or any fears or feels any loss, people are just saying to her like, “Are you sure you want to get married? Are you sure you want to get married?” Well, you can be completely sure you want to get married and still be experiencing a lot of maybe dark emotions. And if we don’t shine light on those, they show up in the form of chaos, they show up in the form of bridezilla ordering people around, or they show up in meltdowns or fights.
So this book, it’s written by a therapist, she specializes in dealing with women who are engaged, getting married, in their first year of marriage. And she talks about ancient Greek myths, she talks about archetypes of women getting married since the beginning of time. Women share their stories in the books. Honestly, this book is just such a gold nugget. This book is so invaluable if you want to use your wedding and your engagement as a path for spiritual transformation, as opposed to just planning a party, because there’s deeper stuff going on, whether you want to see it or not.
And then tip number three, I would sign you and your honey up for pre-marital counselling, ASAP. Try not to plan too much of the wedding until you at least start your pre-marital counselling program. I have now signed us up for a great pre-marital counselling workshop, so it’s like a public workshop that we get to take with other couples and they give us a workbook and talk us through. It’s like a weekend boot camp type of thing. I thought that was the right choice for us instead of jumping right into a private one on one therapy.
Make the best choice for you, but I would definitely encourage doing some kind of pre-marital counseling, because my boyfriend and I had a wonderful relationship, we never fought, and then all of a sudden when we started planning the wedding, all these hidden feelings that we had about each other’s parents and tiny little prejudices we had about each other, even cultures and economic backgrounds — all of a sudden the wedding is just this opportunity for all things like that to go from tiny dot that is never relevant in your daily life to giant elephant in your bedroom, just causing a lot of stress. And it’s frightening because you just committed to staying with this person forever and all of a sudden, you’re seeing stuff that you didn’t see before, and there’s conflict that you didn’t know existed before. And pre-marital counselling helps with all of this.
There’s so much that doesn’t get talked about in our society that you need to talk about, especially when making a commitment like marriage. So pre-marital counselling is something I would sign up for, sooner rather than later. Again, I now have us signed up, but in retrospect, I just observe back on myself and I’m like, “Why was my first impulse to plan?” Again, in plan like logistics. I was like, [emphatically] “Venue, date,” — all that stuff, when the yogi self in me should’ve been like, “Let’s plan from an emotional, spiritual perspective. How can we plan?” And how to plan would be start observing my change in feeling and different emotions I’m having. How is my fiancée doing? How is he coping? How’s my mom coping? Becoming observant, and then how can I prepare for this battle ahead or this mountain ahead, or exciting journey, whatever. By doing some counselling, signing us up for therapy, just signing us up to get the tools we need so we can be the strongest possible couple to go through this together. Instead for me, it was just like, [emphatically] “Date, venue, flowers.” So it was hugely eye-opening to me, getting the book and talking to other yogi friends.
And that’s my bonus tip number four — if there are women you admire in your life who are married and who have a spiritual practice or yogis or whatever, approach them. Beg them to go out to tea, come over to their house, invite them over, whatever you have to do to start connecting with them, and then ask them about their wedding. Say, “What was your engagement like? What was your wedding like? What would you have done differently?”
When I started talking to other women in the yoga community about their experience being engaged, who I felt we could really open up to each other, it was like seeing this whole other world and shining this whole other light on this whole experience. While to some of my other friends who I love, but just other friends, it was just more superficial. It was just like, “Oh, when’s the date? What’s the address?” Stuff like that. So if there is someone in your life that you think you can connect to or you admire on a deeper level, approach them, don’t be shy. Approach them sooner rather than later, because any nuggets of wisdom they can offer you, you’re going to need them sooner rather than later.
So those were the tips. And now more back to the diary, where I am right now, and my process is that we have a venue. Picking the venue was the biggest source of conflict for us, which I was completely not expecting. And we have a date, and we have food and drinks pretty much figured out. So my next steps are I’m going to go look at wedding dresses with my mom, and we’re trying to pick a photographer; photographers are really expensive. And I’m really hoping that a yoga teacher friend of mine who I admire and love is going to agree to marry us.
Right now, I have super fingers cross that she will agree to fly to San Diego for our wedding, even though she lives in Hawaii, and marry us. And I’ve offered to pay her and help with the cost, but it’s a big commitment to agree to marry two people out of your daily life, but I just feel the ceremony will be so incredibly special if she’s there, just because she’s a really profound healer and she leads incredible yoga retreats. So I’m really hoping that she’ll marry us even though she’s never married someone before. And I’m really lasering in on that ceremony aspect being special because of her. So pray for me that she says yes. I’m hoping that she’ll say yes.
And of course let me know in the comments below how you are doing in your process right now. Are you at the beginning of planning? Have you just got engaged? I want to hear from you. I want to hear your stories, the ideas that this is a community for us to share together. So let me know on the comments below where you’re at in your wedding planning and what you think of my four tips. Which of them are you going to act on right away, if any? And I look forward to seeing you next time on Yoga Wedding Diaries. From my heart to yours, Namaste.