In our first installment of the Meditation How-Tos marriage advice series, the Kundalini guide behind Benshen, Desiree Pais, gives you the step-by-step methods you need to practice to stay focused and calm before, during, and after you tie the knot.
I’m about to tell you the secret to planning the best wedding of your life. No, I don’t have the world’s top wedding planner in my phone book, and I can’t lend you my best friend who would make THE greatest maid of honor (well, maybe we can negotiate that...she IS a Sagittarius and loves a good party). The secret to planning the best wedding of your life is adding meditation to your daily routine.
Planning one of the most important days of your life can, unfortunately, come with a heavy dose of stress. From finding the dream venue to dealing with family, trying to make everything perfect can leave you more frazzled than Anne Hathaway’s hair in the beginning of The Devil Wears Prada. Everyone knows the benefits of meditation when it comes to overall health and wellness—why not apply it when life gets a little (or a lot) crazier while planning your big day? And trust me, I know you already have a lot going on and learning how to meditate can seem like learning Mandarin, so I’m going to teach you a simple meditation that is almost effortless. If practiced daily, it will leave you feeling calm, yet energized and will diminish the stress when it pops up.
When we’re stressed out, our body secretes hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that, over time, leave us feeling agitated, irritated, and, eventually, exhausted. This stress is caused by our sympathetic nervous system—the trigger for our fight-or-flight instinct—kicking in to deal with whatever pressure is in front of us, like when mom and dad want a big wedding in Houston but you really want that dreamy small wedding off the coast of Italy. Over the course of the many months it takes to plan a wedding, all these incidents can leave our sympathetic nervous system firing at full capacity all the time, wreaking havoc on our bodies. One of the best ways to counteract this is a three-minute meditation called left-nostril breathing—it activates our parasympathetic nervous system, the part of our brain that signals our body to rest and relax. It's simple, extremely effective, and if practiced daily, will leave you feeling calm and radiant leading all the way up to your big day (and beyond!).
- Find any position where you can sit comfortably with your spine straight.
- Take your right index finger and block off the right nostril.
- Close your eyes and soften your face.
- Inhale long, slow, and deep through the left nostril, as if you’re taking the most nourishing breath you've ever taken.
- Exhale long, slow, and deep through the left nostril, and let go of all the stresses, worries, and fears.
- Continue for three to five minutes.
- When finished, inhale deep through both nostrils and exhale through both nostrils.
Desiree Pais is a meditation and Kundalini yoga guide, and a natural beauty alchemist. She is currently pursuing a master's degree at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and studied Daoist Healing with Grandmaster Sung Baek. She teaches Kundalini yoga and meditation classes and workshops around New York City. She aims to make these ancient practices available to anyone who is interested in using this profound practice to create the life they want to experience.