The Yoga of Wedding Planning – Finding Ease Within Effort
July 17, 2012
Guest Post by Jane Brown
My background and conditioning made me a “doer”. Raised in a Dutch family, my identity was based on how hard I could work and how much I could get done in a day. So when my daughter, Sarah, decided to get married in Thunder Bay, I naturally scooped up the role of Wedding Planner! I enthusiastically took on all types of tasks, including the details of coordinating 50 relatives who were coming to TB from afar.
My “get things done” mentality was productive but was making me tense and intense. I was aware of my energy becoming focused in my head. I watched myself getting revved up. When I became aware of it, I let myself feel what was happening in my body. My body would relax a little and there would be a bit more space. A sense of ease was there for me to tap into. Without the intense, narrowed focus, I agonized less , responded better and enjoyed more. But it took effort! The process repeated itself over and over….the build up of intensity, the pressured feeling, the noticing, and the opening to some space and ease.
This is the same process that we practice during each yoga class….we come into a pose and exert energy to work towards our sense of what the posture needs. The energy becomes focused towards a goal. Sometimes we hear the verbal cue “ find ease within your effort” or “feel the breath” or “ notice how your body feels ” These cues help us to move to that place of experiencing and of opening to the body. Moving into a challenging posture, we notice the tensing, the intensity, and let go a little to find stability and ease. Maybe we even smile, allowing the moment to be just as it is. As in life off the mat, this easing generally allows up to “find our fit” and then on we go to the next moment of exerting, opening, allowing, breathing and being.
As I revved up into the wedding planning, I was grateful to have some tools, some ways of working with that intense focused energy. I was surprised at the power of my “get things done” mind and how often I needed to bring myself back to the sense of ease. My practice on the mat and my practice off the mat were the same practice.
Final note: The wedding was wonderful, my relatives were well looked after and I had a blast!
Jane’s path of self discovery began in her twenties when she began her commitment to Zen meditation practice. In her early 40s, she discovered yoga. Body mind and spirit found comfort, strength and vitality in the practice. After retiring from her career as a high school teacher/ counsellor and parenting her two daughters into adulthood, Jane delved deeper into her practice through 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training and exploring the principles of core vinyasa through training with Sadie Nardini. Jane enjoys teaching classes that combine a meditative inner focus, strong core engagement, and energetic vinyasa flow. She helps students experience peace, ease and joy in the practice and to find the benefits of building strength, flexibility, balance, and focus both on and off the mat.