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Yoga and Love

Steal This Chakra-Based Strategy for Stress-Free Wedding Planning

Yoga teacher Mary Clare Sweet is paving the path from bridezilla to bride-ZEN-a. Here, she shares the yogic wedding planning method she’s leaning on leading up to her big day.

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If you know me from yoga festivals, yoga apparel modeling, or podcasts, you know I love sharing love. And when Alex, my soulmate, proposed to me, I was insanely delighted and overjoyed. As the excitement softened, though, I knew it was time to plan the wedding. At first I was scared and pre-judged the process. My initial thought was how will this fit into my already full life—running eight businesses, prioritizing family, and my own yoga practice? My preconceived notion of big weddings was that a lot un-mindful resource practices and energy were poured into one day.

Then I breathed. Meditation teaches me to make space between my thought patterns and conclusions. I realized that often our first reaction is one of a limited perspective. I shifted my attitude by noticing whether I was looking at the bigger picture or one point on a map. When I was able to get a holistic view, I remembered the magic of intentional choices. Nothing I have done in life has been cookie cutter, so why start now? I don’t want to look back on a stressful period right up to the altar. I want to remember this as a partnership of building something beautiful with Alex. It took a few months to let go and accept each of our roles in the wedding planning process. Through some vulnerable conversations with Alex, I realized that our strengths manifest in different ways. I accepted myself as I am and let go of so much tension. Now, you can call me “bride-Zen-a.”

The journey to our wedding day has been a beautiful foreshadowing of our partnership and a reflection of our lifestyle. Our individual strengths and talents contribute to conscious decisions. To assure our vibe is woven through the event, we created a new method of wedding planning based on the 8 limbs of yoga and the 7-chakra system.

See also Plan a Green Wedding: Tips to Make Your Big Day Eco-friendly 

7 Chakra-Based Principles for Stress-Free Wedding Planning 

Principle 1: Root down daily.


To approach the planning process with presence, a daily meditation practice of 10 minutes is essential to align my first chakra. When I start from a grounded place, I am able to soften instead of react when things don’t work out and make time to create a new solution. 

See also Root Chakra Tune-Up Practice

Principle 2: Go with the flow.


The universe has your back! When you align with your second chakra, you will be able to go with the flow and will find that everything works out in the end. Everything. When things change last minute, breathe slowly and repeat the mantra SO HUM (“So” on the inhale, “Ham” on the exhale), which means “I am that.” You are the universe, and exactly what you dream of will be made to manifest.

See also Sacral Chakra Tune-Up Practice

Principle 3: Identify the elements essential to your identity.


Wedding planning always involves compromises. To make them with intention and from your navel chakra, create a list of 3–4 non-negotiable wedding items with your partner. These are the elements that authentically represent your relationship and that you aren’t willing to be flexible on for the ceremony or reception. For example, for our wedding, they are:

1. Vegan plant-based food: We practice compassion, healthful nourishment, and the best environmentally protective diet of fruits and veggies, our guests will be getting that goodness too!

2. Music choice: Aretha Franklin, Jay-Z, DJ Drez, and Trevor Hall weren’t available to play live at the reception, so we chose an artistic DJ who could weave all artists and get people dancing.

3. Herbs over flowers: We chose lavender, eucalyptus, basil, sweet green grasses, and sage instead of traditional floral arrangements. The guests will bathe in an atmosphere of aromatherapy and take some herbs home with them at the night’s end.

See also Navel Chakra Tune-Up Practice

Principle 4: Let love lead.


You do not need to do this alone—and you won’t win any awards if you do. People intrinsically want to support you. It is fulfilling for them and for you.

First, remind yourself that you are connected with this meditation on your heart chakra: Place both hands over your heart center. Imagine your breath is moving in and out of your heart. Breathe this way for 60 seconds.

Then ask for help. Reach out to your friends and family. Hire professionals where it fits your budget. I have a design and coordination partner in design. They have held my hand every step of the way. You do not have to go this alone. 

See also Heart Chakra Tune-Up Practice

Principle 5: Speak your truth.


Calmly share your wildest ideas and the universe will conspire to make it happen. Aligning with your throat chakra and expressing your creative voice is essential to your spiritual balance, so be bold and courageous in your wedding choices. For example, we are to be married in a friend’s yoga studio in downtown Omaha. The reception will be held at my yoga studio and juice bar. If you—and your wedding—don’t speak your truth, you will develop clogged energy channels (for real).  

Feeling blocked already? Clear the junk out first: Excuse yourself to the bathroom. Use your hands to tap along your collarbones for 30 seconds. Massage the back of your neck and the hinge of your jaw. Shake your hands out and let loose a Lion’s Breath. Take a clearing breath, and go back to your task with clarity and a strong voice. 

See also Throat Chakra Tune-Up Practice

Principle 6: Envision the big day.


It is easy to get bogged down with the details, so make a point of aligning with your third-eye chakra by connecting and reconnecting with your intention for your ceremony and reception throughout the planning process:

Sit cross-legged, facing with your partner. Choose three feelings you want to have on your wedding day. With your eyes closed turn your awareness to your third eye. Paint these words across the screen of your mind. See your faces radiating those feelings. Take a virtual tour of your event. What else do you see? What colors, faces, and setup appears? After you feel complete, spend 5 minutes free writing your vision. Share your vision with each other, and keep whatever aligns! 

See also Third Eye Chakra Tune-Up Practice

Principle 7: Reframe your idea of “wedding” 


My partner and I have had a crazy-amazing 2 years together. We have experienced life-changing live music, received a spiritual blessing from Rodney Yee at the Hanuman Festival, and swam in bioluminescent waters under the moonlight. We have made countless meals, moved houses, lived long-distance, raised a 9-year-old, and run businesses. The day of our wedding will be unforgettable and cast from the fabric of our dreams. But to qualify this as the “best day” of our lives would not do justice to our incredible journey together.

Aligning with my crown chakra, I remember it’s important not to put too much weight on this single day and instead fall in love with the entire process leading up to it. The union of our hearts was a spark in divine consciousness before we met face to face. To remember the importance of the cosmic contract, lie down and hold hands. Under the stars or in the living room, lie there and breathe. Surrender to the dance of life. You recognized the light in yourself to see the light in your partner. 

See also Crown Chakra Tune-Up Practice

About Our Expert
Mary Clare Sweet’s yoga practice began when she read a book about yoga and begged her yogi mom to teach her what she knew. She is the owner of Lotus House of Yoga vinyasa studios in the midwest. “I intend to play!” Sweet says. “Energetic vibrations of fun run deep in my veins. With me, you will gracefully tiptoe along the exciting edge of your practice, expect sweat, love, and OM.”