The ongoing process of growing and becoming depends on how fully we engage challenges and live up to our full potential. If we’re alert, tolerant and compassionate, we harvest the most from new experiences and pass on the knowledge to others in the most useful ways for them and for ourselves.

On April 27th, 2010 I entered a contest called Last Bride Standing. I was looking for a wedding photographer and found an ad to ‘play in the spirit of fun’ and ‘be the Last Bride Standing to win a free wedding’. I thought, ‘I can do that’.  I would maintain a positive attitude and manage the ultimate challenge of sleep deprivation by using yoga techniques.

I was the oldest of 26 participants, but I was at the height of my strength, vigor and health because of my regular yoga practice. With strategy and the ongoing support of friends and family, I entered a setting where human values would be challenged.

Although I could have coaches and a support team., only one person could coach at any given time and no touching was allowed except on breaks during the last 15 minutes of every three hour period. My head coach was my Maid of Honour, Susie. We planned our strategy which included raw juicing all meals in advance using proper food combining, resting during breaks and doing yoga  and meditation. I would use allowable yoga postures and meditation while standing at the wall. I often wore an uplifting t-shirt from a past yoga retreat that displayed my teacher’s simple words, ‘Work Honestly, Meditate, Meet People Without Fear and Play’. I used meditation on the breath and yantras after we moved to a location on a stage with no wall on the third day.

My only meltdown occurred at the end of the second day after the challenge of moving all our belongings in 5 minutes and an interview at 3am. I mentioned my son’s diabetes and started crying. I began to wonder why I was in the contest. Susie arrived during a silent period with lights out. She recognized by state of doubt and wrote blessings down for me. My downward spiral reversed upon reading them. My focus was restored and maintained until the end of the contest. The contest ended graciously when Anna, the second runner-up, quietly sat down. Full details are in this wasaga sun article. I gave away the $2500 dress prize to Anna so she could add it to her $1500 dress prize and get the dress she wanted. Dave and I planned our wedding using the rest of the prizes and got married on August 7th, 2011.

Yoga helped me win an ultimate challenge and showed me what I was capable of, but Yoga is a powerful tool that enhances every aspect of regular, daily life. By maintaining a regular yoga practice as part of your daily routine, your body will be healthier, you will feel better and life’s challenges will be met with a healthy, positive attitude.

no images were found