Have you ever finished after a long day of photography work and thought, “Jeez… I am in paaain”?
It’s unsurprising, really.
After all, a lot of your daily work as a wedding photographer involves carrying heavy camera gear, being on your feet for hours, or — and just as bad, really — sitting at a desk toiling over the editing process.
Yep, it’s kinda inescapable: being a wedding photographer can wreak havoc on your body. If you’re not taking good care of yourself that is and take preventative measures before minor aches turn into bigger health issues.
So, if you’re feeling a little stiff from head to toe, don’t worry. We’re here to tell you 7 of the best yoga poses for wedding photographers. You can do these at your desk or on the yoga mat, so you can feel restored and ready to run your wedding photography business like a boss.
Let’s do it!
#1 – A Supine Twist Is Perfect for Aching Backs
Whatever your daily photography tasks ask of you; chances are your back will be under quite a lot of pressure.
Whether you’re sat in the car driving to a shoot, transporting weighty equipment, working at your desk, or just bending over to take face-level shots of your subjects… all of this will impact the muscle up and down your spine.
That’s why one of our favorite yoga poses for wedding photographers is Supta Matsyendrasana – or, as that Sanskrit name is a bit of a mouthful, you can call it ‘Supine Twist’.
The best bit? This is a lying down pose: so, get ready to get comfy!
All you’ve got to do is lay on your back, move your arms to a T-shape on the floor and bring both knees in towards your chest. Then – slowly – lower both knees to one side, whilst either looking up towards the sky, or turning your gaze gently in the opposite direction to your knees.
Try to keep your hips in line with your spine, so your butt isn’t sticking too far out! Then, you should feel a suuuuper juicy release along your spine.
When you’re ready, slowly switch sides.
Top tip: try to keep both your shoulders in contact with the floor. If you can’t get your knees all the way to the ground and keep your shoulders down, just use a pillow to place under your knees instead.
Feeling better already? We hope so!
#2 – It May Sound A Bit Strange, but ‘Legs Up the Wall’ Is A Legit Yoga Pose!
We’re staying on the ground in the second of our yoga poses for wedding photographers: Legs Up the Wall (or Viparita Karani, as it’s known in Sanskrit).
If you’ve been on your feet all day on shoot, this should be your go-to pose.
Simply find a wall — at home, or in the studio! — lie with your butt close to the wall, bring your knees into your chest and slowly extend your legs so that your feet can rest on the wall. Keep your kneecaps relaxed and lay your arms down by your side.
By placing your feet above your head, you’ll drain some lymphatic fluids from the legs, reducing any pain or swelling in the feet, ankles and knees. Ahhhh…. feels good!
This pose has also been shown to improve sleep quality. So, in times of high stress at work, a little Legs Up the Wall before bedtime should help you catch those zzzs.
(A quick note for all the powerhouse females reading this: many yogis recommend that inversion poses, like this, aren’t done whilst you’re on your period. So, bear that in mind!).
#3 – Let It All Go in A Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Shakira was right: hips don’t lie.
And when you’re feeling a little angsty about a photography project or a difficult client, chances are your hip flexors will feel tighter than normal, because we tend to store a lot of negative energy in our hips.
And that’s where Reclining Bound Angle Pose – or Supta Baddha Konasana – can come and save the day.
For this pose, find a comfortable place to lie down on the floor and bring the soles of your feet together — again, you can use pillows to place under your knees if they don’t comfortably rest on the floor.
You should be creating a diamond shape with your legs, and you can place your hands on your belly for extra calming vibes.
Close your eyes and feel the sweet relief of your tired, stressed out hips.
(Seriously: don’t worry if you get a little teary in this pose. It happens to the best of us!)
#4 – Release Stress Across Your Back and Chest with Cat-Cow
Speaking of stress: your back and shoulders tend to feel the pain of a difficult day, too.
Of course, even a happy day spent editing your photos can leave your back feeling tight – so it’s definitely a part of your body to be aware of.
Bitilasana Marjaryasana, or Cat-Cow, is a really simple but amazing movement to loosen up the shoulders and spine, which is why it’s one of our favorite yoga poses for wedding photographers.
To do it, start on your hands and knees on the floor. Then breathe in and lift your chest and tailbone towards the sky, allowing your belly button to drop down towards your mat (this is the bit that looks like a cow, apparently!).
Then breathe out and arch your back, stretching your shoulder blades up as far as you comfortably can. This is the part that looks like an angry cat, right?
Repeat that flow a few times, until you feel the aches and pains melt away.
You can also do a mini version of this whilst sat at your desk; do the same movements across the chest and upper spine as you would in full, kneeling cat-cow.
#5 – Yes, You Can Do Yoga at Your Desk: Nerve Threading Is A Great Seated Stretch
Whilst technically not a yoga pose, Nerve Threading (or Nerve Flossing) is something a lot of yoga teachers will use in a warmup sequence.
And this pose is perfect for wedding photographers, too. Especially if your neck, back, arms or shoulders start to scream out whilst you’re on your laptop, uploading thousands of photos to your online gallery.
To start, bring both arms to rest along the side of your body. Next, simply drop your head down to one side, so your ear comes close to your shoulder. Then slowly — and we mean slowly! — lift the opposite arm up to just below shoulder height.
As you raise the arm up, you should feel a really sweet tingly feeling through the upper arm muscles and maybe even into your neck. You can play around wiggling and flexing the fingers, which’ll be oh so juicy in the hands – perfect if you’ve been typing away writing captions for your wedding photography Instagram account.
Remember: if anything starts to hurt, stop immediately as you’ve gone too far.
A gentle tingling sensation is what we are after here.
Then slowly bring the arm back down, and change sides.
#6 – No Kidding: There Are Yoga Poses for Your Eyes
When you’ve spent a full day on Lightroom, your eyes can feel tired and strained.
If you know you’ve got a big day of editing ahead of you, try to remember to look up and away from your laptop — into the distance — to give your eyes a break.
You can also try eye rolling, too. Without moving your head, look up towards the ceiling then take your eyes in a clockwise circle, looking as far as comfortably possible in each direction.
Repeat three times, then close your eyes and relax for a second.
#7 – Last but Not Least, The Yoga Pose for Everyday and Anywhere
A lot of the time, yoga poses are movements we do anyway — without even knowing it’s yoga!
And that’s probably true for Uttanasana, which is quite simply a forward bend.
But what may look like a nothing-y pose, is actually so, so beneficial to your spine and hamstrings.
Plus, there’s no reason not to do this pose throughout the day, as you can just pretend to be picking something up off the floor if you really want to go incognito!
For best results: stand with your feet parallel and about 6 inches apart. Make sure your kneecaps are relaxed and not locked stiff. Then reach your arms above your head and stretch them upwards as you bring your chest down towards the floor.
Go as far as feels comfortable, and you’ll be touching your toes faster than you can say “Uttanasana”.
Look After Your Body, And Your Creativity Will Flow!
At DB&MH, we believe a healthy body = a healthy mind, and you need that creative brain of yours to make your wedding photography business a success!
Connection is what it’s all about. Feel free to reach out to us with any comments or questions you might have, even if it’s only to say hello. If it wasn’t for our beautiful community, this place just wouldn’t feel the same.