There are several places I regularly frequent for my yoga practice. From time to time, I attend my friend’s class at the gym where I also teach. I also regularly visit a yoga studio near my home where I feel very comfortable. Once in a while I’ll go out of my way to experience studios across town or to a park for a sponsored yoga event. All of these yoga opportunities do not include my teacher trainings or when I’m in instructor mode.
What all of these places have in common are that they aren’t at my home. Home is convenient and pretty much available 24/7, basically whenever I am! So to remedy that, I decided to take one of my spare bedrooms and make it my yoga space and I love have a special dedicated yoga space.
Since I have a whole room to turn into a yoga space, I’ve turned to Googling and Pinterest for ideas and inspiration. Let me tell you there is a lot out there! (I also want to tell you up front that I had picked out my room before I started researching the internet).
Thought I’d share some interesting things I’ve come across:
1. MINIMIZED DISTRATIONS:
If you have a dedicated room or space for yoga, you can actually use all of the time you’ve set aside for practice verses moving furniture or being distracted by the kids or a messy house. Another benefit to using a dedicated space is that it helps foster awareness where it is easier to become present in the moment and to listen to your body and with this experience you evolve into your own best teacher. It was this concept that led me to designating a yoga place.
There is a practice out there known as Vaastu. The practice of Vaastu is essentially designing your home taking into account the four cardinal directions of North, East, South, and West so as to take advantage of certain polarities of the earth. So with regards to your yoga space or room, if you have a choice or at least options, pick the Northeast room or corner. Why? North and east are considered positive directions. To elaborate, according to Vaastu practice, northeast is the direction for spirituality and is also the best section of the home to benefit from healing rays of the morning sun.
Besides Vaastu, I’ve learned that we should orient our bodies to face east during a standing or seated yoga practice with north being our second choice. This includes asana, kriyas, pranayamas, and meditation. (I did see a variance concerning Sun Salutations. If practicing in the morning, face east. If practicing in the evening, face west). For Savasana, the order is reversed. Orient the resting head to the north with east being the second choice.
*** I just happened to designate a northeast room for yoga without even knowing this! Kind of cool! Since I recently started decorating the room, I’ll now look to orienting pictures and furniture so my practice experiences the best direction. I didn’t learn about these directional influences in my yoga teacher training, but I’m excited to know about them as I put together my special place. I believe that there are unexplainable influences that unconsciously affect our experiences so if I can make my practice more positive, I’m all over that!
All in all, I want my yoga room to be a stress free place and décor is something that influences the environment. To me décor consists of temperature, scents, furniture, room colors, window dressings, and decorations.
I think the best advice that I’ve read in this area was to “design the space to express you and not to impress others.” So with that, I’ve bought things that speak to me. For instance, recently, I was in Kirklands and I saw this beautiful “Tree of Life” picture. I roamed the store for a while and all the while, I couldn’t stop thinking about that picture so I bought it for my yoga room. I also have a beautiful salt lamp and a few tapestries. I’m still looking but I definitely like how my room is evolving.
4. TOOLS AND PROPS:
Again, another top piece of advice that I’ve come across was to think about what I wanted to do in the room and stock it accordingly. For me, that means that I have a dedicated yoga mat for this room for my asana practice. I also, keep a mat in my car so I always have a mat. I also have a book shelf in my closet where I have a nice collection of yoga books, DVDs, blocks, blankets, straps, balls, bolsters, sandbags, and small weights. In my room, I’ve explored various asana based practices, Thai massage, restorative, and a little yoga Nidra. I’ve even invited friends over for a little yoga. So far, I’ve had everything I’ve needed but I know I can make a wish list as applicable.
All in all, I wanted to share what I’m doing and learning about having personal home yoga space. My curiosity led me to research and the Pinterest pictures are inspiring.
I love finally having my own special place for my practice and to reinforce the concept that health and wellness actually starts in the home! I’d like to hear about your special yoga space or if you are considering one.