Nothing can take your yoga as deep as practicing at home.
Once you’ve been to enough studio classes to develop a solid understanding of basic yoga postures, alignment, and sequencing, you’re ready to fly solo—at least for the most part. Or, maybe you don’t have the time for an hour and a half long studio class.
Either way, set yourself up for an equally great home practice by creating an inviting home yoga space.
Some believe they can’t practice yoga at home because there’s no room in their house. You may not have an entire extra room to devote to your yoga practice (if so, lucky you!), but all you really need is enough space for a mat.
In a dream scenario, your home yoga space would be for yoga only. Your mat could live here, unrolled, enticing you to practice at any moment. If this isn’t realistic, it’s okay if your home yoga ‘studio’ is a multipurpose space.
When you are practicing think of this space as your temple, and at all other times it can be your coffee table’s home, or where your couch lives, or your front porch. There’s always room for yoga, even in the tiniest of spaces.
Nothing can alter an atmosphere as quickly as scent. Think back to a time when you walked into a room with sweet smelling flowers or incense and how your mood immediately shifted.
The right aroma can clear negative emotions and energies from yourself and others, and fill it with more positive vibes.
Aroma is especially useful in a home yoga space. So much of life happens at home—it’s where we sleep, eat, cook, bathe, love, party, fight, and cry. It becomes filled with all kinds of energies that need to be cleared regularly. Otherwise, we might not feel that our home is appropriate for yoga as it feels like a place for all the other stuff in our lives.
A little bit of incense, sage, or essential oil can go a long way. Bless your space with a beautiful aroma to make energetic room for your spiritual practice.
When you’re practicing at home, it’s tempting to get up and go to the next room to grab whatever it is you forgot–but this isn’t very good for your focus.
Keep your yoga tools nearby to eliminate distractions. Your yoga mat, blocks, strap, bolster, blanket, and even socks can all be stored in a basket that lives in your home yoga space.
If you find your space beautiful, you’ll be more likely to use it. Eliminate clutter, putting all unnecessary stuff where it belongs. An uncluttered space promotes an uncluttered mind.
Then fill the space with beauty. This might mean fresh flowers, a gorgeous tapestry, stones and seashells that remind you to ground. Or it might mean no extra objects at all—a sparse space can be exactly what an overthinking mind needs.
However, most of us might enjoy having an altar in sight. An altar can mean many things, to many different people. Fill it with objects that give you peace and tranquility. Pictures of deities that resonate with you, twigs that remind you of your favorite camping spot, or your most-loved crystals can all be part of your altar. It doesn’t matter what’s on it, as long as it reminds you of spirit.
Yoga has a sister science called vastu that can be used to amplify a space’s energy.
Vastu is sometimes reduced to India’s version of feng shui. But it’s much more than that: it’s the knowledge of space and living in alignment with cosmic patterns and sacred geometry.
Good vastu encompasses three aspects: a space should be comfortable, pleasing in appearance, and spiritually satisfying.
A vastu sized space should be appropriate for the activity performed in it; neither too big nor too small. If your yoga space is small, open the windows to give the illusion of space and minimize clutter.
It should be pleasing to the eyes and senses (hence the importance of an altar and aroma), and pour positive impact on its inhabitants. Aesthetically speaking, your yoga space should be visually appealing.
Lastly, it should inspire harmony, peace, contentment, and carry an uplifting aura. Symmetry gives the feeling of harmony, so look for ways to bring symmetry into your yoga space. If you look at it and feel the urge to do yoga, you’ve got good vastu.
Creating a home yoga space is an opportunity to explore how a space can be energetically uplifting. You’ll likely find your space to be much more inviting than a windowless, corporate, uninspiring yoga studio, and maybe you’ll be all the more motivated to practice regularly. Make your home yoga space feel sacred, and your yoga practice will feel more sacred too.