Updated: Nov 18, 2020
If you have enough space to roll out a yoga mat, you have enough room to carve out a little yoga sanctuary right in your own home. Even if you live in cramped quarters, or share your space with roommates or family members, these tips will help you get the most out of your home practice.
Our environment has a huge effect on our perceptions, focus, and mood. You know that feeling you get when you step into a yoga studio, and the outside world seems to just melt away? There are steps you can take to cultivate that feeling when you practice at home, too! So if you're joining an online yoga class, or enjoying a personal practice, here are some of our favourite tips for creating that 'aaahhh' feeling.
CLAIM YOUR SPACE.
Take up as much space as you need to enjoy a full range of motion, or as close to that as your living space allows. Don't be afraid to move furniture around to make room for yourself -- you're well worth the effort, and the effort itself can become part of your ritual, the process that prepares you for your yoga practice.
Clear away any clutter. Be ruthlessly minimalistic, and as much as possible, remove (even if just temporarily!) anything that is not functional or beautiful from your designated space. Feel free to drape sheets over busy spaces that you cannot bring under control. Yoga is very concerned with the senses, which have the power to both distract us and to bring us deeper into our practice and into the experience of embodied consciousness. Don't let the senses work against you! When our eyes are busy, our minds are busy. A stack of bills or dirty dishes in the periphery of your vision is not conducive to your You-time.
DELIGHT IN THE DETAILS.
How do we regulate sensory input in such a way that it increases our clarity and focus, rather than distracts us? You can use sensory objects as mental anchors to deepen your experience of the present moment. Light a candle, or some incense. Perhaps you'd like to prepare a simple altar with flowers, crystals, or other objects from nature, pictures of a deity or loved one, or anything meaningful to you. Set the mood any way you'd like -- there's no right or wrong way to do it. Invite your potted plants. String up some fairy lights. Put on some music. (If you need inspiration, we've shared our latest playlist on Spotify and Youtube)
SHUT OUT DISTRACTIONS.
Ask your housemates to avoid interrupting you during this time. Consider placing pets in another room. Consider bribing your children with candy and movies. Do whatever you need to do to deal with these variables, which you may not be able to control. But do control what you can: leave your phone in another room, or turn it onto Airplane Mode. Give yourself the gift of this time, just for you. In our hyper-connected world, practicing being even temporarily unavailable is a radical act of self-care.
Every great yoga nook has some yoga props, so gather blankets, pillows, or cushions. Roll them up, scrunch them up, experiment with density and shape. Big books make great blocks -- you can lay a blanket across them for more comfort. (If you're not familiar with how to use blocks in your yoga practice, you can check out this blog post.) You can also rent yoga mats and props from us on a monthly basis!
Most yoga studios have something in common - they're clean, free of clutter, softly lit, and perhaps pleasantly fragrant. While it might not be possible to get your whole home in the same condition, you may be able to get at least one little corner to cooperate.
Embracing the ritualistic aspects of creating and entering your own yoga space -- lighting candles, moving furniture, putting on soft music, turning off your phone -- can be powerful.
Not only does it help you establish a regular yoga practice, it is also a potent reminder that you are worth investing in. You are worth the effort. You deserve to take up time and space for yourself. You do so much for other people. Practice doing something that's just for you.
Wishing you a wonderful home practice! And if you don't want to practice alone, be sure to check out our online community offerings. Got any other tips for creating a yoga nook? Drop them in the comments below!