During the pandemic, many yoga students practiced from home via livestream classes and on-demand class platforms. One of the benefits of practicing from home is that students are able to practice more frequently and consistently. Many of us are now getting back to our favorite studios, but some of us will continue to practice from home or find a balance between home and studio classes. This blog offers tips for setting up a tranquil, safe yoga space at home, for the days you can’t make it to the sanctuary of your local yoga studio.
I know a thing or two about creating yoga spaces because I designed my yoga studio! Yoga Next Door started in my living room and then moved to our three season porch. After a year we expanded the porch into a full size yoga studio. These suggestions stem from the experience of designing my space which my students call “beautiful” and “healing” and knowledge of what students need to practice effectively as a yoga teacher.
1. Find a quiet uncluttered corner or room of your home for your practice space. One of the most important benefits of yoga is that it helps us calm and focus our minds. Having fewer distractions when we practice helps us stay focused on our bodies and breath and hone our attention skills on the mat and meditation cushion. If you have a full loud house (like I do) a room with a door is preferable!
2. Set your home yoga space up near a window, if possible. Another important goal of yoga is to feel connected to the present moment. Setting up next to a window will help facilitate this. It is grounding and calming to feel connected to nature or your immediate environment when you are practicing. One of the things I love about the studio space I created at Yoga Next Door is the views of the trees and the sounds of nature when the windows are open.
3. Add a few meaningful objects to your home yoga space to deepen your practice. I like to use crystals and essential oils during my meditation sessions sometimes. Choose crystals or oils that support whatever you are working on emotionally on a given day. I also recommend finding a book of meditations on yoga or poems that you find centering to read before or after your asana (physical) practice. I also have a few pieces of art created by my kids in support of my practice – a painting and a small clay figure. I recommend only a few small things that support getting you to your mat or meditation cushion consistently.
4. Invest in the essential yoga props. At a minimum you should have a mat, yoga blocks, and a strap in your home yoga space. You could use a rope, tie, or towel in place of a yoga strap. I also like to have a blanket and a bolster available when I practice. You can purchase yoga blankets and bolsters or or find substitutes from around your house. Using props in your home yoga practice will make classes more accessible and safe. Since it’s a home practice you’ll have to experiment – noticing whether poses feel better with blocks under the hands, in Runners Lunge for example, or the support of a blanket under the hips in Pigeon pose. If you practice with a good instructor, they will cue and demonstrate how to use your props effectively. If possible practice in a room with a little wall space. You can use the wall as a support in balance poses, or an enhancement for other poses.
Yoga is a unique practice and journey for each of us. Just like finding the right teacher or type of yoga you will need to try different things in your home yoga space to settle in. I hope these tips for creating a home yoga space help you on your way to a consistent, effective, safe yoga practice in the comfort of your hOMe.