Yoga classes have been popular in modern society for a while now and some of us are so familiar with our asanas that we are quite capable of leading an independent practice at home. Aside from the financial benefits of independent practice, the greatest spiritual benefit of practicing yoga at home is the opportunity to move seamlessly from sleep to a peaceful morning yoga session without the jarring commute into the outside world.
But while a yoga session doesn't require expensive sports equipment, it does require a physical space with certain mental and spiritual boundaries. These boundaries are essential for creating the structure to best immerse yourself in your practice, even for the most tough-minded yogi. No matter how you approach your yoga practice, these boundaries simply come down to creating a space separate from daily living zones, dust, clutter and mental distractions.
So no matter how big or small your home, no matter how cluttered with things to do or other people's needs, it is possible to create a wonderful yoga space at home. Keep reading to learn how.
Ideally we would all have pristine rooms set aside for our practice where we will never be disturbed. But in reality, many of us make do with a corner of our living room or bedroom. If you do need to do this, consider a quiet area away from main walkways. No matter how clean your home is, walkways tend to gather dust and debris. While this may not seem to be an issue from a distance, you'll certainly notice it when you're in the midst of brushing your head on the floor in the mist of a sun salutation!
But the single most important factor to consider when choosing a yoga space is to find a place with physical, mental and emotional boundaries. This doesn't mean a space needs to be large, it can even be something you create each time you practice yoga. Keep reading for a few ideas on how to create such a space.
We all know that yoga doesn't require many accessories and that's what so many of us love about it! But a simple wooden bookshelf like this or a meditative design on the wall may help set the mood. Don't clutter up the space too much though, objects carry associations that can distract us from our practice. In essence, consider the Taoist idea that that a room’s true beauty is in the empty space within the roof and walls.
The number one rule is to completely avoid synthetic materials. Our bodies love natural materials because they allow them to breathe and sweat. In terms of design, choose whatever colours you find comforting and relaxing. It's best to avoid intense bold designs though, not because of anything so superficial as a trend, but because these kind of designs tend to bring up mental associations that distract us from the quiet, meditative quality of our practice. Consider some earthy, natural cushions like this.
When we're breathing quietly and concentrating on our stretch or final relaxation pose, our senses come alive and we become hyper-aware of all that our space provides. Yoga doesn't just help still the mind it also creates a closer engagement with our bodies. So employ all the five senses in the creation of your space. A simple stick of incense or a calming seaside wall print like this one by Affreschi & Affreschi might help create that sensory boundary.
While your sun salutations obviously need a little natural light, sometimes we just need a little artificial light. A harsh overhead can be very hard on the eyes when you're trying to stare at the ceiling or lie on the ground. Something like these fabulous light orbs by Lumenio might be just the thing you're after. But whatever you choose, just remember to keep the wattage low.
For our final tip, we'll consider the all important air that you breathe. Pot plants purify the air and obviously this is a fantastic thing when you're practicing deep breathing. But before you rush out and buy a beautiful, calming plant, consider the soil, dirt and maintenance issues of the plant. With all the clutter and demands of every day life, high maintenance plants may run the danger of becoming a little forlorn and serving as a reminder of another thing we need to do. A great alternative is to consider some low maintenance succulents.
If you are interested in calm environments, you would love this Ideabook Tranquil interior design and decoration.