Whether you have the luxury of a whole room to dedicate to nothing but yoga, or you’re a city dweller with just enough space to lay down a mat, carving out space for your yoga can help set the tone for your morning yoga routine.
Here are a few tips for making your space yoga friendly:
Boot the electronics. Everything, including humans, continuously emit electromagnetic radiation, but electronic devices such as televisions and computers can be distracting and make it difficult to silence your mind, even when they’re turned off. According to the environmental protection agency (EPA), depending on the type of television or computer screen, you may be getting exposed to low levels of x-ray radiation. If you’re cramped for space and have no choice but to practice in a room with electronics, unplug them when they’re not in use. Good for your peace of mind and good for your carbon footprint.
Minimize distraction. Most of us have roommates in the house, whether they are family, friend, or fur-covered. Give yourself fully and exclusively to your yoga time. Close the door to outside visitors for the full duration of your practice. You might even hang a sign on the door to let roommates and family members know that this is your time, and you would be grateful for silence.
Light some candles. The simple act of lighting a candle can be both relaxing and ritualistic. Throughout history, cultures have used candles to meditate, and achieve altered states. But, they’re also symbols of enlightenment, reverence, and worship. Practicing candlelight yoga at night can help calm you after a long day. Lighting a candle on a yoga alter in the morning cues the body to get into ‘yoga mode’ and come to stillness. Lighting a candle as your set your intention or in honor of a personal deity brings spirituality into a practice that’s otherwise strictly physical.
Create the ultimate yoga playlist. Ok, so this kind of violates the “electronics” rule, but music always helps to soothe the savage mind. As a once master of making mixed tapes in the 80s, I have a penchant for creating playlists. I have different playlists for different moods or different styles of yoga. If you’d rather not build your own, here are a couple of my favorite standbys that you can download from iTunes: Eckhart Tolle’s Music to Quiet the Mind and Putumayo Presents Yoga (you can also buy this CD at Whole Foods.)
Give your room a makeover. If you’ve found space in your home that you want to turn into a studio (even if it’s part time), giving the space itself a facelift to make it feel more like a peaceful respite, can help calm the mind and rejuvenate your practice. Use the opportunity to declutter and organize. Make adequate space for your mat, and leave enough room around the mat so you can stretch your arms wide without bumping into anything. You might even simplify the decor, add some sheer curtains, and try a new shade of paint in a soothing color (low VOC of course.)
Of course, these are just ideas. You can truly do yoga anywhere with or without a mat. In fact, I often feel more connected when I practice outside in the front yard (despite the inquisitive stares by neighbors.) But, I do have space in my home that I’ve allocated for my asana and meditation practice. It’s a place to go when I need to go inward or just decompress from the day.
Whether or not you carve out a new physical space for your yoga, carving out space in your life for yoga promises to have lasting benefits.
– Your Charmed Yogi
Photo credit: Daniels Design
Thanks for the tips – I’m working on this right now. Hopefully our old, cluttered study will soon be a peaceful sanctuary :-).
Great tips! You have a lovely space there. I’m also in the process of this. I’ve been practicing either outside on my lawn (also getting the double-takes as neighbors walk by!) or in my den. Husband and 2 cats kind of can get distracting. I’m thinking it’s time to re-do the study into the yoga room! 😉