Updated: Apr 17, 2019
My last #blog post touched on the topic of home #yoga practice, and was intended to be about how to create a nice space in which to dedicate time at home to practice (asana, #meditation, #chanting, #relaxation- whatever it may be that forms part of your Yoga).
This thought came to my mind after realising that my own home practice has taken a real hit lately (and I currently can't always fit in going to a studio class), and also because I saw quite a few articles/social media posts in relation to this topic. What I noticed from some however, was that all the images and information were of a home space that actually looked like a Yoga studio space as opposed to a home. Perfectly painted walls, neat little baskets of mats and stacks of props. A little too "perfect" looking in relation to how I know my home practice space looks!
If like me, you aren't lucky enough like many of the #insta yoga practitioners to have your own dedicated room or large space to #practice, but would like to create a #serene space, or more-so make the most of the space you do have then I have found the tips below work for me.
1. Find the space- and clear the space!
The space I use is in my lounge. I move the coffee table back, and any bits in the way go into the bedroom, including any clutter, and the door is closed. Its not a large space but big enough for my mat and for me to stretch my arms and legs in all directions without bashing into or knocking anything.
The most important thing about the space is to tidy it up- even if that just means putting any clutter elsewhere for now. Otherwise my eyes and mind can often wander to this and I start focusing on this and the need to tidy instead- for me personally, mess isn't conducive with focus and #relaxation in any area of my life, and especially not this one.
I like to clear the air of the space I intend to use and have a nice smell (cos really who wants to practice in a room whilst deep #breathing and sniffing in the smell of burnt toast or old socks)? Depending on my mood or what I have available I use a variety of things.
Just make sure the scent isn't too over powering, and they are in a safe place.
Sage or Palo Santo
Can be burnt or "smudged" to cleanse the energy in the room and also for the scent- personal preference as some people are not keen on sage smell, and I prefer to smudge and then let the scent settle for a while before I practice.
I use a mixture of #lavender (relaxation properties), and tea tree (cleansing and also anti bacterial properties) mixed with water in a spritzer bottle. It smells nice, and also doubles up as a great Yoga mat cleaner!
I always have some #incense around, my favourites being Nag Champa, Sandalwood and Dragon King. The key thing to remember here is to burn the incense BEFORE you intend to practice. The room will then be filled with the yummy scent but you won't be breathing in the smoke from the incense as it burns.
3. Set up the space- have all you need to hand
Roll your mat out- check there is enough comfortable space for whatever kind of practice you will be doing.
Grab any props that you might need, a notebook if you need it, a focal point if you are practising concentration. You don't need to have all kinds of special props- a cushion can be your bolster (I brought one from Ikea for £3 which is great), a tie or your mat strap could double up as your strap. Making sure that you have all you need in your space will mean you can continue your practice for however long you wish without any distraction (going into another room to grab something and seeing some washing that then takes priority- you know the score)!
Lighting can be so important in setting a #mood. If my practice is in the evening, before bed, or more relaxing then candles are perfect, or a very dim artificial light. A salt lamp is even better if you do need to use an artificial light. On the other hand if my practice is in the morning and I want to wake up a little and feel energised I will normally try to face myself towards natural light- and as my practice unfolds so does the light of the day, which is really lovely and #peaceful for me.
This is a personal thing, and also dependent on the type of practice that you intend to be doing.
For me whilst practising physical #asana I like to have some gentle background music, I find it soothing and actually I do end up forgetting its there most of the time. Again this can also be dependent on the mood you are trying to cultivate- a morning or afternoon more energetic practice will most likely have a different playlist to your wind down before bed practice.
If you are using music try to have the playlist set so that you can click play and that's all you need to do!
Check for any final distractions, close the eyes and take a few deep breaths to find your centre, and then let your body and/or mind guide you...
So there's 5 simple steps to setting up a nice calming space at home, and hopefully encouraging you to take that bit of time out for yourself as regularly as you can (I am taking note of that sentence as advice to myself)!
If you have any top tips about a home practice space I would love to hear them!
Until next time...