So, you practice yoga! Or you’d like to start, but want to get into your own groove before shelling out for a studio. Cultivating an at-home practice is a great way to connect with yourself, and get all the relaxing benefits of yoga without having to run out the door for a six p.m. class. Below are some tips for setting up the perfect yoga space in your own home.
Although ancient practitioners did not have the benefit of no-slip mats, most American yogis feel mats are a necessity for practicing. Shop for one online or at a yoga studio. In general, mats work best on hardwood floors, although if you only have carpet, don’t let it deter you; plenty of people practice on rugs.
This includes space for both your body and for your mind. When setting up a spot for your mat, make sure you can do all the poses you love without crashing into a wall or ceiling. Some teachers suggest just enough space—a walk-in closet might suffice—while others recommend more room, in order to feel unrestricted both physically and emotionally. Along these lines, make sure to de-clutter this spot, in order to maximize the potential for your mind to relax (without those distracting thoughts of how you haven’t picked up or dusted in weeks). If you have a big enough balcony, it can be a great place to practice yoga in the fresh air.
There’s a reason yoga studios go to so much trouble to create beautiful places to practice—if you’re going to take care of yourself, you might as well go all the way! Natural, or at least soft, lighting will help you get into a spa-like state of mind. Quietness is also important for many when they practice, which may mean that you need to schedule your stretching around kids’ school schedules or neighbors’ parties. Also, although it can occasionally help you identify ways to improve postures, skip the mirror—for the most part. Take this time to focus on the “yoga,” meaning “unity” of your body and mind, from within.
Okay, you’ve got everything set up—what now? If you’re an experienced yogi, you know how to flow from one pose to another, and catering to your body’s individual needs provides a wonderful complement to the structure that a teacher offers. If you’d let someone else lead you to yogic bliss, there are many podcasts, webcasts, and “routine builders” online to get you started. Do a little research, queue up your preferred routine, and get ready to feel great.
Are you an at-home yogi, or looking to become one? We’d love to hear from you—here or on our Facebook page!