Yoga has been practiced for over 5,000 years, yet this millenary practice has grown exponentially in popularity, with around 9% of Canadians having taken part in yoga as a form of exercise or therapy. The media is abuzz with warnings of the effects of the sedentary lifestyle, but Canadians are the exception, with a study by IBS indicating that the exercise industry has grown significantly in the past few years.
If you have been practicing yoga for a few years, then you are probably well aware of how important sessions under the guiding hand of a trained teacher are. Many asanas can be complex and completing them with the right technique is key. Moreover, yoga is about a lot more than performing physical postures; it is an entire way of life that involves lifestyle choices in line with the yogic limbs.
If you love yoga and would love to practice what you learned in class at home, you can easily build a beautiful home yoga space. Follow these tips to build your very own oasis of peace.
Use of Natural Materials
Yoga is intricately tied in to nature; in fact, it is recommended that you perform your daily sun salutations in a verdant or seaside area, to feel truly at one with the majestic surrounds. Nature helps one reach a mindful state that is vital when it comes to making the most of yoga’s stress-reducing effects.
Try to build your yoga space close to your garden or overlooking the sea or mountains if you can. Depending on your budget, you can really set the mood with features such as an open-air wooden deck, thatched roof terrace, or floor-to-ceiling windows so you can look out onto verdant surrounds, even during winter months.
Your musical system can be as sophisticated or simple as you like, but meditation music can definitely help set the mood, relax you, and keep you focused on the here and now. If space is an issue, you can opt for a iPod, hooked up to solar speakers, which are powerful enough to fill a small room with sound. You don’t have to listen to traditional music; sounds of nature will also work, especially if you live in an urban area or don’t have a yard to look out to.
The Little Details Count
Décor is everything when it comes to creating a yogic ambience. Think of all the elements that make your yoga studio so appealing, such as wax or soy candles (avoid paraffin as they emit toxic chemicals when burned). The sound of water is also super relaxing; there is a plethora of Oriental inspired water fountains in different styles, ranging from modern to traditional. You don’t have to splash out on an expensive wall fountain; even if your space is small, a lovely tabletop fountain, filled with stones and decorated with indoor plants, make for a beautiful altar decoration.
Additional touches that can help you feel more spiritual include wind chimes, dreamcatchers, ribbons, or outdoor lanterns, which you can hang on trees and light up with candles for a super chilled night time yoga session.
When it comes to the layout of your yoga space, it is important to think of how many people will be using it. Do you plan on practicing yoga with your partner and children, for instance? If so, it might be a nice idea to have a wooden storage cabinet (think carved figures to add a bit of mood) where you can keep your mats, towels, etc. You can also use the top of this cabinet as an altar. A sofa or soft pillows to sit on might also be nice for chats before or after practicing yoga, and you can add more touches such as a hammock, which kids in particular will love.
Designing the yoga space of your dreams can be done on a small or big budget. It can involve major refurbishment but also just a few small touches such as decorative pieces, a small fountain, candles or even an essential oil diffuser. Find your inspiration in your yoga school and ask your teacher for a few handy tips that will bring peace and positive vibes to what will undoubtedly be an ideal room in which to disconnect from your worries and experience the present moment with zeal.
Sally Keys is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.