Since the beginning of 2020 and the global pandemic as we know it, swathes of people have taken their yoga practice into their homes. Many of us have turned to the comfort and discipline that yoga provides to create a sense of inner peace and to come back home to ourselves. But sometimes life can be chaotic and that inner peace can be really hard to find when you've got mounds of work and an excitable dog who always wants to play and go outside to chase squirrels or maybe you even have little humans running around doing similar things! Luckily, it's easier than you might think to turn even the tiniest of corners into a safe space where our minds and bodies can unwind to the sound of our breath.
I think it's important to create a space in your home where you can come back home to yourself. For some of us, it can be really difficult to find the space in our tiny houses or downtown high-rise closet-sized apartments for solace. But, you'd be surprised at how a little re-arranging and re-organizing of your space can create entirely new possibilities of what it means to "get zen."
As a yoga teacher + student, my personal practice is very important to me. They say that's the first to go when you become a teacher, is your own personal practice. But how can we lead others, when we ourselves are out of whack?! Most of the yoga teachers I know have taken to the interwebs to connect with their students lately and I think this is such an excellent way to continue building community.
It can sometimes be difficult to concentrate during yoga practice in our busy homes with pets running around or kids playing in the background. But by creating a zen yoga corner in your space, you can realign with the most peaceful, relaxed version of yourself and really give your best to those around you, and yourself, of course. Plus this is easier to achieve than you think!
Let's get into it!
First, you'll want to take your current home space layout into consideration. In a perfect world, where would your zen den be? Maybe it's perfectly perched next to a window to catch that gentle morning sun, surrounded by tropical plants, soft rugs, and your favorite incense burning. You might even have a cool little room divider or beaded curtain to close off your space during meditation or asana practice. Or, what if you're blessed with a nice outdoor patio space, where you can set up outdoor floor cushions and rugs with lanterns or pretty string lights? You could also hang wind chimes and flowy curtains to add some privacy and ambiance. The possibilities are truly endless and up to your own creative mindset!
Next, you'll probably have to move some furniture around, so grab some help to make sure you're safely moving things. Safety First, People!!! This is where you get to be creative with your space. Of course, you'll want the energy to "flow." If you aren't sure what that means, then definitely check out this podcast episode which talks all about how to organize your home space according to Feng Shui, it's amazing!
What works for me here, is to create my little yoga space first. I know that might sound selfish to some people, but this helps me to reimagine what the room would look like in MY perfect world with my yoga and meditation practice being accessible first and foremost. I don't know about you, but on the days that I skip yoga or meditation, I'm more likely to be moody, short-tempered, and irritable. Yikes! Not a good combination! So that's why this is so important to me. Maybe you feel the same way?
Once you've whittled out a space for your practice, now it's time to add some zen elements - if you want to! This is completely up to you as some folks prefer a clean and pristine place to practice, and others enjoy a few high vibe accessories. It's up to you, this is YOUR space, you get to make it what YOU want it to be!
Next come the High Vibe accessories!
High vibe accessories can be super simple things like adding a couple of beautiful tropical plants or succulents. It could be sparkly crystals to help you set an intention or a soft candle or incense burning in the corner. You can also add a little basket for your yoga mat and accessories to keep your chill corner tidy and organized. I think if you have the space for it, a pretty rug with some great soft texture or a few extra comfy floor cushions can really up the ante on your meditative yoga space. You might never want to leave!
One other accessory that's important to add here is the full body mirror. Yes, I said it. But hear me out! The full body mirror is highly invaluable in your yoga practice because it really helps you check your alignment. Just think of it as an "eyes on" adjustment. It also helps you to bring more awareness to your mind body connection. Looking at the area that needs adjustment through the mirror, and then moving through those sensations while actually seeing the movement, can definitely build this connection. The larger the mirror the more you'll be able to see at once, so aim for a full length mirror preferably with optional wall mount capabilities especially if your space is quite small.
I think another great thing to keep in mind, is "packability." What does this mean? So if your space is quite small, you might want to think about being able to "pack up your zen den" and store it out of the way until your next practice. This helps keep the space as open and available as possible, and of course, free of unsightly clutter, which can actually give some folks higher levels of stress and anxiety! And that's the opposite of what we're looking to achieve here.
That means when you're designing your perfect space, think about how you're going to store these items when they're not in use.
A useful tip is to use as much wall space as you can, rather than floor space for storage.
Think floating shelves, or a wall-mountable shelving system to help you keep your space clean, organized, and ready for your next practice. I love this beautiful turquoise yoga mat holder (above) with a little top shelf for your high vibe accessories. Not only is everything organized, but it's neatly stored out of the way so that your space is free and clear.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks on how to transform a corner of your home into a temporary yoga sanctuary. In the age of tiny homes, RV living, and Van/Bus life, having a space that we can still call our own that will help us remember to come back home to ourselves is crucial. Allow this space to be your refuge, your safe haven, the sanctuary away from the world where you can journey back to yourself any time you need it.
I've included a few more pictures below as ideas to help you get started creating your own zen yoga space. Remember if the weather is lovely, an outdoor practice can really ground us into the present moment. There's nothing like having a delicious sweaty practice outside and laying in savasana as the cool breeze soothes your body into total relaxation.
Thank you so much for your continued support Cosmic Soul Fam!