Think about your favourite yoga studio that you have been to. Beyond the instructors, think about why you love it. Is it the light, the aesthetic, or maybe a certain scent that helps you to be present in that space? It's so great finding spaces, especially for yoga, that really resonate with us. However, how can we bring that same feeling within our homes when practicing yoga?
Personally speaking, I used to associate practicing at home as a lesser experience than than heading to my favourite yoga studio. The more I began flowing at home to advance my yoga practice, I more realised that I could recreate that same feeling I get from my favourite studios in my own home. By creating a calm space that was functional, yet beautiful to me, I would look forward to practicing at home more.
So I decided to create my own yoga sanctuary, and you can too with these tips!
Read on for how to create a comfortable and beautiful space for your yoga practice
Find your spot
Find an area that allows you to focus on your practice
First, you need to find that spot that you would like to designate as your yoga space. It doesn't have to be a large space, just enough room for your mat to exist comfortably, free from any obstructions and distractions. If you don't have an extra room that you can devote to yoga, no worries. It's ok if you need to get a bit more creative and flexible in creating a space for you to practice. If a small space is all you have, accept it. Just try to make this yoga space as quiet and uncluttered as you can.
Roll your mat out
Manduka PRO Mat & PRO Extra Large Mat
This might be a no-brainer, but once you have cleared a space for your yoga practice - it's time to roll that mat out! If you don't have a yoga mat already, I got you! Though there are so many choices out there for yoga mats, I highly recommend Manduka's Black Mat PRO Long, PRO Squared or PRO Long & Wide for home practice if you already have some experience in yoga. It provides an excellent amount of cushion for my practice and is long enough so I can move freely without touching the floor. It's such a durable mat that you'll definitely be using it for many years of continuous practice! Though this mat is an investment, it's worth paying up for something that will suit your needs and last a long time. If you are looking for your first mat, I suggest you to look into Manduka Foundation Series or the eKO Series which are more forgiving for beginners.
Choose your Props wisely
Manduka Props (read our Guide on Yoga Props): Rectangular Bolster, Cork Blocks, and Align Strap
Props are a great way to aid and release further into a stretch or access an advanced bind. Yoga blocks, straps, blankets, and bolsters are the usual props you can find and likely use at your local yoga studio. However, if you are just starting out and don't already have these props, you can use household items in the meantime. Instead of blocks, use some large books. A belt is a great substitute for a strap. Grab a few pillows to use as a bolster. Also, an empty wall is a great (and necessary) way to practice inversions. Yoga is not about having all the accessories, but actually using them to build your practice.
Set the mood with lighting
Once you have your basic necessities to start practicing yoga at home, now its time to start making your yoga space your own. I personally love setting up my mat up in the sunlight by a window. If that isn't possible, you can create some serious atmosphere by using mood lighting like candles or dimmable lamps.
Bless your space with a scent
My favourite way to sanctify my yoga space before I begin my practice is to burn a bit of sustainably sourced Palo Santo. For you that might be lighting a natural candle, burning some sage, or just spraying an organic scent. Whatever that is, make sure you are consistent, as it will become apart of your yoga practice routine.
Get creative and make your yoga space your own
Now for the fun part - it's time to decorate! Try not to go over the top, you still want this space to be functional for your practice. Keep it simple and intentional by including items that you find functional, beautiful, and encourage a calming energy. Before you start a shopping frenzy, take a honest look at what you can already use in your home.
Now that you have your yoga sanctuary, set realistic goals for yourself! You can have all the right equipment and feel like you have set up your perfect yoga space, but you need to start slow. If you are new to yoga, start with a few beginner sequences. If you aren't sure where to start, use the many yoga streaming services that are out there or your local studio online classes! These first classes will help you create the foundation to build on your practice.
Keep it clean!
One last tip - for your yoga space to be your sanctuary, you've got to keep it clean! Maybe that means putting your props away after use or cleaning your mat with mat wash before rolling it away. That way your yoga space is feeling and smelling fresh after use. It's important to leave this space just as clear as you found it, so you can actually look forward to practicing on it again (rather than cleaning it up).
Hopefully these tips are useful in helping you create the best space you can to enjoy your yoga practice!
Written by Mia Caine, @the_healthlete. Mia is a wellness writer & certified yoga teacher (RYT200) based in NYC & Miami.
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