When I started my home practice, I simply unfurled my yoga mat wherever I happened to have space (which, at the time, was in the living room). I didn't really have an official yoga space (I could have used this back then). One of the things that appealed to me about yoga was that I didn't need all of this stuff to practice. Yet, as time went on, I desired a dedicated space in which to practice. Or, more precisely, I longed to create a space that reflected the sacredness of the time I spent with myself on my yoga mat/meditation cushion.
That's when I commandeered a corner and christened it my yoga/meditation space. Yes, a corner wasn't all that much space but somehow I made it work. Interestingly enough, I became conditioned a la Pavlov's Dogs -- whenever I planted myself in that space I could feel the calm settling over me. If I found myself resisting practice, I would plant myself in my little corner to get snap myself out of my stupor.
Luckily, these days my corner has expanded into an entire room. A lot of care and thought went into decorating this space in an attempt to make it mine (after years of having only a corner, I went a little hog wild once I got a whole room). I decorated with the five senses and the elements in mind, using luxurious materials, rocks, plants, vibrant colors, different textures, etc.
If you have some space that you'd like to claim for yoga and/or meditation -- whether it's a corner or an entire room -- here are some helpful resources:
- Creating space -- finding the space to make your own can be a challenge. If you're challenged in the space department, check out these helpful books: Your Spacious Self: Clear Your Clutter and Discover Who You Are, Creating Sacred Space With Feng Shui: Learn the Art of Space Clearing and Bring New Energy into Your Life, Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui
- Making it sacred -- many believe that creating an altar is a great way to make your space special and distinguish it from the rest of the home. An altar is a great way to maximize a small amount of space. Check out these books for help creating your own altar: Altar Your Space: A Guide to the Restorative Home, Altars of Power and Grace: Create the Life You Desire--Achieve Harmony, Health, Fulfillment and Prosperity with Personal Altars Based on Vastu Shastra, Your Altar: Creating a Sacred Space for Prayer & Meditation
- Dressing up the space -- my space includes a bamboo plant and rocks that I've collected during my hikes. I've also added some wall art and decorative designs from some of my favorite sources: Gratitude Designs (there's nothing like putting yourself in a constant state of gratitude by hanging a Gratitude Painting on your wall), Spotted Moon Art Designs by Art Loves Yoga (beautiful designs that are budget-friendly), MyZenArt (a custom tapestry is a perfect way to beautify your space and the paintings and Desktop Zen pieces are perfect for both large and small spaces), Christine Mason Miller (inspirational wall art under $20), Energy Hangers from Energy Muse (I love these colorful door hangers infused with different intentions
- Adding scent -- my favorite scents for my person come from AromaBliss, but when I want to add scent to my space, I like to use incense. I recently went across the pond for incense and ordered from Dhuni Natural Insense. The sticks are handrolled in India and the scents are heavenly (I'm burning Lotus Flower right now). I can honestly say that this is some of the highest quality incense I've ever had the pleasure of using.
- The element of fire -- I have all kinds of candles in my space and some of my favorites are from The Mystic Masala. I'm Kapha Dosha, so it's no surprise that my favorites are the spicy Kapha candles.
- Adding a little luxury -- I have a decadent corner set up in my room that includes brightly-colored, overstuffed pillows and a sheepskin rug. If I'm not sitting there meditating, you can often find me there reading. The textures are a total sense indulgence.
- Sound -- if you'd like to add to pleasant sounds to your space or you want to spend some time engaging in some chanting accompanied by your own music, I suggest Tibetan Singing Bowls or Mother Rhythm Drums.
The truth is, there's no right or wrong when it comes to creating a yoga/meditation space -- it only has to reflect you and your taste and intention. You could add statues or pictures or talismans or prized possessions or plants or whatever else invokes a feeling of sacredness.
What I've realized is that it even though I have more space than I once did, it's not the amount of space that makes it special for me -- it's how I've filled the space.
How are you filling your yoga/meditation space?