Create your own yoga space
Posted on: 29 March 2012 by Rebecca Norris
How to start you spring workout without having to venture to the gym
Not all that long ago evenings were dark and dingy, now all of a sudden it’s spring and we’re thinking about sundresses, shorts and T-shirts but our bodies are still feeling the effects of winter. If you’re feeling lethargic about springtime workouts, starting with a something a little gentler, in the comfort of your own home could be an ideal way to ease yourself in. Yoga in the living room is perfect for this- just follow our tips to make your home the perfect Zen workout space
Picking your space
As long as your body can move 360 degrees in all directions, you have enough space to do yoga. That said, the more room you have, the better. Any barely used rooms in the house could be perfect, e.g. a storage room full of clutter you can clear out, an ironing room or guest room. Try to clear the room of its original contents, or hide them with screens.
If you can’t dedicate a whole room to your yoga space, just using the corner of your bedroom or lounge can work as well. Just make sure you have enough room to move, can keep that space completely free of any clutter and that there are enough moments in the day when that area is quiet. You should also make sure your yoga space has sufficient heating to keep you warm during sessions in colder seasons.
Finally, a room or corner with plenty of natural light and a nice view will help to keep you in touch with nature and the change of seasons. It’s amazing how different your space will look as the weather changes. If such a room is currently in use and another is standing empty, why not swap them around?
Yoga is best practiced on a hard, clean floor and with a yoga mat. Although much of the work happens on the mat, you will still need a good, non-slip, stable floor for a lot of the poses. Carpets are not ideal for this and have the added disadvantage of not feeling pleasant under bare feet and being stuffy. Wood flooring is most popular with yogis because it has all the required properties and creates a natural, warm environment. If you can’t afford real wood flooring, consider a laminate or vinyl – you’d be surprised at how realistic these have become!
Next, a simple lick of paint will transform a dull room into a tranquil oasis. Pick your colours carefully as they will have an impact on your emotional state during your sessions. Light hues of blue or green, mixed with white and earthy, natural colours work well to create a calming environment. Avoid big splashes of red or orange, as they are too stimulating. To learn more about the psychology of colours, visit colourtherapyhealing.com.
Sarah Dawson is a yoga teacher at Karmiyoga.com and gives the following tips on decorating your yoga space: “Scented candles or incense help enhance the atmosphere and depending on your beliefs or spirituality, a Buddha or picture of a deity/yoga guru can also be inspiring for your practice. If you're limited with space you can easily transform a room in your home at any time by setting the scene with any of the above.”
Yoga equipment and tools
At the very least, you’ll need a yoga mat to complete your room. There is a whole range of other equipment available, from blocks to eye pillows that over time you may want to acquire to build out your yoga space. To learn more about all the yoga tools available, visit the British Wheel of Yoga shop.
If you are learning yoga from scratch, it can be helpful to practice to a DVD. In this case you’ll need a TV and DVD player or laptop and somewhere to put them. Books are also a great way of learning more about yoga, so a comfy seat in the corner means you can brush up on yoga in your peaceful space. You may also want to include a stereo for playing relaxing music and enhancing the experience.
Whichever tools or equipment you fill your yoga room with, try to dedicate some storage in your room for these tools to minimise clutter – a simple screen might be all you need.
Finally, some more words of advice from Sarah: “Above all of this is the commitment, discipline or desire to get on the yoga mat and actually practice, even if it is a few minutes of deep conscious pranayama (yogic breathing) - the rewards are huge."
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