Updated: Dec 4, 2021
How do I set up my room for yoga?
Picture this. A lovely open space. Your colourful yoga mat rolled out. Maybe a candle. Perhaps some music. Window ajar to let in a little breeze (in the Summer!). Door closed to keep the distractions out. Enter. Your Yoga Space.
Another beautiful benefit of Live Online Yoga. As we stream from our living room to yours, or wherever you fancy practising, it is your space. Filled with your things. Helping you connect to you. So, my top 5 tips. Each is linked to a sense, so if you were a whiz kid in biology, you'll remember them easily!
5 Tips For Setting Up Your Home Yoga Space
We'll start with the simplest, most obvious point. What you can see from your mat, and why this matters. You might have heard of drishti (Sanskrit for focused gaze) and basically we want to cultivate our drishti as best we can. Soft gaze equals soft mind, equals soft breath, equals greater connection to body. So in line with this, what we see in our space can either distract and send our mind jumping around like a little monkey, and with little to no chance of connecting to breath and body! The antidote, surround yourself with stuff that helps you cultivate calm and peace. So if you're anything like me, a little bit of nature never goes amiss. Maybe you like to see the trees in your garden through the window, or a nice plant in the corner of your room. Check the quality of your light too. If you're space is a little dark, maybe switch on a nice lamp or light a candle, or pick a place with lots of natural light. Think less is more with this one. The less external sight distractions, the more energy you can focus on you.
The next most obvious point to me is what you can hear. Obviously we're all at home at the moment, and you might be saying, I can't stop the kids squabbling or the cat meowing or the neighbours sick beats, but you can pick what to amplify! So, if you have a nice quiet space and you enjoy the silence, you're all set. But if you have a little more to contend with, maybe you can pick your favourite music to play in the background. It doesn't have to be all zen like, gongs and cow bells, you can practice to anything. So pick something that complements your mood, and practice along with that. Or again, window open, let in the natural sounds, the birds and the breeze.
This is where the comfy factor comes in. Temperature can be key. Not that we can really control the temperature of the room, especially as we move through a practice, our temperature will surely fluctuate depending on how much energy we are exerting! But we can make sure we are equipped with the right amount of layers and comfy clothes to start with. Wearing something comfortable and light is a great start, and having a comfy sweater or blanket to hand to layer up if you begin to cool maybe seems obvious, but important to mention. And for an extra special something something, pick a sweater or blanket that has lovely memories. That way when you're all wrapped up in your savasana you'll have a little extra love. Also access to a window to let in a little fresh air is a good option and if you're practicing in the tropics and are prone to getting warm, a fan can be a nice option too!
So, we're getting a little more subtle with the senses now. If there's a bad smell, we're immediately alerted to it and want it gone asap. But if there isn't a bad smell, how many of us actively work to create a good one? A nice smell can be a really simple way to kick start our endorphins (or feel good factor). I recently had some flowers in my practice space and every time I caught a whiff I was reminded of my gran who had bought them for me! A nice essential oil or a scented candle is a good option too. Treat yourself.
Now I hear you saying, you're going a little bit too far! And maybe I am. And again, like smell, maybe you'd notice and be distracted if there was a bad taste knocking about, but not necessarily a good one. I think here we want to move towards a neutral place. A glass of water to freshen the palette pre-practice is a good option. Or if you're that way inclined, maybe a cup of tea!
The more comfortable you feel in your space, the more you'll be able to connect to your body and mind.
Carrie is a co-founder of The Frog Project, yoga teacher, and full time stay at home mum to two smalls. When she's not playing with the kids or practicing yoga, you'll likely find her in the middle of her veg patch, trowel in hand and covered in mud. She loves the outdoors, and would camp every night given the chance. She and her partner in crime, Martin, set up The Frog Project with the aim of bringing classical yoga to all, and deliver live online classes with a group of dedicated teachers, to students of all experiences, ages, shapes, sizes, jobs, lives, you name it, from all around the world. Join them now and get 15 days of free unlimited classes. It's just yoga.