By Emily Hudson
In 2014, making room in our lives for a daily yoga practice feels more important than ever. By giving yourself the gift of time, reflection, and movement each day, you create an abundance of freedom to be and live as your true self. There isn’t always time to make it into the yoga studio, and nobody should feel guilty about that. It just is. While we’re on track for making space for a daily practice, why not make space at home for yoga? Whether your room is big or small, over-crowded or minimalistic, yoga at home can happen if you make it happen. If I can create room in my tiny Los Angeles boudoir, you can too, my friends. What are the elements we need for a yoga practice? For me, the two primary things are breath and gratitude. Then, perhaps a mat. The rest of the elements involved in an at-home yoga practice are really accessories. However, I’m sure there is some statistic supporting the drive created by designating space at home for yoga. I believe creating an area for yoga increases our motivation to practice and decreases the number of stressful interruptions life has to offer outside of the studio environment. I also stand behind the fact that yoga at home saves time and some serious Zen energy. No traffic, no money spent, no run-ins with yogi pretenders, no studio crowds… and my personal favorite: an at-home practice is pajama-friendly.
“Rules” For your Yoga Space
Start by clearing out anything that doesn’t serve you. Maybe that means a deep spring cleaning and making a Goodwill run. Or taking the simple route like I did… squeezing a few more things in your closet. Your yoga space should be as uncluttered and as open as possible.
Your yoga zone should be pet and child-free. Barks and wahhhs don’t do much for a Zen mindset or connected Vinyasa movement. Your yoga practice is your time, not anyone or anything else’s.
Keep your space technology-free (with the exception of speakers for some well-chosen tunes). The tradition of yoga doesn’t call for texting, social media, work, email, or being ‘tuned in’ at all really. The only places you need to tune into during your practice are your body and spirit. The rest can wait.
Then come the yoga accessories that will aid you in creating a serene space. Placing your favorite painting, candle, or music in your yoga area can make all the difference in your ability to focus and relax.
Setting aside a designated space for yoga also helps to ritualize your routine, making it more likely you’ll step foot on your mat each day. Just like Pavlov’s dog (or whatever that experiment was called)… by stepping into our designated yoga space and focusing solely on our practice, we condition ourselves to breathe, release, tune into our true selves, and just flow. The moment I step onto my mat at my “home studio”, my shoulders draw back and down, I inhale deeply, and instantly feel at home – all without a single thought crossing my mind. Journey toward creating this sacred section of your home, and toward taking time to ponder the life parallels that come up for you… what else do we need to designate space for?