5 Tips to Make Your Space More Yoga Friendly
Finding the motivation to get on your yoga mat isn’t always easy - let alone finding the motivation to leave your house to attend a class at a studio & THEN get on your mat! For me, maintaining a studio yoga practice can feel downright impossible sometimes! (Especially if it’s particularly early in the morning or really cold outside.) On those days that I just can’t muster up the energy to leave my home base, I fall back on my home practice.
Although technically all you need to practice at home is your mat & your self, making your space more yoga friendly will motivate you to push yourself, find your edge & get the most out of your practice!
Here are my top 5 tips for mindfully curating an inspiring home yoga space:
1. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
First things first: make sure your mat & your props are visible! Propping your mat up in the corner of your room so that it’s one of the first things you see when you wake up in the morning will remind you to get on it & get moving! If you want to get fancy, you can even place your mat & props on a designated shelf or in a basket! I have a yoga prop milk crate that contains everything I need for my home practice: my mat, a yoga wheel, two blocks, a lacrosse ball for myofascial release & 5 pound weights in case I want to incorporate a little yoga sculpt into my flow.
& if you’re struggling to find motivation later in the day (even with your props staring right at you) you can also try putting on your favorite pair of yoga pants! You can find my favorite motivation-boosting pants here.
2. Let’s Get Spiritual!
You don’t have to be a spiritual person to practice yoga! But honoring a traditional practice by making your space feel more sacred and zen will help to get you in that yogic mindset. One of the easiest changes that made the biggest difference for me was hanging a tapestry. When I wake up in the morning & see my tapestry I’m immediately inspired to flow. You might also implement other spiritual additions like lighting candles or burning sage. Try practicing at night by candlelight or smudging (another term for burning sage) to clear the energy of your space before you begin your practice!
3. Go Au Naturel
That being said, creating a sacred space doesn’t have to equal spending money if you don’t want it to! It can be as easy as consciously connecting back to the earth: think plants, natural light & air flow. In addition to converting carbon dioxide into oxygen and helping to purify the air, plants help to inspire creativity & focus. The more natural your environment feels, the more committed you’ll be to the natural movements of your practice. I like to put my mat right in front of the biggest open window in my apartment so that I can feel the breeze wash over me as I flow.
4. A Trip Down Memory Lane
Have you ever heard a song & immediately been transported back to the first time you heard it? Or smelled food that reminded you of your childhood? That’s because the same part of your brain that processes senses also stores emotional memories. Knowing that, you can “trick” your brain into yoga mode by giving it the same cues before you get on your mat every time. Try creating a yoga playlist that always starts with the same first few songs, or diffuse the same essential oil each time you begin your practice. Or sit on your mat & have a cup of tea, while you meditate on what movements your body is craving today before you begin. Eventually, simply starting your playlist, diffusing that oil &/or boiling water for your tea will immediately remind you of how good your practice feels & will make you crave your mat!
5. Location, Location, Location
Finally (& arguably most important) is the essential requirement of having enough space to move - free of clutter & distraction! If you’re practicing in the corner of your room in between last week’s pile of laundry you still need to fold and that bag of clothing you keep meaning to take to goodwill, you’re not going to be able to focus solely on the practice at hand.
My biggest struggle in my own home practice is falling susceptible to such distractions. My phone vibrates, my dog walks into the room, I notice that I need to vacuum… anything & everything threatens to disrupt my focus. Be sure to turn off your phone (like you would if you were taking a class at a studio) & if you don’t live alone, you might let your family/ roommates know that you’re getting on your mat.
Mindfully curating an inspiring home yoga space can do nothing but benefit your practice. Try incorporating just one or two (or all!) of these tips & see how your practice evolves!
Of course, life isn’t always so simple & you might need to flow in the middle of your living room among the chaos of your family & that coffee table you keep meaning to clear off & that’s okay! As long as you get on your mat for thirty minutes, ten minutes - even five minutes! - you’ve bettered yourself that day & that’s all that matters.