Yoga isn’t your typical exercise routine. Sure, it will help you improve muscle tone and flexibility, everything you want from a standard workout at the gym. What sets yoga apart is the uniquely holistic approach it takes to strengthen your body, mind, and soul. For many, yoga serves as an essential retreat from a chaotic or busy life, a time to regroup, unwind, and build mindfulness.
Yoga provides a myriad of both physical and mental health benefits. In addition to engaging muscle-groups in poses — or Asanas — that promote strength, flexibility, and balance, yoga also incorporates deep breathing, meditation, and body awareness. This helps decrease stress, relieve anxiety, and promote deep relaxation. Yoga is an accessible exercise option for beginners and a great way to build a healthy lifestyle. You don’t need much in the way of specialized equipment to start practicing in your own home yoga room today.
Why a Yoga Room?
If you’re looking for a good way to work out at home but find yourself daunted by the cost of home gym equipment, a yoga room might be right for you. Yoga may be the perfect avenue to reach your physical fitness goals. It is ideal for almost every body type and will help you grow strong and limber with dedicated practice. Rather than sinking hundreds of dollars into expensive weights and treadmills, all you need for a yoga room is some free space clear of visual clutter, a mat, and an instructional video. You may wish to invest in blocks or straps down the road, but it doesn’t take much to get started.
A “yoga room” doesn’t even require you to set aside an entire room in your house; a corner in your living room or bedroom will do. The space you set aside for yoga practice is simply an area for you to practice mindfulness of your physical body. You can use this space for high-intensity, strength-building yoga exercises. You can also use this space to meditate, read, or practice self-care. Think of your yoga room as a combination of your lounge, meditation room, and exercise area. This will help you get more use out of the space.
You should set up your yoga room as a place that inspires mindfulness and tranquility. Remember that sense of zen you feel when you step into your favorite yoga studio? These studios are often set up with elements that play on your senses to help get you into the right frame of mind. Think scented candles, calm lighting, or a smiling Buddha statue. When designing your home yoga space, incorporate elements that help you stop, breathe, and be present in your body.
How to Prepare Your Space
Preparing and decorating your home yoga space should be done with thoughtfulness and intentionality. A yoga room should be calming, inviting, and relaxing. In addition to basic yoga supplies, you’ll want to consider visual aesthetics, lighting, and sensory inputs to help you achieve the best possible yoga experience.
A clean space with few visual distractions will help you get into the right frame of mind for yoga practice. How do you feel when you come home to an apartment full of piles of laundry and dirty dishes in the sink? Clutter isn’t great for your mental health, so your yoga room should serve as a refuge. When it comes to a yoga room, less is more. Be very intentional with what items you include in your yoga space. Only leave those that are functional and beautiful.
Lighten and brighten your space
Lighting has a significant effect on your mood, energy, and overall wellness. Consider installing dimmer switches for your ceiling lights to alter the mood of your yoga room quickly. Cotton drapes are also an excellent tool to soften and brighten a space. They can also be used to curtain off your yoga space from the rest of the living area, filtering light and adding privacy.
You may wish to take advantage of natural light by setting up your space near a window or balcony. Doing so can help make the area feel more open and airy. Conversely, if you feel calmer in a dark environment, set up your yoga space away from windows, or consider adding blackout curtains.
Satisfy your senses
Once you have established your yoga area, it’s time to add all those little touches that make you feel calm and grounded. It may be a little difficult to decide what to place in your home yoga studio, particularly if working with a small area. To get inspired, use your five senses as a guide for items and decor that get you into that yoga vibe.
Sight: What visual cues help you cultivate mindfulness? Consider wall prints and paintings that help you feel spiritually connected. Some people find including natural objects, such as beautiful stones or carved wood, useful to create a calm visual atmosphere. Be mindful of the colors you choose. For instance, bright red might make you feel on edge, whereas light blue might help you feel serene.
Smell: Your olfactory senses are a powerful trigger for both memories and moods. Using different scents can inspire feelings of unease or calm. Scented candles, oil diffusers, and incense holders are all great ways to set the mood for your yoga room without taking up too much space. Feel free to experiment with different essential oils and incenses to find those that work for you. Lavender is a popular choice for yoga practices since it is known for helping people relax.
Touch: Think about the items in your yoga space that your body will make contact with. Items that are rough, scratchy, and uncomfortable should be left outside. Make sure to choose a comfortable mat that has a good grip and is soft enough for bare skin.
Sound: Different sounds and auditory cues quickly shift your mindset and inspire positive emotions. Tibetan bells and singing bowls are visually beautiful and great for chiming at the beginning and end of each yoga session. A water fountain is a great way to infuse your yoga space with calming, natural noises.
Taste: There’s nothing like a yoga session and a mug of herbal tea to unwind after a stressful day. Set up a mug to steep with your favorite herbal tea and place it where you can easily reach it. Water infused with lemon and mint is an excellent option to stay hydrated throughout a more intense yoga session.