|My mat during Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training|
We are currently converting the yoga room in our house to a nursery in anticipation of Baby Carr’s arrival. When we first made the decision I thought, “where will I practice now?” Our office is sort of cramped and the basement ceiling is low enough that even at 5’4″ my fingertips graze the ceiling when doing sun salutations. Additionally, I have few a props or two, including my much beloved harmonium and a bookcase dedicated solely to yoga books and study.
Clearly, making space for baby is much more important at this time, and I’m having tons of fun planning out the nursery, but as I seek to find balance in what is sure to be a new-crazy-amazing-time in my life, I had to stop wonder, what will my new practice space look like?
|My beloved harmonium|
Let’s stop right there. If I took away all the yoga accouterments, what would I be left with? My mat? Okay, I’ll give you that, but then, why am I letting my mat define my yoga practice space? The answer-I shouldn’t. I’ve had plenty of amazing practices sans yoga mat, what’s different now? My goal with practice is beyond the rectangular mat space as I aim to incorporate the basic yogic principles, or ethical rules of yama and niyama, in my day-to-day and live the life of a yogi to best of my ability. Who needs a mat for that?
Since I do need a place to store said accumulated yoga paraphernalia, I decided that my new practice space will be shared with my office. I’m always inspired there–it’s where I do my best writing and thinking. When I’m feeling like I need more space, I’ll find some!
Here are my top five tips for creating a simple home practice space.
1) Size doesn’t matter. Can you sit, breathe and move comfortably? You do not need an entire studio space for your personal practice. That being said, you want to be able to move around without injuring yourself and without being distracted by the stack of books or pile of papers on your desk. Find a space that fits your needs without taking over the whole house.
2) Keep it simple. At the very least, have enough space for your mat or meditation pillow and a small altar, if you so desire. Unless you are planning to do a yummy restorative practice, you probably don’t need all the extra props. If you desire props, then find clever ways to store them. I used to use my yoga blocks to sit on while watching T.V. or eating at a low table.
By the way, you don’t always need fancy yoga props. Try using items you already have like pillows, couch cushions, scarfs, belts, blankets and towels, before adding more to your inventory.
3) Keep it clean. Practice the niyama saucha, cleanliness or purity, by keeping your space as neat and organized as possible. As mentioned in step 1, you want to stay focused on your practice, not the mess you left behind last night.
4) Remember, practice is more than just asana (poses). Which means, maybe your home practice is focused more on meditation and pranayama than it is nailing your next arm balance and inversion? Consider what is you want to get out of your home practice and make that the intention for the space.
5) Keep it fresh. When you start to feel confined by your small space, change it up. Go outside, take a class or share your practice at a friend’s house. The options are endless. Changing up your space will give a fresh perspective on your practice and maybe even your personal outlook on life.
What are your favorite ways to practice at home? How do you make use of a small space? There are lots more practical ways to get the most out of your home practice. Share your ideas in the comments below!