Life is filled with meetings, deadlines, and appointments. Some days there is simply no time to go to a yoga studio, but that lack of time shouldn't stop you from reaping the rewards that yoga gives your body and mind. The solution - consider creating a space for yoga in your home.
Below, you'll find a few tips I’ve learned over the years as a yoga instructor for creating the perfect at-home yoga space.
What You'll Need
- A Yoga Mat - Your first and most obvious necessity is a good yoga mat. You don't need a heavy-duty one unless your yoga space is outdoors, but you should still pick out a durable one. That way, you won't have to replace it for a while.
- A Yoga Towel - If you like to do intense yoga flows, a yoga towel is a good investment. Sweaty palms make holding difficult poses even more challenging, so it's nice to have a towel available to wipe yourself down.
- A Meditation Pillow - A meditation pillow is not an essential item, but it's worth adding to your yoga space. Meditation is an excellent addition to your yoga routine. It helps you find your center, calm your mind, and set your intentions for the day. Having a comfortable pillow to sit upon will enhance your experience, help you relax, and improve your posture.
- Yoga Blocks - Yoga blocks aren’t absolutely essential but are especially helpful if you’re a beginner or revisiting foundation techniques.
Decorating Your Space
While it's not necessary for your yoga practice, you might want to spend some time decorating your at-home yoga space, so it's an area unique to you and your style. Remember to keep things simple, since too many distractions make it difficult to focus on your mind and body while you practice your flow.
- Lighting - If you enjoy bright, natural light, create your yoga space near a large window. If you prefer dim, intimate lighting, try using candles (real or artificial) to light the area. Candles, instead of a more traditional lamp, provides your space with creativity and style while still offering a calm, serene atmosphere.
- Plants - Greenery has been proven to calm minds and help you achieve a peaceful state, making plants the perfect addition to any yoga space. If you don't have a green thumb, don't worry. Many home decor stores offer a wide selection of artificial plants that come close to the real thing.
- A Portable Speaker - Relaxing music, white noise, or the sound of a Rain Forest can enrich your yoga experience. A portable speaker will make listening easy and enhance your yoga practice or meditation.
- An Oil Diffuser - Essential oils help relax and soothe your mind, and certain oils have been proven to ease anxiety symptoms. These attributes make them perfect for yoga; plus, they smell amazing.
The Benefits of Yoga
Daily or weekly yoga is hugely beneficial to your overall well-being, both mentally and physically. Regular yoga practice can:
- Decrease Stress - Yoga helps decrease the secretion of cortisol, which is the primary stress hormone. Studies have reported that many, in as little as three months, have experienced reduced stress, anxiety, fatigue, and feelings of depression when they practice yoga regularly.
- Improve Heart Health - Studies show that yoga can help improve your heart health and reduce several risk factors for heart disease. Over time, it can also help control blood pressure and decrease cholesterol.
- Improve Quality of Life - Many who practice yoga regularly experience more positive moods and less fatigue than those who don't exercise. Studies have also shown that yoga can even improve sleep quality.
- Increase Flexibility - Practicing a yoga flow for just 15-30 minutes a day could significantly increase your flexibility and balance.
- Improve Breathing - Yoga is all about controlled breathing and moving with purpose. Regular practice has been known to increase one's vital capacity, which is the measure of the maximum amount of air that can be expelled from the lungs. Increased necessary capacity is especially beneficial for anyone with lung disease, heart problems, and asthma.
- Relieve Migraines - Studies have shown that many who suffer from migraines experience reductions in headache intensity, frequency, and pain when they practice yoga regularly.
Designating and decorating a special place within your home for yoga will make it a regular part of your routine. Even on busy days, you'll find it easy to make time for a quick yoga flow. However, you choose to create your space so make sure that you feel relaxed, comfortable, and at peace.
About Jolene Cherry: Jolene Cherry believes that striking a balance in life is the key to wellbeing. She aims to help her clients reach that balance through physical activity, mindfulness, and healthy nutrition. While it’s important to exercise your body, you must also exercise your mind to find harmony, and be careful about what you eat to fuel both your body and your mind – this is Jolene’s guiding principle in everything she does.