By now, you’ve probably read countless articles and stories about the benefits of yoga toward living a fit and healthy lifestyle. For many people, this means finding a nearby studio for regular classes or perhaps connecting with a local teacher someone recommends.
While this sort of personal hands-on instruction and communal practice is ideal, it’s not always possible. Not to worry. Streaming online yoga classes and attending classes by Zoom are our new normal. There are many streaming providers, like MyYogaWorks.
If this is something that appeals to you, then you’ll need to create your own home yoga environment. You won’t need much space, just a mat-sized corner in your living room will do. You’ll want to build a space that is both calming and inspiring. Setting up a yoga space is unique to you and your practice, so here are a few suggestions to get started:
- Create a point of inspiration. Whether it’s the view from your window, a special statue, a feather you found on a magical adventure or a painting that transports you — let that piece be the focal point of your space. Without inspiration, you lack an emotional connection to your practice.
- You will need yoga mats. We say “mats” (plural) in case you and your fellow weekend warriors want to throw a blissed-out yoga soiree. Select mats in a color and texture you love, as this serves as the foundation of your practice.
- Collect some props. In yoga, props are perfect for restoration and extra relaxation, but they can also be used to help you fall deeper into a challenging pose. Equip your space with at least two blocks, two straps and one bolster per person.
After you have the essentials, create calm energy with mindful-meditation. You can use extra cushions you have lying around the house, or you may choose to invest in a buckwheat meditation cushion. A good meditation cushion makes it easier for you to sit up straight and breathe with ease. Remember breathing exercises themselves are part of yoga and a healthy aspect of the practice. Through our practice, and in changing our breath, we learn we can change our mood.
- Nothing sets the mood like music. Set up some speakers in the corner of your space. Whether you subscribe to a yoga playlist on Spotify or Pandora, or rock out to your own favorite tunes, music makes a world of difference!
- Keep your air clean and natural. Recycle a mini-spray bottle and mix distilled water with your favorite essential oils. You can get creative with your mix, but we love this combo: 10 drops Lavender, 5 drops Peppermint and 5 drops drop of Patchouli (try it). Spray the room as you enter. You’ll immediately be transported to a happier place. Tip: you can carry a second spray bottle to travel with — it’s a quick way to change your mood.
- Another way to awaken your senses is by candles or a diffuser. Day or night, candles warm up any space. You can arrange them in the corners of your room or surrounding your inspirational pieces. The flame alone can challenge you during a balancing pose. Additionally, a diffuser with essential oils can help reduce stress.
Make your space your own by painting the walls a soothing, meaningful color. Hues of gray, soft blues, light greens or warm yellows help to make the space inviting — which means you’re likely to spend more time in there soul searching.
Download a yoga or meditation timer app. This allows you to keep track of time without the distraction of glancing at a clock or watch. Most of these apps have gentle tones to notify you of the time. Set your timer for 30–60 minutes, and dive into your practice feeling relaxed and open.
To be inspired in yoga is to rejuvenate your practice, which ultimately rewrites your attitude. And a regular at-home yoga practice can be a terrific activity toward helping achieve your weight-loss goals.