How to Make a Space for Yoga at Home

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Doing yoga at home is a goal for a lot of yoga students, but it's often hard to get started. Figuring out where to lay down your mat is an important first step. 

Yoga Room Priorities

If you able to add on to your house or throw up a yurt in the backyard, that's fantastic, but I'd like to help the folks who are just looking to carve out a little corner of their current living space, so our focus here is on yoga rooms on a budget.

First, look around your current living area for any unused or underutilized space and consider ways to transform that space into a functional yoga room. A guest room, dining room, or kid-who's-at-college's bedroom can be your yoga room when not in use for their intended purposes. Folding screens are a wonderful way to demarcate space and remove visual clutter, plus they can be easily removed when you host a dinner party or your child comes home for spring break wanting to know why you don't love them enough to preserve the sanctity of their room forever.

Keep It Simple, Swami

Unless you are really into decorating, be more about removal than about adding to your space. Move unnecessary furniture out if you can. If not, shift it to the periphery to make room for your mat. Think about having access to a wall so that you can use it for inversions if that is part of your practice. If you use videos, a table or stand for a TV or laptop may help you get the video at the right angle so that you're not straining your neck to see it.

If you like music or audio instructions, speakers for your iPod are an easy, economical solution.

It's also useful to have a few props handy. Besides a mat, a block, strap, and blanket are nice additions. Buy the block first since it's easier to find good substitutes around your house for the strap (a belt, scarf, or towel works well) and blanket (pillow or blanket).

Decorating

If you do want to embellish the space, a coat of paint or house plant can do wonders. Think about the decor you admire at your local yoga studio and how you might adapt it on a smaller scale. If you associate that setting with yoga, it may help you get in the right mood. Natural light is nice if you have it, so remove existing window coverings. A few floor lamps with paper shades create soft lighting.

When you see home yoga rooms in magazines, there always seems to be some kind of altar set up. It's not something I'd prioritize, but if it helps you to focus, by all mean do it. It doesn't have to be anything religious. It could be just a few meaningful natural objects, artworks, or photographs to which you'd like to dedicate your practice.

No Room for a Yoga Room?

So what if you have no extra space whatsoever? Does that preclude your home practice? Not at all. Look at the size of your yoga mat. That's really all you need. Most people can manage to find that much space next to their bed or by temporarily moving the coffee table.

If that's your situation, fall back on keeping to a regular schedule to make your home practice happen. When the clock strikes yoga, set up your mat and do your thing.

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