When creating a home practice, finding a space that is sacred to you is essential. We dive into ourselves on the yoga mat, so it becomes important to create a location in our homes that resonates deeply with us. Whether you are practicing an intuitive flow, are meditating or are following along with a video or on-line class it helps to have a space that feels sacred.
Recently we did some spring cleaning and I got my first open space in our house to practice. The office that I often share with my elves always has had a rocking chair that took up most of the non-desk space. So we moved it to our basement and voilà I had a place to roll out my mat. I have since recorded videos, created classes and most importantly: found time to reignite my mat and meditation practices. I am inspired to go there and be in that room because it feels authentically mine.
I have created a sacred space.
For me there are a few things that really help enhance the quality of my yoga practice. First of all it has to be space with few distractions. I turn off my phone ringer, I close the doors to the office so my furry elf does not bother me and I make sure I can focus on myself.
I set up my space with things that resonate deeply with me. Some important items for me to have in a yoga practice space are:
1.) A good yoga mat and props. Having a yoga mat that you love and props that support you during your practice is essential. Try several mats, maybe from your friends or at studio, and then chose one that helps you feel supported and connected in your practice. Props such as bolsters, blocks and straps can give your yoga poses and your sititng practice a softness and a spaciousness you might not otherwise find. If you do not have yoga props around, books, pillows and blankets from home work great.
2.) A water bottle. Be sure to drink plenty of water when you practice yoga. Having a resuable water bottle at the ready filled with fresh water is important. If water is not normally your hydrating drink of choice, try adding fruit or herbs to give it a spa-water feel. Adding mint or cucumbers to water can make water delicious.
3.) Essential oils. Essential oils can shift the energy of the space and of our minds. I find that essential oils help enhance my practice and are especially helpful for relation and focus. Try lavender and/or bergamont for calming, lemon or grapefruit for infusing energy and brightness. It is easy to make an essential oil mist using water and a few drops of your favorite oil in a spray bottle. Use this mixture to clear the energetic space and help you drop into your meditation or yoga practices.
4.) Sheepskin rug. I use a sheepskin rug for meditation and often for when I write. I find the softness of it helps me find more ease in my seated practice. When I meditate my creative muse is enhanced; some of my best writing came after meditating for 10 minutes. I bring it with me to my desk or to the couch when I am writing to bring that creative energy with me.
5.) Bookshelf of inspirational books. I love that my yoga space is right next to one of my many collections of inspirational and yoga books. I can pull down a book of poetry or the Upanishads if I am looking for inspiration, or grab one from a favorite teacher for asana ideas. I am a hands-on-book kind of gal so electronic books just do not have the same impact for me. Thank heavens for good bookshelves because they store these treasures.
6.) Altar. I have two altars in my office, one on my desk for my creative inspiration and one on my bookshelf for my practice. They contain things like statues of Hindu deities, feathers, crystals and important items to me. An altar can be a great way to create a small space in your home dedicated to your practice if you do not have a location in one room that is big enough. Collect a few items that inspire you and place them on a bookshelf or desk and create a small altar. You will be amazed by the attention that flows to that location.
7.) Deity or Buddha statues. I have a collection of Buddha statues and they remind me to practice from a place of connection to others. They draw my attention to acceptance and loving kindness. There are days when I am frustrated and angry but am able to turn that energy down when I see my smiling Hotai or seated Buddha statues. They remind me to pause and be grateful.
8.) Flowers. I often bring the vase of flowers we have in our house into my office during my meditation/yoga practice. There is something about the beauty, the intricacy and the fragility of flowers that really resonates with me. They become a source of focus and inspiration.
Creating a yoga practice space that has sacred qualities makes it much easier to get on your mat. Let yourself sink into that space and open up to what and who you are. Be inspired by the surroundings, the things you have chosen to place there and use them as a vehicle to get on your mat or zafu.
This article original was published here: Flying Yogini Blog
Originally published at medium.com