A great yoga session can do wonders for the body and soul. It can energize and invigorate or relax and soothe. Taking a class at a studio is ideal for the instruction and atmosphere, but that might not always be an option due to timing, budgets, or even inclement weather. Still, the inability to get to a class shouldn’t shut down your yoga practice, especially when all you really need is space and motivation.
Here are five tips on how to set up your own at-home yoga studio:
Choose a designated space.
Even if you live in a tiny apartment, as long as you have enough space for a yoga mat, you have enough space to practice yoga. Of course, it does help if the space is large enough to provide you with a reasonably free range of motion so you don’t knock anything over during your flow. Also consider other factors that can have an impact on your practice like privacy and natural light when selecting a space.
Pick the right yoga mat for you.
When you first started out, you probably just chose the most inexpensive mat option, not realizing that variations in thickness and material can greatly influence our yoga experience. If you have sensitive joints or focus on restorative poses, opt for a thick mat with lots of cushion. If your flow is more dynamic, consider a thin mat with traction that’ll keep you rooted during standing and floor poses.
Think about your favorite yoga studio and its atmosphere. How does it engage all five senses and put you in the mood to practice? Try to recreate that ambience in your home studio using lighting, candles, incense, fountains, flowers, music, etc. Also, be sure to keep this area clean and clutter-free. It’s hard to feel 'Zen' if you’re tripping over laundry or books. This is a special space. Help it look the part.
Make accessing instruction easy.
If you’re not one for free flows, the ability to follow along with a yoga video may be essential to your home practice. Consider hanging or placing a television or large monitor in plain view of your practice area. If you prefer to watch on your phone or tablet, consider investing in a stand so you can see the screen at all times and won’t need to break out of a pose just to adjust the angle.
Don’t forget the extras.
Many yoga studios are equipped with tools to help their clients further their practices, like blocks or straps. If you’ve found these helpful for alignment or improving your flexibility, consider getting a set for your home studio too. Also, think about what other items could improve your experience (yoga towel, cleaning spray, bolster pillow) and add these to your collection as well.
Just as there’s no right or wrong way to practice yoga, there are no rules on how you should set up your own studio at home. While hopefully the ideas above have provided some inspiration, creating a space that’s perfect for you and your individual practice is what’s really important.