Finding peace and quiet can be difficult. This day in age, constant preoccupation with distractions such as phones, computers, and televisions makes it is easy to forget what it’s like to simply sit and be in your own company. When you choose to start a yoga practice, whether it be to relax, build strength in mind/body, or expand your consciousness, it is important to create the space so that your practice can be as nourishing and beneficial as possible. Here are a few tips for creating the perfect home yoga space:
1. Choose a room which you use less often than others. A room which gets used less will be quieter and have a minimal amount of distraction. Think of using rooms like the guest bedroom or sitting room. Find a clear spot in the room in which to roll out your mat.
2. Mark your practice space by lighting a candle, placing a flower or something symbolic nearby, or ringing a bell to make the space feel special.
3. Stand and kneel on your yoga mat and stretch your arms wide. If possible, your arms will be clear of any high or low standing furniture. If this is unavoidable, take note of how you might re-orient yourself in certain poses. Often times, arms can be lifted straight forward and overhead instead of out to the sides.
4. If using a virtual yoga program, like the Matthew Mitlas Online School of Yoga, position your streaming device where it can be seen from different angles. Phones can be propped against a nearby wall or a shelf. You can also “screen cast” your device to the tv. Turn off all other unnecessary electronics.
5. Have appropriate lighting. In the evening, it is helpful to have dim light to facilitate the relaxation response. In the morning, lots of bright, natural light will motivate and energize your practice. In either case, make sure you can see your body and your surroundings!
6. If you use yoga props like blankets and blocks, have them within reach at the start of every practice.
Do your best to remove any potential distractions. If you live with others, kindly ask them to respect your quiet time for the next hour. If you have animals that might become a distraction, close the door or put up a gate. Most importantly- if you do get interrupted, try to stay lighthearted and embrace it! Life is rarely what we expect- but we can cultivate a positive and friendly attitude towards life’s surprises and make them part of our practice. Remember, Yoga is not about separating yourself from the ailments of life, but embracing and finding peace within yourself and the world as it is.
May your practice be fruitful in all ways!
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Matthew Mitlas is a writer and yoga instructor in the Collegeville, Ambler, Blue Bell, and greather philadelphia area of Pennsylvania.