If you have already been on a healing yoga retreat or you practice yoga regularly with the dedicated team at Anahata, then you probably dream of creating a similarly inspired space at home for your morning sun salutations, meditation, or practice sessions. Although you should always find a way to express your personality and tastes in your home décor, specific elements are common to almost all spaces in which yoga is practiced fervently. These include a sense of calm, natural elements, and inspired imagery or sculptures. To create a space that exudes tranquility yet bears a beautiful design, follow these tips.
The healing power of nature
There is a reason why yoga retreats are set in the midst of a majestic natural setting (think a stunning open-air studio by the sea or in the lush green mountainside). Studies have shown that simply contemplating imagery of nature brings down levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, and even boosts performance. Try to situate your yoga space near a garden or overlooking a scenic area so you can perform your morning salutations as the sun rises. Bring plants in or grow a vertical garden on a wall if space is an issue. If you aren’t a seasoned ‘green thumb’, fear not. Opt for easy-to-grow plants like cactus and succulents, many of which are soft and appealing to the touch. Even if your space does not receive natural light, you can add a green touch through nature-inspired wallpaper or artwork.
Wood you dare?
Research carried out in Norway, Austria, Japan, and Canada has shown that wood has a similar stress-busting effect to nature. Indeed, environments containing wooden structures cause a drop in the heart rate and blood pressure, promoting a more tranquil state. The feeling of wood inspires a similar sensation so opt for wooden flooring in your home yoga space if you can. Otherwise, opt for wood in items such as storage furniture, sofas, and chairs. Try to make any tables and chairs in your space low-lying to add an Oriental touch to the room, and consider wooden sculptures or a small wooden altar or ‘sacred space’ bearing imagery that reminds you of the tenets espoused by the yogic lifestyle.
The yin and yang of comfort
Yoga spaces are often minimalist apart from a small sprinkling of sculptures and other decorative details. However, your space can serve as a lounge area during the moments that you aren’t practicing yoga. Make it a welcome spot for everyone in the family through the introduction of soft furnishings such as ground level cushions, meditation chairs, and trays. Ensure the area has storage furniture for mats, bolster pillows etc., which will free more space for general enjoyment by everyone in the home.
It is important to have even a small place that you can call your own at home, so you can practice what you learn at yoga class in your home on weekends, when rising, or even before going to bed. Aim to imbue the space with the ambiance you find so relaxing when you attend class or go on a retreat. Natural elements, fragrances, sound, and a beautiful view can help you celebrate the magic that is the present moment while honing your strength, flexibility, and sense of calm.