"It’s not only about creating a space, but about creating time to be in this space…"
In my experience, one of the successes to establishing a regular home yoga practice is creating a dedicated space for this and for you. A space where you can easily step on to your mat at any time of the day or night and sink into your yoga vibe because let’s face it, something magical happens when we step onto our mats. It’s one of the reasons why we keep returning to class.
However, it’s the act of getting onto our mats that can be the issue and so this article aims to help you with the logistics.
“But I don’t have room for a dedicated practice space”
…I hear you say! And that may well be true. Not many of us are fortunate to have an abundance of spare space in our homes and that’s fine. What I want you to create is a dedicated space for rolling out your yoga mat. You can always roll it away once you’re done.
Now please, don’t for one minute think that I’ve nailed this – far from it. I am a busy mum of 3 kids who, when they were younger, thought that mummy’s yoga practice was an invitation to climb on top of me or roll around underneath me whenever I got close to a down dog. Now that they’re a bit older, my yoga practice is definitely not cool, so I am more or less left to my own devices.
The difference is now that they’re older, instead of wanting to bother me, they bother each other and I’m often interrupted by frequent bickering or food requests… does this sound familiar at all?
So, in order to practice with a bit of peace and quiet, I must work around my family.
I find my most sublime moments are early in the mornings, before the rest of the house has woken (this is why I always have a mat in my bedroom so I don’t disturb anyone too much). I love to be up and awake first, watching the dawn rising as I practice.
Whilst I try to practice every day, I don’t beat myself up if I don’t always make it. Some nights, if I haven’t slept too well or the kids have been up, I may find time to practice in the afternoon, when I feel I’ve got more head space.
My practice is never too long or too strong – I attend actual classes for that. Instead, my early morning practice consists of breathing, meditation, joint mobility work and simple, gentle, flowing vinyasa. I move in a way that my body and mind asks from me and this comes best when I’m quiet and contemplative. When I allow myself this time and opportunity, I find that my day tends to be more productive, creative and calmer.
I am a better mum when I make time to practice.
Without a doubt, if you are wishing to further your yoga practice, then you’ll need to be practising at home, and doing this on your own. This means without following a recorded class, or showing up to an online class with a teacher instructing your every move or watching and queuing your alignment. Nothing is wrong with any of these and I wholeheartedly encourage you to explore them, but for me the magic of the practice happens solo. Just get on your mat, remember what you’ve been taught and see what happens.
So here’s my guide to creating and using your own practice space and it’s remarkably simple:
- All you really need is space enough for your mat with a little bit of room around the sides. Near to a plain wall is an advantage for some postures. Being near a window is also nice.
- Clear this space of clutter. If it’s next to your bed or a little corner of your lounge, put away your belongings and aim to keep this space clean and empty. This will enhance your practice and you’ll feel less stressed whilst in this space.
- Keep your yoga equipment tidy. Put everything away once you’ve finished. Make this part of your ritual – you’ll be practising the niyama, Sauca (cleanliness). If you have the luxury of leaving your mat out, do so! It’ll make stepping onto it regularly a little easier.
- This one is the game changer – decide on a practice time and stick to it! If it’s during the day, pencil it into your diary and turn off any potential distractions. If it’s early (and this is my preference), start gently with some breathing, meditation, gratitude work or journalling. Asana can come later. Go with how you feel and move or sit accordingly.
- Don’t think you need to spend hours on your mat. As little as 20 mins is great if that’s all the time you’ve got. It’s the showing up that counts – always!
- A small table may be a nice addition – something to sit in front of whilst breathing or mediating. Here you could put a candle, some fresh flowers, an image or photo of your guru or favourite deity and offerings to them or simple, small objects that mean something to you.
And that’s it! The most important bit is once you’ve created it, use it! If you create an inviting yoga space, your energy will infuse it and you’ll more likely want to be in it.
Do email me pics of your practice spaces!
If you’d like to join me for a live online class, held in the comfort of your own home, click here to book.