Sometimes, in order for yoga to feel good, you have to make room for it in your house and your agenda! Getting your foot caught on the couch while rising into an extended leg balance, or hovering over your children’s toys in warrior III is not conducive to a restorative yoga practice. Ringing phones, e-mail alerts, drop-in guests and overly crowded agendas disrupt the mind and are counterintuitive to the quest to harmonize mind and body, body and breath.
While you do not need your very own in-house yoga studio to accomplish this, you should consider the climate and environment you will be practicing in, and make adjustments to enhance the suitability of the area. With a little forethought and planning, you can find a place in your home for yoga and craft it to suit your needs.
“A wee little area which is your very own place for your very own magic carpet,” Kate says. “I lived on a boat for 18 years and mine was in the galley on the floor – just wide enough for my mat between the cupboards and the galley table. In winter, under my mat was thick blankets to keep the cold from reaching up through the bilge of the boat.”
If you are fortunate enough to have a larger space, think about a spacious area with lots of natural lighting. A view that connects you to nature is wonderful, but maybe you can find a surface that will accommodate a plant, candle or even a small table fountain or other water feature. Any of these calming elements will help quiet your mind and enhance your practice.
In the hectic pace of this world, bringing natural elements into your home is a wonderful treat to the senses. Consider the surface you will practice on also. A carpeted surface is fine; but you may find you slip a little, depending on the type of carpet. A yoga mat may alleviate this, or it may slide and worsen the issue. Yoga mats stay put on most solid floor surfaces. If this is hard on your knees and legs, you may consider purchasing a thicker mat or consider adding a thick pad under your mat to see if this is beneficial.
Making time in your schedule for yoga is very important. It is difficult to focus on your practice with a deadline looming large or a mile-long to-do list occupying your thoughts. For some, it may be best to practice at the end of the day: a well-earned reward to relax and celebrate all you have accomplished. Some will benefit most by practicing before the day begins, to help ready themselves for the day and begin focused and refreshed. Still others may find a mid-morning or mid-day practice is best, getting kids off to school, or a few items off the list allows the mind to clear and the house to quiet enough to allow for a energizing and inspiring practice.
“There is no extra time these days so one has to be very creative about how to get up earlier,” Kate says. “This, of course, means going to bed earlier and this is a lovely thing to do as winter approaches. Rise in the dark, pitter-patter, don’t wake the pets!”
Making room for yoga in your life and your home can be a challenge. We feel the practice is worth the effort. Soon you will feel more centered, balanced and calm. The rest of your life improves over time, as does your practice. Take the time; make the space, the rest will fall into place.
We would love to know: how have you made space for your yoga practice? What kind of room do you like to practice in? Do you prefer a morning or evening practice? What are the biggest challenges you face in making time for yoga?