Space for yoga
Yoga is one of the oldest systems of physical and breathing practices designed to harmonize the human body and mind. Of course, when talking about harmony, no details can be overlooked, especially such significant ones as the space and environment in which the practice takes place. It is important to be well aware of the distinction between the space for yoga practice and the gym. Although there are no strict rules – each person practicing yoga is free to define their own preferences, because it is an individual understanding of harmony – still it is possible to mark out a few key points involved in creating the right atmosphere.
Practicing Yoga at Home: 6 Ideas to Consider
The experts suggest six basic rules, following which you can organize a perfect space for yoga practice: choose the place with care, be ascetic about the furniture, create the right lighting, choose the right sound environment, influence the sense of smell, choose plants and textile and organize the inflow of fresh air.
Look around. It is important to find not only a comfortable, but also the “right” place. It is advisable to choose a space with at least one free wall, to assume the need for a certain place to store equipment. People who practice yoga professionally recommend avoiding sharp corners, make sure that the floor in the place allocated for practice is smooth flat and does not squeak. If you are just beginning to immerse yourself in yoga practice, pay attention to the fact that at first it may be important to have a general feeling of comfort and peace. Try to orient the place of practice in the direction of the windows to avoid some unconscious restlessness.
No less important is the color scheme of the space. Here, as usual, recall the pastel colors, but it is worth to prefer them to the dominance of colors of natural materials with inclusions of pastel colors. Appropriate in this case seems to be stylization of space in the manner of a Buddhist or Hindu temple, with all kinds of ornaments and statuettes, or following the Japanese style, with its restraint and emphasis on organic elements, present in a very modest amount.
Minimalism in furniture
It is not necessary to clutter the space of the room where you plan to practice yoga. Firstly, you will need a free space so that you do not huddle on a free scrap, and freely move around the room. Secondly, the abundance of furniture in general is perceived as a burden, which is not good at all when it comes to relaxation and focusing on the body. If you can not refuse from the furniture at all: you need somewhere to store the mat and accessories for yoga, put aroma lamps and extra soft lighting, then choose light and not bulky furniture in natural colors or not painted wood. The minimum number of shelves and fittings will be a plus in this case.
Remember that the practice of yoga should not be aggressive, but also not similar to sleep. Intimate and abundant lighting is equally inappropriate here. Try to find a balance where the space is illuminated evenly, but this light will not irritate you. The ideal is a sufficient amount of daylight, diffused by thin paper curtains or reflected by light-colored walls. If you prefer to practice at a time when you do not have to wait for the sun, it is worth choosing a combination of wall and floor lamps, not a lot of power, but in such a quantity to fill the entire room with even light.
Sounds and Aromas
It’s important to note the special connection of yoga practice with harmonious environment in general. Music and aromas can not only put you in the right frame of mind, but also radically influence the entire practice.
Music is pure and intangible harmony. Nature sounds are considered the most natural accompaniment to yoga practice, but the authentic music of India, China and Japan is not much less common, paying homage to the East as the cradle of such practices. Install a perimeter sound system to diffuse the sound around, like a light, to help create a background that does not require extra attention but, on the contrary, concentrates it. In addition, in this way you engage the entire room, which affects the feeling of airiness and openness of the space.
Just as important and no less subtle would be the impact of special fragrances. Just like music, a pleasant smell is able to actively influence our physical and emotional perception of the practice space. As a rule, yoga practitioners resort to the use of incense sticks or pyramids for this purpose. The aesthetics and ritual of lighting and placing such incense in the room are also important here. High quality incense does not contribute to the unpleasant physical sensations that accompany, for example, prolonged exposure to aggressive smells characteristic of aromatic lamps.
However, even in this case it is necessary to pay careful attention to the ventilation of the room, because yoga itself assumes an abundance of clean air, and we need aromas only to create a subtle atmosphere. Fresh aromas of citrus and pine, sweetly spicy smells of cinnamon, magnolia, sandalwood and masala can be used to increase concentration in yogic practice and increase efficiency.
House plants are usually regarded as purely ornamental. At best, we think of them as a natural filter. However, based on the particular ethics that accompany yoga, flowers and plants can be understood in a very different sense. Indian culture, from which the practice of yoga derives, is characterized by a reverent, pantheistic attitude toward all living things, and plants are no exception.
Flowers in the home are associated with the development of creativity in those who live in their surroundings. Many plants have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system and on the physical and psychological state of the person as a whole. They can minimize the bad effects of household appliances and synthetic materials in the room. Aesthetic understanding of the function of flowers in the room is also important: they help to create an atmosphere of comfort, as if “translating” the natural, natural world into the home.
When decorating a space with flowers for yoga, be careful in the selection of plants and composition of ensembles. The fact that it is traditionally accepted to assign to certain plants a special, specific to them, properties. For example, azalea is considered to support the energy in the house and helps to concentrate on the main thing during practice. Balsam is used to create an atmosphere of joy and harmony.
Calla plants increase a person’s resistance to emotional exhaustion and stress. Monster is attributed the property of organizing space in a circle, bringing all elements of the environment into harmony. In addition to these symbolic considerations, it is also necessary to take into account the simple qualities of specific plants. For example, you should not keep strong-smelling flowers like lilies or orchids in a room where you practice yoga. And ferns, for example, are noted for the fact that they absorb oxygen at night, which can affect your well-being during the practice in the dark time of the day
Textiles are one of the main elements in the design of a yoga space. It is connected first of all with the practical necessity: yoga classes imply a constant change of dynamic and static body positions, asanas, and the good half of them are performed on the floor, or downstairs. So, mats and draperies are necessary to soften the contact with the floor, helping to transfer attention from the skin surface to the body as a whole, muscles and ligaments – an important condition for proper concentration during asana practice.
It means that while choosing floor coverings for yoga practice one should take into account some practical reasons: such fabrics should not be too rough so as not to create unnecessary friction and irritation, and not too thin so as not to “move away” and not to crumple while doing dynamic postures.
In addition, textiles are most suitable for decorating the yoga space. Without richly ornamented fabrics on the walls and decorative cushions there is no way to create a special oriental style that best combines with the atmosphere of oriental practices.
The importance of ventilation has already been mentioned, but it’s worth going over it again. The supply of fresh air is as important here as it is in a gymnasium. The ideal is a combination of a good exhaust system and a humidification system that provides a sufficient concentration of oxygen in the room.
It is extremely important that the air in the yoga room should be fresh, but not cold. There is no criterion other than the way you feel: it should be warm enough so that you don’t pay much attention to the temperature of the air. If the room does not get warm enough or the fresh air is too frosty, you should consider additional heating.
If you think about how to arrange a comfortable place for yoga classes, do not treat it as a forced sacrifice of free space. After all, a specially equipped, such a room – or even just a section of the room – can perfectly serve the rest of the time, such as a place for a tea ceremony, or just a space for rest and relaxation, more than necessary in today’s home.