Practicing at home is special, in every senses, for the best and the worst. It can be both very useful and time saving as it allows you to practice whenever you want, at almost no cost; though it can also mean that we struggle to find silence as the phone rings, or to ease into a space that feels too cold or too cluttered.
As i was recently approached by Schneider Electric, the Paris 2019 Marathon sponsor, to teach a class at a running show in Paris, i got to think a bit more about the kind of space you want to create for your home practice. I mean they offer so many smart options to choose from when you own your home : from blind/witch actuators, to well designed dimmers to room temperature control units they have it all ! I wish i was a home owner and could renovate my whole place so parameters like temperature, light and all could be controlled … Anyhow as someone that rents a place there is lot you can take from the kind of intelligent products they offer to improve your already existing place.
So i wanted to share with you some tips that i found could be useful for you to create a nice, peaceful place to enjoy your practice. I believe yoga is about creating space in every manners ! And this applies to our home too ;)
Dedicate a corner of your home for your practice: it might sound stupid but i found myself few times moving my mat from my living room , to my bedroom back and forth. I would just unroll my mat where there would be space left making my routine inconsistent and messy. Finding a place (and not necessarily a room, we don’t all live in big houses) is step one. A place that has sufficient space for your mat and your body movement so you can freely and safely (!) practice.
Pick a spot that feels like a nice little nook: comfort is key as you want to focus on your practice and not on having to plug lights on, or a heater so you can feel at ease. Pick a spot where you get natural light, fresh air, enough heat and that isn’t on the way of other inhabitants of your home.
Make it yours: along my path with yoga i have collected little symbols that would bring me back to the why, the how, the what for i started practicing. Those symbolic items are a little Buddha i bought on the island of Bali, where i did my first teacher training, and a pair of Buddha Mudra hand statues i got on one solo trip i took to Thailand. Those two means a lot to me. Making this space yours could also mean picking a color code, using a curtain or using scents to create a bubble.
Gather what serves your practice and nothing else: i created myself a little corner where i put ONLY my yoga mats and accessories, including blocks, FeetUp stool, blankets, straps, etc. I personally don’t like for example electronics near me when i practice, or any kind of mess ( folders, dog bed, laundry bag and so on).
Less is more: i do really believe we get happier as we rely on less things (the 3 moves i did to China probably are the reason why it is so). I implemented now few years back the principle of “buy 1, throw/give/sell 1”. I hate accumulating, and i actually love de-cluttering. So maybe creating that yoga space for yourself also is about creating space in your life on a more global scale (call Mary Kondo!). My interior is a bit minimalistic and if it does not serve a purpose or has a symbolic meaning then i take it away.
I hope those simple tips will help you enjoy a bit more your home practice and focus on the essential.
If you have any other ideas or suggestion i would love to hear about them in the below comments section !
PS: this blog post is part of my collaboration and work with Schneider Electric for the Paris Marathon 2019.