5 Ways To Create A Sacred Safe Space For Your Home Practice
With yoga studios closed, many of us are discovering or re-discovering the joy of home practice. In this post I want to share with you the 5 ways I have created a sacred safe space at home for my personal practice. This space helps me enjoy coming back to my mat day in, day out and get the most out of my precious time.
So here goes…
1) Keep Your Space Clean
According to the Eight Limbs of Yoga by the Sage Patanjali, there are ethical principles that we can follow to help us navigate the world. Niyamas (or self-disciplines) are one of these Eight Limbs. Whenever we can incorporate these principles into our day to day lives we begin to purify the body and mind, and purity (cleanliness) or Saucha is the first of the niyamas.
It makes sense then that keeping your yoga space clean is very important. This can be vaccuming or mopping the area around your mat, as well as cleaning your mat and yoga equipment (blocks, eye pillows, straps). To clean your mat sustainably, try mixing 1 part water, 1 part white vinegar and a few drops of Tea Tree or Lemon essential oil into a spray bottle and spritz your mat at the end of every yoga session. The essential oil is optional but is a known anti-bacterial agent.
2) Bring In Your Favourite Items
One of great aspects of developing a practice at home is home comforts. Practising yoga in a familiar and pleasant environment can help you to fully lean in to some of the stronger asanas in your Vinyasa and let go when releasing into your Yin postures. A simple way to create this feeling is to have your favourite items nearby. Any items that bring you joy or nostalgia can enhance connection and exploration in your practice. Items may include photographs, candles, plants, incense or diffusers, wall hangings or singing bowls. There really are no rules here – whatever sparks joy for you.
Something we may not remember to consider when creating a safe space for our personal practice is the temperature of the room we practice in. We’ve all heard of or seen Hot Yoga in many studios, and this may be your thing, however it is important to adapt the temperature to your particular practice as well as to your body’s constitution. For example, you may want to turn the heating up a little when you’re practising slower or more restorative styles of yoga, like Yin. You may also wish to turn the heating down if you are someone who easily gets hot or flustered. According to Ayurveda, we have 3 body constitutions or doshas – Pitta, Vata, and Kapha. (Find out your dosha here). If you are a Pitta type, like me, then practising Vinyasa in a hot environment is a recipe for disaster! As a naturally fiery type, you need a little extra help cooling the body and can easily get hot and bothered. However if you are Vata you may need to crank up the heat to counteract your body’s naturally cold and dry composition.
4) Set Boundaries
Our yoga practice helps us tune inwards and let go of the external. However, it can be difficult to find concentration in, for instance, an Eagle Pose (Garudasana) when you have your partner chatting on the phone or kids running around. As much as you can, set agreements with the other people in your household to ensure that you are able to flow without disturbances. Undoubtedly, this will look different for each home, it may be alone time in your room for one hour, quiet time in the house or simply requesting that others avoid asking anything else of you whilst you spend time on your mat.
5) Allow The Space To Change
Did you know that our cells replenish and renew themselves constantly? Some cells only live for a mere 70 days before being replaced. For that reason it’s fair to say you are not always the same person year to year, month to month or even day to day. Allowing your yoga space to change over time is therefore a crucial part of this renewal process. Yoga spaces should feel natural and nature is transitory. Swap out items in this space for new or newly preferred ones, use different incense sticks or essential oils, experiment with different lighting, make this place a metaphor for the development of your own practice.
And if you’re looking to practice at home with the guidance of a teacher, check out my new weekly schedule of online yoga classes here.
With love & light,
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