A Yogi’s Home: Bringing your yoga practice home

Easy tips for creating your own yoga space at home

The trademark of a yogi’s home is where reflections of light sparkle just a little brighter. A feeling of joy, warmth and happiness seems to linger in the air, just like a hug from an old friend. Cozy blankets lie alongside yoga books with titles hinting at peace and enlightenment. A warm cup of herbal tea is placed gently in your hands, its healing vapors waft along your face. You can’t help but smile, feeling calm and relaxed. All is well.

The yoga room

Beyond a door a yoga mat lies on the floor, along with a few floor cushions. Not much else. If asked, the owner would probably tell you about early morning yoga when there really are no distractions and definitely no traffic jams. About taking time out for relaxing meditations at noon, or practicing yoga asanas in the twilight at sunset.

The benefits of home yoga practice

Practicing yoga at home saves time, brings more attention to the practice and a deeper personal experience. You can tailor your yoga practice to your own needs, such as healing back pain or attending to a bad knee. Making yoga part of your home helps you practice more regularly so you can experience more of its benefits in your life. Yoga begins to feel more easy and natural.

Yoga for the home

The ancient Indian guidebooks to life and spirituality (called the Vedas) describe the practice of yoga.  Written thousands of years ago by wise sages, the Rishis, the Vedas prescribe Vaastu to harmonize the elements of nature at home, a sort of yoga for the home. Each element of nature exerts a subtle influence on the energies in a building, such as temperature and sunlight. Vaastu works to balance the various energy fields at home with respect to the elements in nature. The activities of the inhabitants begin to move with the forces of nature, not against them. This can mean more harmony in life and less obstacles and conflicts, according to Vaastu.

Lay the foundation of Vaastu for yoga at home

Vaastu Shastra guides to create your yoga space at home

The practice of Vaastu orients the placement of your home and its features with the four cardinal directions. To apply Vaastu, begin by drawing out your home’s floor plan, identifying where the directions of north, south, etc. are found. (See the image of Vaastu Purusha Mandala). Line up the square-shaped grid, (the Vaastu Purusha Mandala), over your home’s floor plan with the top of the grid pointing north. The grid is a map of the position of each element of nature in the home. This will be your guide for where to place the important areas in your home.

Harmonize your home with the Earth’s directions

North and East: 
Northeast is the direction for spirituality. A yoga space is best in the northeast section of the home, where it will soak up the healing rays of the early morning sun. North denotes Air, so keep this area free of heavy furniture. A yoga library and home office can be placed in the east. It is a good idea to orient furniture so you sit towards the north or east. An entrance door facing north or east is good luck.

South and West: 
Place the kitchen and electrical equipment in the southeast corner, as this direction denotes the Fire element. The south and southwest are where bedrooms, heavy furniture and storage belong, with the master bedroom in the southwest. Place a bedroom or dining room with orange decorations in the northwest. Toilets and bathrooms go well in the west, the direction of the Water element.

Decorating a home where yoga lives

The yoga home is a ready canvas for the imagination. A sense of tranquility and calmness, inspired by yoga’s natural movements can be reflected in simple decorative vignettes throughout the home. Choose eco-friendly materials that reflect nature’s colors and textures, like bamboo floor mats, flower-filled twigs, and soft wall hangings. The temperature should be kept cozy and warm. Installing adjustable lighting allows you to dim the lights during a relaxing meditation. Playing flute music or soft mantra chanting creates a soothing ambience for yoga. Keeping the home sparkling clean and simply decorated calms and energizes the mind.

Yoga essentials

In the yoga room, a few essential items like yoga mats, floor cushions, foam blocks and bolsters will aid your yoga practice.  Be sure to keep the yoga area simple and clutter-free for safe yoga practice. For meditation and relaxation, place a comfortable sofa in the space with a soft blanket to keep you warm. Musical instruments can be use for singing or while chanting, and can be kept in a nearby storage area when not in use.

Welcome guests with yoga

When your home is ready, why not share your new yoga space with the family for a yoga inspired celebration? Clear out heavy objects or furniture from the center of your home. In Vaastu, the center is a home’s spiritual heart, an ideal place for an indoor garden or family get-together space. Perfect for sharing yoga stories and singing songs, over a warm cup of tea.

Image of Vaastu Purusha Mandala courtesy of Sherri Silverman. For more information, visit: http://transcendencedesign.com/

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