I'm a big proponent of developing a home yoga practice. Even if you only get on your mat a few times a week or for a few minutes a day, having a place and the equipment you need set up somewhere in your home goes a long way toward establishing your self-care routine. And now, during this pandemic is the perfect time to create your own sacred yoga space in your home. It will also be there when you want to take virtual classes. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Choosing your space and making it sacred
Ideally you want to find a space that is private and quiet. Sacred spaces are unhurried, uncluttered and unhindered, like Sanctuaries. For some, this can be the most challenging part of establishing a home practice. You don't need a lot of space, just enough to roll out your mat and be able to stretch out your arms. If you are unable to find a space that can stay set up, choose a place where you can easily clear the clutter or move a chair to unroll your mat. Locations like a corner in your bedroom, a guest room, a sun room, a third floor attic or basement space are all possible places. If possible, choose a spot with natural light and some connection with nature. As winter is approaching and social distancing is still essential, connecting with nature is nourishing. Use a sunlight, nature pictures and colors to help visually create sacredness. Find objects or images that help you feel grounded and connected with the sacredness of life.
Gather your props
In addition to your mat, get 2 yoga blocks, at least one Mexican blanket and a strap for yourself. For meditation, I recommend a meditation stool (great for those with tight ankles and sore knees and feet), or a meditation cushion. If you are new to meditation, use a chair instead of sitting on the floor. There is no sense in sitting with aches and pains on the floor when you can use a solid wood chair to support your spine and free your breath in meditation. For props, check out Yoga Accessories. They are reasonably priced.
Apps and virtual classes
I highly recommend insight timer app for those of you cultivating meditation and centering prayer practice. You can download the free version on your phone and set the timer for your meditation. I'm offering virtual classes through zoom. Check out my group class page to join a class.
Practice NO judgement in your space
One hindrance to creating a sacred space for self care is the expectation we put on ourselves and the failure we feel if we are not using it according to our expectations. Don't let this fear stop you from creating your space. Just having the space created already increases the probability of time you will spend there. Be realistic. The Early Church Mothers and Fathers prayed 7 times a day! There are plenty of opportunities throughout the day to make it on to your mat just once a day for a few minutes. Let go of the expectation that you have to do an entire yoga class when you get on your mat. Ten to fifteen minutes can relieve tension, reconnect you with yourself and with God.
What to do when in your sacred space
Have music you like there. Set a timer so you won't worry about the time. Do some yoga...any movement, stretching or even just laying on the floor to rest. Have a book that feeds your soul there for reading. Join online class or meditation group. Or, be silent. Meditate. Pray. Journal. Do nothing. It is so good for your mind, body and spirit.