Finding a Home Practice Space

Yoga Space At Home

Nearly every article I read on how to start a home yoga practice advices you to create a beautiful space, a little nook or room of your own to practice yoga. It should have some lovely, calming things to look at, but not too much clutter. I’m going to offer some advice that contradicts this. Yes, it sounds nice, and I know people who have done this and it looks lovely and functions well for them. However, at some points of my life, I didn’t have enough space to find an area to carve out for my yoga practice. Had I needed one, I would have never started practicing.

These days, I can see how it would go down for me as well. I would have something I needed to get out of the way. I sit it in the yoga space for the next hour. The hour turns into day, day turns into week, and eventually I add something else to the now ‘yoga room rapidly turning into storage space’. I make an excuse that I need to clean it out before I practice. Maybe if I were a super-disciplined yogi this wouldn’t happen, but I’ve never been super-disciplined at much, so I’m guessing this is the direction my special space would take.

So instead I tell people to look around. Where does a mat fit? Not where do you have walls and space to move, just simply, where does a yoga mat fit? There’s your yoga space. You might only have a space in a hallway, or at the edge of the bed (two places I often practice when I travel). At my dad’s house, I practiced wedged between the front door, the dining table, and the hutch. At mom’s it was the living room floor, the front porch, the carport, the area next to the dock on the lake. At the boathouse it is the dock (that’s fun). In my now home it’s the living room or the back deck or the side yard. Do you see all the places I just named? There’s no excuse of “I don’t have the space” or “My special space needs X” or even “I need a special space”. The beauty is you can do yoga anywhere. Sure, sometimes anywhere is cramped and you roll over to hit the hutch. Or a bug crawls up your leg. Isn’t that kind of the point of yoga, though? To see your reactions to your surroundings, to develop a deeper awareness? I roll into the hutch and I realize it’s there. I probably don’t roll into it again – I change something. Either the asana I’m doing, my positioning in my space, or I modify my arms, legs, etc. The bug crawling up my leg… do I check it out? Ignore it? Flick it off? Catch and release or kill it? You suddenly have taken the yoga practice from asana to another limb. Yamas. Pratyahara. Dharana.

So if you’ve created a beautiful yoga space, I’m very happy for you! I love looking at them, so share them with me. If you’ve wanted to practice yoga, yet you’ve put it off because you need the perfect space, outfit, etc. then look around and see where you could do yoga in this exact moment. It may not be every asana in the book, but I’m guessing you could do pashimottanasana somewhere near you right now, in the clothes you’re wearing. And there you are, practicing yoga.

Yoga Space At Home

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