Home yoga studios are becoming more and more popular nowadays. Especially with the lockdown and the closure of many yoga studios, people had to start practicing at home if they wanted to keep up their yoga practice.
Practicing in a yoga studio can be a rewarding and blissful experience. Yoga studios are our quiet sanctuaries that offer a little time away from our busy lives.
Your little home studio can be in your bedroom, in the living room, in the office, or anywhere you can have a little extra space for your yoga practice.
For some of us, a home yoga practice is the only realistic option. I moved away from my teacher and my favorite studio 6 years ago and so my only option was to practice at home.
From many years of experience, I have found what can help make a home yoga studio your little sanctuary.. even if it is in your home.
With time, you will notice that having a space in your home for your yoga practice is a true blessing. There is no time lost getting to and from the studio. It is your special place that has been specially designed by you and for you.
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Here are my tips for setting your home yoga studio.
1. Create your special yoga space
Find a space big enough to fit your yoga mat. A space that feels inviting and safe, as small as it may be. Of course, spread out more if that is possible. Choose a room or area in your home that doesn’t have many distractions, that you can make your own special practice spot.
It really doesn’t matter is the space you have is big or small. Both will do just fine. Just make sure that the space you choose is big enough to stretch out in.
Some of us have to move the sofa away, or roll up the carpet in order to make space. If that is what you have to do too, then make it part of your ritual.
You may have noticed that yoga studios are clutter-free. And there is a reason for this. An uncluttered room helps us to calm and de-cluttering the mind, both of which are necessary in today’s stressful world. For this reason, try to keep your home yoga studio as clutter-free as possible.
It can be easy to keep your home yoga studio clutter-free, especially if that is the only purpose of that room. If on the other hand, your yoga studio is in a multi-purpose room such as the living room or bedroom, then spend a little time clearing up before practicing.
For anyone who lives in small spaces, try to keep your home clean at all times. this will make it even easier to simply roll out your yoga matter when you have found those few precious moments for your yoga practice.
3. Eliminate distractions
Where possible, try to remove any distractions, especially mobile phones. Move them to another room for the duration of your practice. This will help you stay present and will help you really focus on your practice. Naturally, if there is anything else distracting, try to remove that too.
For those who don’t live alone, you could try locking the door or putting. sign up to let people know this is your special practice time. If you have children, see how to work around your kid’s schedule to fit your practice in.
Many parents I have spoken to wake up before their kids and do an early morning practice. Others do their practice once the kids are in bed. There is no right or wrong! Just whatever works for you and your living situation.
4. Choose your lighting
A yoga practice in front fn a window can be an invigorating experience. If possible, try to practice in daylight in front of a window. alternatively, if you do not have much natural light, see if you can use floor or table lamps. These generally produce softer light than ceiling lights.
If you do choose to practice in front of a window, perhaps consider hanging cotton curtains in order to minimize any potential distractions. This will also help let just some of the natural daylight into your practice room.
5. Invest in a yoga mat
A yoga mat is the one essential item you will need for your home yoga studio. For this reason, it really is worth investing in something that you can enjoy for many years.
My recommendation, which is excellent for beginners and more advanced yoga practitioners is the Manduka Pro. It also comes with a Lifetime Guarantee!
This is a very popular yoga mat. It is ultra-dense and thick, making it perfect for those who want a bit of cushioning for their joints. Additionally, it has a closed-cell surface that keeps moisture and bacteria at bay, increasing longevity and making cleaning very easy.
I bought my Manduka Pro mat 8 years ago. It is the mat I use to practice and teach on and really is a mat for life as after 8 years there is hardly any wear or tear.
6. Yoga bolster
Yoga bolsters are a perfect option for those wanting to practice restorative yoga, or for anyone who wants a softer yoga practice.
They are also great to use during savasana, especially for those will low back pain. Simply place the bolster under your knees in savasana. This will help release any tension in your lower back.
Bolsters are also great to use for inversions. If we are avoiding shoulder stands or headstand, then sit on your yoga bolster, and then lie down allowing the feet to lift up. This is a great way to experience the many benefits of inversions without putting any extra tension in the neck or shoulder area.
7. Yoga blocks
Yoga blocks are amazingly versatile yoga accessories that can be used by both beginners and more advanced yoga practitioners.
One very simple and effective use of a yoga block is for chest opening exercises: Place one block flat side down lengthways under the shoulder blades. To increase the opening, place it on its 2nd highest side under the shoulder blades, and one under the head.
I love doing this before starting my yoga practice as I feel it really resets my posture.
8. Yoga Strap
Yoga straps are great for beginners. One way to use them is when sitting and doing a forward fold if you can’t touch your toes then use a strap and use that to hold on to your feet. This is great to lengthen the spine, rather than slouch down when trying to get hold of the toes.
9. Yoga Blanket
There is nothing like wrapping yourself in a yoga blanket after a long practice on a cold winter day. Or even on an autumn or spring day!
And so especially for those chillier days, it is worth getting a good quality yoga blanket to cover up in savasana after your practice, such as this Mexican Blanket Hand Woven Yoga Blanket. It can also be used under the knees for those with sensitive knees.
10. Meditation Cushions
For anyone who wants to add some meditation to your home yoga practice, it may be worth investing in a meditation cushion.
Meditation requires us to sit comfortably for extended periods of time. And so to make this pose easier, it really is worth using a meditation cushion to help the spine stay long throughout the practice and keep pressure off the knees.
11. Create a point of inspiration
You may have noticed that most yoga studios have the students facing a focal point. This can be a little statue, a framed photo of the teachers’ teacher or guru, or even a beautiful painting.
As it is your home yoga space, it is your opportunity to use your imagination and inspiration in order to really help make this space your special little yoga sanctuary.
12. Add a little music
Not everyone likes to practice yoga with music. However, if you do, there are many yoga playlists out there. Simple type ‘yoga music’ into YouTube or Spotify and you will easily come across a playlist that will help set the tone for your yoga practice.
Just one tip is to use good quality speakers so as to help you really set the mood.
13. Keep the air clean
There is nothing worse than practicing in a smelly or stuffy room. And so make a point and always open the windows and air out your yoga space before you practice.
Additionally, try to avoid any strong smells like perfumes or air fresheners as this may be unpleasant for your practice.
14. Use candles to set the mood
I had a yoga teacher who always lit a candle before the yoga class started. This became the ritual that helped set the tone of the class. She then positioned the candle in a tall glass vase and placed it in front of the class.
I always found that really helped to ground me and help me understand the special nature of the space we were in and of the practice itself. There is also the battery-operated option for those who want to avoid the use of proper candles.
15. Light some incense
Incense can really help morph any space into a yoga space. That smell always transports me back to India, where incense is used everywhere!
Just one tip is to put out your incense when you start your practice as the smell can get a bit too much for when you actually start practice in. Alternatively, light it during savasana.
16. Add some plants
Ever sinece I added just a few plants to my yoga space, it was as if it completely trabsfored and came alive. If you are not comfortable with plants, aim for those that need the least care as possible.
One additional benefit of having plants in your space is that some can actually help clear the air in your space. Check out this article by Healthline for a guide to: The Best Air-Purifying Plants for Your Home
17. Create Your Own Ritual
Creating a routine for your yoga practice helps make it part of your lifestyle. When I aim to practice in the morning, I make a coffee and a small breakfast, just something to give me enough energy for the practice. This is my daily ritual I have found it to help me keep up my daily practice.
Something that could help is to stick to the same routine you would have when you practice at your studio. This, of course, applies to those who are also able to practice in a studio.
18. Use YouTube yoga videos
There are hundreds if not thousands of free yoga YouTube videos to follow. These are for complete yoga beginners to more advanced practitioners. With a little research, you are likely to easily find videos for all levels and tutorials on almost all yoga poses.
These yoga videos may range from just 5 minutes to over an hour long. They may be soft yin yoga practices or more dynamic vinyasa flow classes. There really is something for everyone.
If you are looking for inspiration on yoga teachers or yoga classes on YouTube, you may like my article: The 10 Best & Most Loved Yoga Videos On YouTube in 2020
19. Plan what to eat before and after yoga
For anyone who practices yoga, what to eat, and when to eat becomes rather important. How much should I eat before my practice? What is best for me? What will give me the energy I need after my practice? When do I eat?
As a general rule of thumb, aim to practice yoga on an empty stomach. So wait at least 3 or 4 hours after a meal before you practice yoga. After your yoga class, try to have a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. These will help your body recover, especially after a dynamic practice.
For more information on what to eat before and after yoga check out my article: What to Eat Before and After Yoga (Plus Yummy Recipes).
20. Post-practice pamper
This is a little extra that is not needed nor required for your yoga practice. It will, however, help make your home yoga practice that much special.
I have found that there is a lot of procrastination involved in practicing at home. For example, it is easy to get lost reading emails or looking at YouTube videos rather than stepping on the mat.
And yet we are all prone to this.
When we practice in a yoga studio, even just setting foot in the space motivates us to start our practice. And yet at home, we have the dirty dishes, the laundry, the hoovering and the cooking to also think about.
And so my very last tip is a way to trick the mind and create a post pamper routine as a little luxury, or as a reward to the practice. And so after you have done your practice, even if it was just a short 5-minute breathing sequence or a long one and a half hour sweaty flowy practice, treat your self to a long shower, or a bath.
And who knows? Maybe this will help motivate you to step on your mat more regularly.
Can you teach yourself yoga?
I generally recommend starting yoga with a teacher. Having a yoga teacher is how yoga was taught in India all those years ago. This is how it is continuing to be taught. Only once you have some experience, then you can practice at home.
However, if you are far away from a yoga teacher or a yoga studio, then consider watching yoga YouTuve videos that are tailored to beginners. Check out this list: The 10 Best & Most Loved Yoga Videos On YouTube in 2020
Which yoga is for beginners?
There are many different types of yoga. Each yoga type may vary regarding how dynamic it is, how gentle it is, who it is geared to, and what the physical benefits may be. Regardless of the type you so choose, you will leave the class feeling more energized and relaxed.
For more information on the different yoga types for beginners, you may like my article: Beginner’s Guide To The Popular Types Of Yoga And Their Benefits