Friday, 29 August 2008

Home Grown Yoga

One positive that has resulted from our troubled economical climate is a sense of increased awareness. Many people are starting to look closer at their bank accounts to see where their money is going and looking for ways to save on expenses. As a result, a common renovation these days is the addition of an in-home gym. Not only do you save the monthly club fee, but also the extra gas and time spent going back and forth.

Along the same lines, and gaining in popularity, is the home yoga studio. Instead of trekking down to the neighborhood gym before and after work, just open the door to your own little studio, right in the comfort of your own home. Here are some ideas to help get you started setting up your own yoga space.

Find the perfect location: This can be as simple as transforming an extra bedroom or den, or using a portion of your existing rec room. If none of these options are available, you may consider renovating an attic or loft space over a garage. Whatever space you choose, it should be flat, have natural light and be fairly sound-proof.

Preparing your space: Remember, this is a place where you will be closing yourself off, and when you're practicing you need to feel separate from the rest of the house. Completely rid your room of clutter and any distractions that may interfere with your ability to focus.

The floor should be completely level, and preferably composed of hardwood, bamboo, tile or cork. You should have enough room to stretch out 360 degrees without bumping into anything.

Paint your walls with a non-toxic paint in a pleasing color that is easy on the eyes and produces calming effects. Attach full-length mirrors to the walls, in direct view of where you will be practicing.

Allow natural light to flow in wherever possible, but have a dimmer on your light switch for those evening practices. Avoid harsh fluorescent lighting – it can be hard on your eyes and is not conducive to yoga practice.

Get yourself a small combo TV/DVD for your yoga tapes, and set it up in a place where it can be easily viewed without twisting. A small stereo is also handy for soothing background music.

If possible, allow for a separate temperature control in your yoga room, and keep it at a comfortable 75 to 85 degrees F to help keep your muscles warm and flexible. If you're practicing hot yoga, you may want the temperature as high as 105 degrees F.

Depending on your preferences, here are some supplies you may want to keep on hand: yoga mat, blanket, towel and drinking water, candles, and meditation pillows.

Keep the room clean and stow these articles away in baskets or a cupboard. Decorations should be sparse and limited to objects that have special significance. You may want to include a couple of bamboo or other similar plants.

Above all, try not to use the room for anything other than its intended use. This is your sanctuary; the place where you set aside time just for your practice of yoga. In the end, your room should feel calm and inviting – the perfect escape for complete relaxation.

By: Dena Davis

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