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Setting Up Your Practice Space

The act of showing up and practicing yoga as you are, authentically, is more important than the physical space in which you practice. Sometimes showing up as you are might look like doing 3 minutes of Pranayama (breathwork) in your bed in pajamas. Or it might look like pushing all the midday-kid-toy-disarray or laundry to the side and rolling out a towel where you can. Showing up authentically might look like doing some seated postures in your office chair between meetings. It can also look like pausing during an argument and choosing to respond consciously and intentionally.

When we embody yoga beyond the asana (physical postures) as a way of life, we're always striving to "do" or live out yoga, so yoga is truly everywhere, wherever we are, in the decisions we make, the actions we take, our thoughts and how we show up in the world.

When it comes to setting up your physical space for asana, especially in your home, you might feel like you don't have somewhere "good enough" if you don't have a spacious room with sheer white curtains, candles, and incense burning dedicated especially to yoga. Some like practicing in yoga studios that are clean, spacious, and beautifully decorated. But practicing in a studio isn't always accessible, practical, or desirable. Holding firmly to judgments or beliefs about what a perfect yoga space should look like may keep you from meeting yourself where you are, showing up and doing it where and how you can.

While I appreciate the idea of a dedicated yoga space (and created one in my home,) I also like to do yoga outside, in my bedroom, the airport, and any other space I'm waiting in. One of the benefits of returning consistently to a dedicated space is the energy the space becomes infused with, but it's not the only way to practice yoga at home. It's more important that you show up.

Optional supplies to consider for your at-home practice space:

  • mat, towel, rug, or blanket

  • small clear space (you can either clear the area up before practicing or move everything over to the side and cover it up with a sheet or towel if it bothers you)

  • props like blocks, strap, blanket or variations like thick books, a belt, or towel

Me seated in Sukhasana (Easy Pose) on a yoga mat with a basketball goal, chair with a basket of books, toy firehouse and toy rideable train to my right and a child's chair behind me
In my family room, I either clear the toys and clutter before practicing or move them all to the the other side of the room.

Really, yoga can be done anywhere (a chair, floor, bed, car, etc.) and your intentionality and devotion to your practice are more meaningful than the physical surroundings you choose to practice in. It doesn't have to be a photo-worthy, dreamy studio. It doesn't have to be "perfect". If you like to add a little something to your space to make it feel special, you can light a candle or incense, diffuse essential oils, add a plant or create an alter with meaningful items. Do rigid beliefs about ideal yoga practice spaces prevent you from showing up for yourself and your practice as you are? Can you find ways to embrace yourself and your life to incorporate yoga in your day?

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