Home Yoga Studio Design Ideas
If you practice yoga for the benefits to both body and mind, but rushing to make it to class on time, fighting traffic and circling a parking lot looking for a space are starting to take their toll, it’s time to consider setting up your own home yoga studio. After the initial small investment in equipment, you will also save on monthly class fees, gym membership and gas costs.
It doesn’t take a lot of space to create a designated spot for yoga and meditation practice. You don’t even need an entire room; you can set up your practice area in the corner of any room that is reasonably quiet and private during the time you wish to use it. Your yoga space should be a minimum of 9 feet by 9 feet so you don’t feel cramped, and so there is room for any equipment you choose to use.
The floor is the most important aspect of your yoga practice. A good yoga mat is the minimum required equipment. If your studio has hardwood floors, you can simply place a yoga mat on the floor. Concrete or tile floor will be too hard for comfortable and safe practice, and should be covered with an extra layer of mats. If your room has thick carpet, it may be necessary to use a wooden mat underneath your yoga mat for stability. If the carpet is fairly low, you might be able to skip the mat and use the carpet alone.
- You need to be able to control the light level in your yoga room. If the room has a window, make sure there are curtains or blinds that are sufficient to block out overly bright light. An overhead light with a dimmer, or lamps with varying light settings are ideal for your practice.
- You don’t want to be distracted by a room that is unpleasantly cold during your poses or meditation. Consider a small space heater for cold winter months, and be sure to keep it a safe distance away from your mat. Many yogis prefer to practice in a very warm room, but if the summers are sweltering and you prefer not to be too hot, a small, silent fan will keep you cool and collected.
- While many prefer silence during their practice, some people like to have soft relaxation music playing, or sounds of nature to cover up potentially distracting sounds from outside. If you want music during your practice, or use tapes for guided meditation, a small dock for your MP3 device or CD player will serve your needs well.
- For color suggestions, see Improve Your Mood With Home Décor.
Yoga Equipment and Props
Yoga requires little equipment beyond a good mat, but many practitioners use a variety of other equipment for their practice, as well as various meditation aids.
Your mat is essential. When choosing your mat, look for one that is at least 68 inches long, and a minimum of 3/16 inch thick. Your mat should provide good traction without becoming slippery, and be sticky enough to help you hold difficult poses without being so sticky that the mat actually adheres to your feet.
Other yoga props you may find helpful in your yoga practice are:
- Yoga blocks, used for holding your body in good alignment in difficult poses, especially when one hand is on the floor
- Yoga bolsters, useful for positions stretching the back or belly
- Yoga straps, great for stretches of the arms or legs when you just can’t reach far enough on your own
- For a guide to other yoga equipment, see The Essential Yoga Equipment Buying Guide.
If you are a beginner at yoga, or just like the guidance, you may also want to use any of the wide selection of yoga DVD’s that are available. You can find DVD’s for everything from basic yoga for beginners to advanced positions to specialty tapes geared for children, seniors, pregnant women or recovering from injury. If you plan to use DVD’s, a wall-mounted television will make it easy to follow along while holding your positions.
Your yoga/meditation room should be as free of clutter and obstructions as possible, but you might want a cabinet to hold equipment, DVD’s or any other supplies you use during your practice. A comfortable, straight-back chair is also useful for meditation if you prefer not to sit in a traditional floor position.
Meditation is often an accompaniment to a yoga practice, and has multiple health benefits as well as improving emotional health. You really need nothing more than a place to sit for a basic meditation practice, but many people prefer to use some simple aids for comfort or focus.
- A zafu is the traditional Zen pillow used for sitting meditation. It is round, with a flattened top and bottom, and thickly stuffed to make it hard enough for support.
- A zabuton is a flat floor pillow that is often used for extra comfort and cushioning with a zafu.
- A seiza, or kneeling bench, is a low, flat bench useful for meditation when the traditional cross-legged position is difficult or painful.
- Depending on your school of meditation, you might also want to have a small altar, a gong, a timer or music player, or a candle to use during your meditative sessions.
There are many benefits to practicing yoga and meditation, both physical and mental. It doesn’t take a big investment or a lot of space to set up a yoga studio in your home, so if you are ready to get serious about your practice, claim a corner of a room, lay down your mat, and make the time each day to give yourself the gift of yoga.