Getting to do yoga or meditate at home can be challenging.
You may not have much time at home - and maybe your kids/dogs/cats view the unrolling of the yoga mat as an invitation to clamber all over it, and you. Believe me, I completely relate:
It can be very frustrating. But with a bit of ingenuity, you can squeeze in some 'you-time' and even create a retreat space for yourself.
Having a special little space set aside can be like having a practice buddy, just quietly reminding you to take time out for yourself, do a few yoga poses, sit and meditate for five minutes.
Here's my space. It's just a corner of my not-very-big lounge room.
I use a few elements to make this a space I want to practice yoga in. Given that I am 100% likely to have my practice interrupted, the feeling of retreat needs to come from something other than actual peace and quiet!
Four elements of a great home yoga retreat:
- An anchor for the space. In this space, it's the Buddha statue. You could also use artwork that makes you feel inspired or peaceful, like these from Sweet Peony Press:
- Candles. I love candles, especially ones made from natural materials with pretty, light scents. Lighting a candle at the start of your practice can be a ritual that helps you get into a calm state before you've even done any yoga.
- Intention cards. There is a yogic tradition of setting an intention for your practice - it's called making a sankalpa. For example, making sankalpa to be accepting. How smart, when your you-time might get interrupted! Getting angry about the interruptions won't help, but accepting them? Well, you are halfway to calm already.
- Special keepsakes. These help to remind you of good times and loved ones. Life can be tough, and sometimes we need tangible reminders that it's not always so. Here, I have a set of mala beads I got at a beautiful retreat centre in South Africa, and a heart made from semi-precious stone. I also often add in gifts small children have given me. Right now, there's a little stuffed hippo on my Buddha's lap! You could also add photos of loved ones, keepsakes from special places…the options are endless.
Even if you don't get to use your little retreat space very often, it's so nice to take a deep breath when you walk past it, and remind yourself that your little oasis of calm is always there for you!