• Carmen Weghaus

How to create a YOGA SPACE even in the smallest home

See how we turned our tiny living room into the yoga room you see in our virtual LIVE sessions and video tutorials - and learn 5 easy steps how to set up an inviting yoga & meditation corner at your own place >>



I don't have enough space! - Really...?


This week we are one month into stage 3 lock-down, and while health experts and politicians are considering a partial lift of restrictions it is likely that we need to wait another while until we can recommence face-to-face classes at our usual studio space.

In the meantime, we have learned how to run live classes per Zoom, and to be honest, COVID 19 turned out to be the much-needed kick in the bottom to get us started on our long envisioned online class & tutorial library! However, when we were first confronted with the situation we thought teaching online classes from home was totally impossible, because:


Where the heck could we possibly run a class in a 3-bedroom townhouse that hubby & I share with 4 young kids under 13 and nowhere else to go???


I suppose this is a major issue for you as a student as well, but hey:

We found a way, and so can you!


Together as a family we developed a schedule and tried a few settings before we came up with what you can now see on the screen. Here is a video that shows the daily transformation of our living room (click on the image):


[If the link doesn't open, try this one: https://youtu.be/9A3tOj9WY9U]



So, if you have always thought that there is no way to ever practise yoga & meditation at home, try these 5 steps - which is exactly what we did.


Note: Step one and two go hand-in-hand, as for choosing a room/area of your home you need to consider how the family usually uses the space. Therefore, you might need to go through a couple of different scenarios.



In 5 Steps to Your Home Studio


SCHEDULE


Discuss class/practice times with your family members and make a plan together. Make your yoga a priority that is as important as a doctor’s appointment (yes, write it into your diary!).

When we agreed to turn our living room into a part-time studio/office, we worked out a family schedule that guarantees that during session times no one needs to walk through the room. That’s trickier than you think - it’s the only way to the kitchen!



MAKE SPACE


Look at the different rooms at your home. Maybe you are lucky to have a good-sized study or a guest room that you can use as it is, but you can certainly MAKE space elsewhere. See if you can re-organise furniture. Move the TV to a different wall or maybe into another room. Can some of your shelves, small storage units, desks or even the sofa be put on castors? Then you can easily move them out of the way and back after the class. Perhaps you finally have a reason to get rid of an unwanted piece or repurpose another that was only taking up space!



SET UP & BE READY


Once you have found a couple of square meters of open space, set it up: roll out your mat. Get a blanket and a couple of cushions ready and what else you need during your practice. Ideally, store mat & props right there, in a dedicated “yoga shelf" or basket, so that you don’t need to go to the cupboard in the back of the freezing cold garage or search the mat in your wardrobe behind piles of clothes each time you want to practise. If you follow a video class, look that you reserve a spot for your laptop or have a tablet/mobile phone stand ready to go.



LIGHT


Lighting can make or break your yoga-at-home experience! Harsh downlights right above your head in Savasana (relaxation pose) are not great. Look for indirect lighting, like dimmable up-lights; smaller table or floor lamps, fairy lights, or candles work well, too. During the day, natural light near a window is best (use blinds to soften harsh sunlight).



DECORATE!


Beautify your yoga corner with some items that bring about positive, calming vibes. Perhaps you own a sculpture, a Buddha figurine, mala beads, photographs, or souvenirs that you love. Plants are enormously uplifting – they help clean and moisturise the air while looking at the foliage is soothing for body and mind (that’s a whole field of science these days!). Additionally, you can use incense sticks or essential oils or play calming or uplifting music in the background to employ all senses.


Optional, but helpful:



EAR PHONES


To not annoy nearby family members with the instructions from the video, or your music, get yourself wireless earphones. Wireless, because then you have freedom of movement and don’t get tangled in the cords. Bonus: Good ear phones block out unwanted noise that might disturb you in your session.


DRESS UP!


To get into the yoga/meditation mode it helps to wear something special each time you practise. That may be a scarf or shawl, a specific pair of pants or a shirt. You don’t need to order the latest Lulu-outfit – comfy track pants and a t-shirt are just as good!



RITUALS


I always start my yoga classes with a “tune-in” and also finish them in a particular way. It’s pretty much the same each time, no matter if I’m teaching a group or practising alone. If you practise without a video, or if the video doesn’t include one, make sure that you create your own ritual. This can be as simple as taking three deep breaths before you start, or the sound of a small bell at the start and end of a session.




Of course, we all would love to have a dedicated home-studio in a separate granny flat (oh yes, please!!!), but for most of us it’s rather unlikely to become true in the near future. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do yoga or meditate at home. After a month of daily at-home classes, all family members, including the little ones, have accepted the corner in our living room as "mum's yoga studio",


At this stage, I am running 8 regular live yoga sessions per week from our living room to yours, plus additional events. And, because it works so well, we have already decided to continue teaching selected classes from home, even after recommencing to face-to-face classes.


If we can do this despite our bunch of 4 crazy kids and within VERY limited space, I am sure you can create yourself a cosy yoga corner as well. Give it a go!

You have organised one already? Fabulous! Show us how it looks like and share your own tips and tricks that help you keep up a regular practice at home.



PS: In the meantime, we have slightly re-arranged some furniture pieces to make the daily transformation easier, and in fact, we like the new set up more than the original ;)



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