Create Your Hatha Yoga Space
Your Hatha Yoga Space
Once we understand the importance of a daily hatha yoga practise, we do all that we can to make it happen. However, our minds – such as they are – will often start to create some resistance. We will make up stories that stand in the way what we know to be right.
“It’s too warm and cozy to get up just yet…5 more minutes”
“It’s been a hard day at work, I’ll leave it for now…maybe later”
One way to make things easier for yourself is to set up the conditions of your home hatha yoga practice. One of these conditions is the space in which you do your hatha yoga.
It’s very important to create a pleasant space for your yoga. A dedicated space is ideal if have the room, but many of us do not so we need to create a convertible yoga spot! We need to make this into a place that we enjoy spending time in, an area of the house or office that is a draw rather than another reason to put of the yoga until later. Somewhere that you can just add a yoga mat and you have your very own yoga shalaYoga Shala: A home for yoga.
What did the ancients say?
The 15th Century text Hatha Yoga Pradipika describes the kind of space you should create for practising yoga:-
- A small room4 cubits squaree}4 cubits square is about 6ft square – I guess people were a little shorter in those days!
- Free from stones, fire, water and disturbances.
- Located in a country where justice is properly administered where good people live and food can be obtained easily.
- The room should have a small door, be free from holes, hollows – neither too high or too low and well plastered with cow dung.
- Free from dirt, filth and insects.
You are welcome to follow these guidelines if you happen to have a small dung-covered room available otherwise read on…
Your 21st Century Hatha Yoga Space
As mentioned above, we don’t all have the room to dedicate to yoga. The truth is, it’s not actually necessary; for the first 4 years of my yoga journey, I used the space pictured above. What you actually need is around 7′ x 3′ of space and an open mind. You can use any space in your house so long as you’re not going to be disturbed by people walking through. If this is not possible, then choose a time when most people aren’t around. Your yoga practice will include a lot of breathing so good ventilation is also helpful.
One of our greatest challenges when practising yoga are distractions. Our mind is very fond of chasing after every visual, audio or olfactory stimulus it detects. As such, do all that you can to remove all distraction from your space – music, incense, family pictures. Do all that you can to keep your yoga space clean and simple.
My Yoga Space
For the first 4 years of my yoga journey, I used a small area at the bottom of my bed.
Your space may not be ideal, but it is important to work with what’s available. My own space was between the window (which needed to be open so my arms could extend fully out to the sides) and the end of my bed. My room also has a low ceiling so I had to include a back-bend in any upward stretch if I want to straighten my arms!
I hope this helps, enjoy creating your space and practicing in it.