As a yogi, I find it important that the area I practice in, which I call sacred space is suitable for yoga and meditation. The surrounding environment should be relaxing, which for me means quiet, well lit, and well ventilated. The materials and elements in the room are very important to achieve the perfect zen environment.
A sacred space isn’t exclusive for yoga and meditation; it doesn’t matter what belief system you follow either. This is a place where you can simply take some time away from the outside world and reconnect with yourself. Whether you do yoga, meditate, pray, or nap, this space is where you feel safe and calm. If you’re a Catholic and you want to create a quiet space before Holy Week, then this is applicable for you as well.
Wood is a better alternative for flooring compared to cement or tiles. It’s not as hard and cold which makes it much more comfortable to sit or stand on. Wood also makes the space look warm and natural, as well as helps in absorbing sound (unlike tiles which reflect sound) and that helps control the acoustics of the room.
Create an Altar
If you’re a spiritual person, it would be great to create an altar as a way to acknowledge the divine. You can put statues of religious figures if you want to. It should be something that holds great significance for you. If you’re not spiritual, you can also put pictures of the important people in your life. The altar doesn’t have to be spiritual if you don’t want it to be; it can simply be an area dedicated to the people you love. Adorn the altar with plants, flowers, and candles as a offerings.
Put Plants In the Room
Nature has a very calming effect to the psyche, but this can be difficult if you live in urban areas. Potted plants are your best option in this case. Choose plants that don’t take up too much space if the room is small, or you can set up shelves where you can put your potted plants. Another option would be to use hanging planters which also saves a lot of space. You can put indoor plants that clean indoor air pollutants, such as peace lilies and bamboo, or you can also choose succulents that are easy maintenance. It doesn’t really matter which plants you choose as long as they are healthy and you find them aesthetically pleasing.
Tips for Lighting and Ventilation
Natural light is the best option for illuminating your sacred space. The best way you can do this is to use big windows to allow light to come in. If you have limited access to natural light, choose warm light instead of fluorescent, since fluorescent can make the place look too sterile. If the area lacks enough openings, you can paint the walls white since white reflects light and can help illuminate the room.
Windows are not only for light but for ventilation. In a hot and humid country like the Philippines, this is very important to prevent the area from becoming too hot. It is not advisable to put air conditioning inside the room, so use fans instead since fresh air is healthier when you practice yoga or meditate. If you plan on creating your sacred space in a corner of a big room, use light, permeable materials such as rattan as a divider; make sure these materials allow air and light to go inside the space.
Since this is your sacred space, you can use the walls as a channel for your creativity. Design the walls in any way you want. If you have a family, maybe you can let your children paint on the murals as well. You may opt to paint trees, flowers, quotes or spiritual imagery; it doesn’t really matter because the murals should be a reflection of you.