A few years ago, when the kids were still living at home, we had a big house. It had one extra room that housed Fergus’ photo studio for a while and then later, when he was doing fewer in-home studio shoots and more on-the-road work, I turned the space into my walk-in closet/yoga retreat (do not ask Fergus how HE felt about this at the time). I got dressed in it every day for a year. I think I did yoga in it maybe a total of six times. Such was my dedication to my practice.
I loved the idea of a dedicated space for stretching, meditation, and yoga. I just didn’t carve out the time to do much more with it than admire it as I changed out of my work clothes and into sweats at the end of most days (don’t ask Fergus how he felt about that, either).
Now that I am bringing a new focus and intentionality to my practice, my mind has started to once again move in the direction of creating a home yoga space. The problem is, we live in a much smaller home, as we are now kidless. Though we have lots of storage in the form of a basement and an attic, there are no extra rooms. I knew I had most of the items I wanted and needed for a home yoga space, but I struggled to figure out where it might go. The basement was out — ceiling too low and no temperature control (it’s really more of a cellar). The attic is a huge space, but it too has low beams that would prevent me from being able to do poses that required arms above my head. There’s space in the dining room, but it is open-concept, so I could not control the temp if I wanted hot-ish yoga, I could not have privacy, my music would have to compete with the TV in the next room, and it would be inconvenient if I wanted to watch a video to guide my practice (would have to bring in laptop and speakers each time). The small bedroom was off limits, being primarily filled with…our bed. The only place left to consider was our shared office.
“Now that I am bringing a new focus and intentionality to my practice, my mind has started to once again move in the direction of creating a home yoga space.”
I love looking at photos online where people have entire rooms in their homes dedicated to yoga & meditation. I also envy those with an area that they can claim for that and only that, but — the truth is — because space is at a premium in our little downtown rental home, I don’t want to hog it by setting up a yoga space that is permanent. I need it to be a versatile, multi-use area that can be set up for me but also cleared easily for other uses.
The office has high ceilings and lots of windows, and I figured that if I rearranged the furniture a bit, there should be plenty of room for a yoga area that could also be stored away quickly & easily to become dog space or equipment space for Fergus when I’m not using it. Fergus could also use the yoga space to roll his muscles after a run or work out (I haven’t quite convinced him to do yoga with any regularity yet).
It wasn’t really all that difficult. I left Fergus’ desk and storage furniture right where it was (against a wall) and moved my desk out of the middle of the room to the opposite wall. I don’t *love* the back-to-back work space arrangement and I’ve never been a fan of furniture flush against a wall, but I do love how it opened the room for my yoga “studio.”
Now, Fergus still has his same office space, his bookshelf and his equipment closet (behind that closet door is a lot of photography stuff). I have a plant, all of the yoga accessories I could possibly need, some art, a heater, my computer with big screen for watching yoga vids, a great speaker system for music, and lighting that can be either full sun or dimmed, and a door that can be closed if I want privacy or want to control the temperature even more. My mat can be rolled and stored in the corner, or the entire rug can be rolled up, yoga-mat and all, and stored neatly under the window.
The small hand-painted Buddha postcard casually taped to the windowsill was sent to me a year or so ago by my lifelong friend and mentor, Geri Larkin, to whom I am grateful for more things than I can count. It simply says, “It’s Okay.” My favorite mantra. Of course, the real trick will be to use the space regularly and with intention. You’ll have to keep following the blog to see how I do with that. You can check up on me on my Practice page.
Of course, the real trick will be to use the space regularly and with intention. You’ll have to keep following the blog to see how I do with that.
Here’s a few more “after” shots. Mouseover a photo to read my caption; click on any image to see it larger or change to slideshow mode.