Exercise · Workout · Yoga

Creating a Space for Your Yoga and Workouts

I don’t know about you, but I find it’s easier to stick to a workout routine when the space is ready to go whenever I am. It’s easy to just say “I’ll do it later” when there’s some prep work needed to do a workout or yoga.

Yoga Benefits

Before I get started with creating your space, I want to share some of the benefits yoga has to offer.

Firstly, it can greatly improve flexibility. You may not be able to put your feet behind your head the first day (I know I can’t), but if you work at it it’s a possibility. Truth be told, I’m not even sure I was that flexible as a kid. My luck I’d probably get stuck in that position. 😀

Secondly, it can improve balance. I don’t know about you, but I find the older I get the more my balance seems off. Some days I’m afraid to get up on the stepstool to reach things; especially if there’s nothing close by to steady myself. I’m looking forward to not having to worry about teetering to one side or another.

Thirdly, it can improve posture. I am the first to admit my posture isn’t the greatest, and sitting at my computer for hours sometimes doesn’t help my cause one bit. The poses focus on posture, breathing, and steadiness, so I see it as a win no matter what.

There are other benefits as well, such as weight loss, mindfulness, strength, and more. I’ll get into more of those as time goes on. For now though I’m going to get on with what you’ll need.

Beneficial Equipment

When it comes to yoga, you really don’t need any equipment, but having a few things is definitely helpful.

If you’re going to invest in anything yoga, I suggest a good mat. There are several on the market, but they’re not all equal.

I have two types, and I prefer one over the other. If I could find the features of both in one mat I’d be happy. The first one is thicker, but is made from a smoother material, which means it slides all over. The second is my preference, although it’s thinner. It does, however, have a non-skid design. That in itself is a plus, because I really don’t like my feet sliding out from under me. I’m in search of a thicker, wider mat with the non-skid design.

Both of mine are standard size (6′ X 2′), but if you can get one that’s a little bigger I say go for it. The length is okay because I’m short, but it could be just a little wider. As it is now, when I lay on it my arms are generally touching the floor unless I have them pulled in close. Not a good size for a taller person, or if they’re a plus size.

Something else I recommend is a yoga block or two. If you don’t have one, a rolled up towel does the trick too, but I prefer the block because it doesn’t shift or unroll. It’s great for knee support and also head support when doing the on-your-side poses. I only have one block, but will be adding another to my arsenal in the not-too-distant future.

Aside from a yoga hammock (something I’ll get into in more detail in a future post), the mat and block is all I use. I haven’t invested in anything else as of yet, aside from resistance bands. I haven’t used them during my yoga practice though, so will leave them out of the equation for the time being. (I have used them as part of some shoulder exercises I needed to do for physiotherapy though.)

My mat and block; cat destruction not visible.
Preparing Your Space

When it comes to your space, you want it to be warm and comfortable. Temperature is a key component of an enjoyable yoga session. You don’t want to be in a drafty or cool room, because you won’t be able to fully relax if you’re shivering.

You also want it to be spacious enough to accomodate a mat, room for stretching out, and an extra foot or two for the lunges and warrior pose. And I don’t know about you, but no matter what I’m doing, I usually end up off the mat at some point during a yoga session or workout.

Designing The Space

As mentioned in the space prep above, you want enough room for movement. You’re also going to want it to feel welcoming and relaxing. If you’re fortunate enough to have a room dedicated to your yoga, you can paint and design it as you see fit. However, my guess is you’re taking up a corner of the living room or space in the bedroom to do your workouts. If that’s the case, read on to see how you can add comfort and style.

Adding Comfort & Style

Whether you have a room or just the corner of one, it’s important to be able to get into the ‘zone’ when it comes time for yoga or your workout. By adding a big cushion or two, an area rug (if you have hard flooring), an essential oil diffuser (or candles), and a folding screen (especially for shared spaces) you can create a welcoming space. Add a sound machine or turn on your music of choice, and get your yoga (or workout) on.

Although my new house is spacious, I have chosen to set up my space in my bedroom. The master suite is 16′ X 19.5′ so I have plenty of room for my bed, dressers, and workout area. Plus, if I have company coming over I don’t need to put anything away; just close the door. I also chose my bedroom as it is one of the warmer rooms in the house, especially now that winter is here.

Cleaning & Maintenance Tips

When it comes to cleaning your workout space, you don’t need to do anything aside from regular washing/vacuuming of floors, giving your mat a wipedown at least weekly (and more often if you’re getting your sweat on), and wiping down your blocks and other equipment. If it’s just you using it, a simple solution of vinegar and water or a mild cleaner is sufficient. You could use a sanitizing spray, but soap and water is fine.

If you’re sharing the space with others in your household, keep mats rolled up and tucked away. Using a laundry basket or hamper is ideal to keep your mat and equipment in so you and others aren’t tripping over it whenever you turn around. Just a word of advice: if you have cats put your mat in a bag of some sort to protect it. They love using yoga mats as scratching posts. (My cats now live outside, but when they were little they chose my yoga mat over the cat tree they were supposed to be using. And as I was taking the picture for this post, I realized my block has also seen some of their wrath.)

Wrapping it Up

Beginning yoga is one of the easiest things to do, and least costly. Having a designated space is nice, but the middle of your living room will work just as well. Get out your mat, blocks (or rolled towels), and music…and get your yoga on.

I’ll be going into detail on poses within the next couple of posts, but if you’re ready to start now there are plenty of videos on YouTube. (I’ll be linking to my own videos as I record them.)

Do you have a designated space for yoga and workouts, or do you have to share the space with others in your household? Let me know in the comments below.


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