You know those beautiful home yoga spaces you see on instagram? The ones with the stunning plants on the floor, crystals lounging around, mini statues abound and incense freely flowing? Ya, those are so pretty aren't they! But you know what isn't in that space? A kid. Let's talk setting up a real life yoga space...for mamas.
My top tip in creating a functional yoga space, is to have multiple options! Now hang with me. This concept is much like my suggestion to have three windows of yoga opportunity in your day. Both of these suggestions are all about being flexible, and allowing your yoga time to work into the existing family routine.
I personally have three spaces within my home that I can I regularly practice yoga:
These are listed in order of practice frequency. On most days you will find me flowing in the living room...even tho I have a dedicated home studio space. Let's get into the why's and the set-ups for each of these spaces, and see how you can create these spaces in your home.
The Living Room Space
As mentioned this is my number one place of practice at the moment. This is a communal space in every house, and it's most likely been child-proofed so you can flow without constantly making sure your little one isn't getting into something.
Why this space?
In my house set up , our living room is an earshot away from everything in the house. If the kids are awake and playing I can hear them, and often see them. If the kids are asleep, I can keep an ear out for them waking. If the kids are wanting to get in on the yoga fun, there is room for them to enjoy, and everything is already baby-toddler-proofed. Bonus, there is a stunning view out of our living room window.
Have props in the space ready to go when the moment strikes. I've got blocks ready to go in the entertainment centre & bolsters placed in the bay-window. I'm aware that not everyone has as many props as me #yogateacherlife, but the more you have close by the space the easier it will be for you to get your yoga on.
If possible, remove any rugs so your mat is directly on a hard floor surface. Yoga mat's placed directly onto a hard surface will offer more stability and grip. Of course if you've got carpet, you can obviously still yoga.
Make sure you've got enough room to move. Push a couch or a chair back if needed.
Tip: I like to clean my floor before practicing. Otherwise I tend to get lost in the thought of "my floors are gross". Remove as many distractions as possible.
This is my sacred space in the house. I know I am very fortunate to have a dedicated yoga space, and that not everyone is able to do this. BUT if you are, even if it's in a garage, I highly recommend setting up a space just for you.
Why this space?
Because I am a yoga teacher, and need a space for filming classes this was a must have in our new home. This space is in a room built especially for my husband and I to work out of and to workout out of. However with my husband still primarily working from home in the other half of this room (thanks rona), I only practice in the space once or twice a week. When I do get in there, it's always a treat. In my home studio space, I am off the clock from mom-life. I can't hear the kids, I can't see the kids, it's just for me.
Make this space yours. Put those plants and crystals on the floor; light a candle; you do you! It's Ok to have a small slice of your house that is kid-free.
Have a blank wall. In many yoga classes the wall is used as a prop, from inversions to yin yoga you will be thankful you've got a wall free for you.
Keep out the clutter. From kids toys to decoration, reduce the amount of distraction in this space so you have room to stretch and are free from distraction. If possible, even keep the colours to a minimum. A neutral palette will allow the mind to more easily relax.
Have storage for your props and mat. A box, a basket, whatever. Having a dedicated space to place your props when your done, will keep the space clear and keep the kids out of your yoga gear.
Tip: this mama-only yoga space could also exist in the corner of an existing room. Think master bedroom, office, garage. The idea is that this is a slice of the house just for you.
Take the kids and your practice outside! I don't know about your little one's, but mine seem to be happiest when they are outside. If the kids are bouncing off the walls, and there is no other way I am going to get exercise in, this is when I move my yoga-time outside.
Why this space?
This is typically a last resort for me, but I have to say it has a high success rate. Our backyard set up is very kid and activity friendly. The back-deck is on the same level as the yard, so I can keep a good eye on the kids and make sure they are safe.
Practice under shade. This probably goes without saying, but select a sunsmart location.
Keep it low-key. Try and choose a class without any props or fancy new poses. Odds are you will have a scooter or bike whizzing past you...this is #momlife after all.
Invite the kids to yoga along! When I take yoga outside, I invite my three year old to "build muscles" with me. He's entertained for the first 5 minutes, and then happily starts playing independently.
Adapt this setup to a park space. This is especially great for toddlers. You can lunge and squat while they play and play.
Tip: One of the newest classes, Standing Room Only, is a perfect outside yoga sequence...especially those limited for space.
However you decide to create a yoga space (or three) in your home, I hope these suggestions help to bring yoga into your daily life. I'd love to see your real life yoga spaces on instagram! Tag @updogyogamamas and show off your real-life worthy yoga space.
The Updog Yoga Mamas intention is to provide a way for mamas to bring yoga into their daily routine without complication. To empower mamas to acknowledge their energy and their families energy each day, and then select the best practice for that day. Whether it be a 10 minute grounding meditation to balance out the emotional rollercoaster of motherhood, a 30 minute gentle yin to restore the body after a sleepless night or a 45 minute power flow to energise the body and mind - mamas now have the choice to cater their daily practice to suit their needs. Join now >