Preparing your yoga space can be just as important as the practice itself. There is a sense of serenity that comes with creating a clean and beautiful sanctuary for yourself. I like to start my morning by making my bed. For some reason this small little chore that only takes a couple of minutes is surprisingly relaxing and gets me in the mood to get my day started. Then I make my way into the kitchen to have my morning coffee or tea with my husband. I have a few nice quiet moments with him as we wake up together and get ready for the day.
Eventually I make my way back into the kitchen pack a healthy lunch for my husband and maybe have a small bowl of granola or muesli with almond milk. My husband likes to leave early to go to the gym before work, so when he leaves I get started on the kitchen. My kitchen overlooks my yoga space at home and vice verse, so there is no way that I could possibly be present in my yoga practice if there was any bit of mess in my peripheral vision. I put on a playlist similar to what I would like to listen to for my practice that day while I take a few moments to tidy up. I like to do a quick once over for my studio floor, so that I don’t have any bit of dust distracting me while I practice. This kind of goes hand in hand with my wake up happy habits.
Now I am ready to get started. We all have our own routines when it come to our yoga practice. Whether I am in the studio or at home: I unroll my mat, straighten it just so, unfold my yoga towel, spray the head and foot of my mat with water until it’s just right, and maybe add some essential oils depending on my mood. If I am at home, I like to light a few candles for both lighting and aroma. Then I like to sit quietly for a few moments. In the past I liked to sit cross legged with my fingers interlaced between my toes and take a few moments to unwind. I know it sounds a little weird, but I used to work on my feet quite a lot before I was a yoga instructor and it wasn’t exactly acceptable to go barefoot around the outpatient clinic, so it would just feel really good to give my toes some space. Now that I have a more “shoeless” profession, I tend to opt for a nice quiet savasana, maybe take a twist or two.
Although most of my warm ups lean toward more of the mental aspect, some like to take a more physical approach. I see a lot of student warm up their hamstrings in a seated forward fold, or a nice easy down dog. Some students ask the instructor what the focus of the class is so they can focus their warm up towards that, and some students just like to chat and catch up with their friends. I think that it simply depends on what you need to prepare for you for your yoga practice. It’s very personal, and depending on what’s going on in your life at the time, your focus might change like mine did. Just continue to tune in to what your body needs, what your mind needs, and just keep showing up for yourself.