It’s a common feeling that we need to go to an aesthetically pleasing yoga studio or on a fancy retreat, or have a big, spacious home in order to engage in our wellbeing practices. While these can all be very lovely, in truth we can engage in our practices from anywhere - and learning to create our own little sanctuary, wherever we are, can be incredibly beneficial for build a more consistent and accessible mind, body and soul care practice.
Whether it's a small corner with a yoga mat, a meditation pillow by a window, or a designated space for journaling and reflection, when we no longer rely on external factors or specific locations and are able to create this space for ourselves, we are empowered to take ownership of our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing - reminding ourselves that we have the power to cultivate inner peace and nourishment regardless of our surroundings.
So what are some things we can do to create a simple space dedicated solely to our self-care, and send a powerful message to ourselves that our well-being is a priority?
The most important aspect of creating a nurturing and sacred space is to find what resonates with you personally. Trust your intuition, feel things out and adapt to suit your preferences, your circumstances and your rituals. But if you'd like some ideas of where to begin...
Here are 10 Tips you might find helpful:
1. FIND A QUIET AREA: Choose the quietest area in your home or space where you can practice without distractions. It could be a spare room, a corner in your bedroom, a little nook under the stairs, maybe a rooftop or in the garden surrounded by nature, anywhere that you can feel calm and at ease.
2. ESTABLISH CLEAR BOUNDARIES: Communicate with your household members about your need for uninterrupted time during your practices. If possible, designate specific times for your practices, so others are aware and can respect your space, as well as maybe helping to take care of things like answering the door if it rings, looking after little ones or pets.
3. CLEAR THE CLUTTER: Declutter your chosen area to create a clean and organised space. Remove any unnecessary items to create a sense of spaciousness. A clutter-free environment helps us to promote a clear and focused mind during our practices.
4. CREATE A SENSE OF COMFORT: Make your space comfortable and inviting. Consider investing in a good-quality yoga mat, meditation cushion, or a comfortable chair, use blankets and bolsters, maybe a little rug. If you're often on the go, perhaps consider easily portable items that bring you comfort. Have everything you might need nearby, a glass or bottle of water for example. The more comfortable you feel, the easier it is to relax and fully immerse yourself in your practices.
5. SET THE TONE WITH LIGHTING: Consider the lighting in your sacred space. Natural light is ideal, but if that's not possible, opt for soft and warm lighting. Use lamps, fairy lights, or candles to create a soothing and peaceful ambiance. Experiment with different lighting options to find what works best for you.
6. ENGAGE THE SENSES WITH AROMATHERAPY: Use essential oils or incense to infuse your space with soothing scents. Lavender, eucalyptus, or sandalwood are popular choices for relaxation and promoting a sense of calm. Experiment with different scents for different moods, and find what resonates with you.
7. CREATE AN ALTAR: There are many reasons and ways to create an altar, but to put it simply, this is a beautiful way to incorporate a visual reminder of what what's important to us, what we're working towards, and helps us to connect with our inner self, the elements, the earth, our ancestors and the divine.
This could include candles, feathers, crystals, objects that hold personal significance, statues of deities or spiritual symbols, flowers, plants, a cloth and more. Take time to lovingly arrange these items with intention, considering the balance and flow of your space.
8. BRING NATURE INDOORS: You may have these included in your altar already, but either way, consider incorporate elements of nature into your space, such as indoor plants, fresh flowers, crystals, precious stones or seashells. Connecting with nature, especially live plants that increase the oxygen in our space, can enhance the grounding and calming effects of our practices.
9. LISTEN TO SOME SOULFUL SOUNDS: You may like to play calming and soothing music to accompany your practice in your sacred space. Choosing music and healing frequencies that resonates with your intentions and desired atmosphere, maybe some chill-out ambient or instrumental tracks, can really help us to unwind and disconnect from the outside world
10. PERSONALISE YOUR SANCTUARY: Whether its surrounding yourself with items that hold significance, smoke cleansing or engaging in rituals that create a safe container for your practices, add some personal touches to make this space your own.
Unlike traditional studios or specific locations, our personal sacred space can be tailored to our unique needs and can be created anywhere, anytime. This space will look and feel different to everyone, and the list above may not all apply to your set up. Feel free to explore, experiment, and evolve, and remember creating a nurturing and sacred space is an ongoing process. You're allowed to make adjustments and changes as needed to ensure your space continues to support you on your journey. Whether we're at home, travelling, or in a bustling city, we can always find solace and tranquillity within the sanctuary we've created. Allow this dedicated space to become a gateway to introspection and self-exploration, offering an opportunity to cultivate mindfulness, gain clarity, and nurture your overall well-being, no matter where you are!