Setting up a home yoga space offers many benefits and can take your yoga practice to a whole new and improved level. It allows you to surround yourself with yoga so it can become a more prominent part of your lifestyle, as opposed to something that's only practiced in a studio. Here are some expert tips and tricks for setting up a home yoga studio from yoga teacher, Amy Ippoliti.
Rule #1: Don't let any excuses or intimidation stop you from practicing yoga in your own home. The most important thing is to make sure you have a consistent yoga practice. Having your own yoga space and props that support your practice will allow you to maintain that consistency. Creating a personal at-home yoga sanctuary can be simple and affordable. These are Amy's favorite home yoga studio essentials, as well as some budget-friendly yoga prop alternatives:
Carve out a Yoga Corner
Even in the smallest of spaces, you can find an area to clear out a nook and cranny for your home yoga studio. You just need enough room to carve out a clean, open, and inviting area where you can place a yoga mat, meditation cushion, and even a small altar.
Must-Have Prop: A Yoga Mat
If there is one yoga prop you should invest in, Amy would say it's a sticky mat. It will keep you from slipping and sliding while you do yoga. Amy suggests leaving your yoga mat unrolled in your yoga space because it will attract you to it and make you want to practice yoga more often. Just make sure to avoid leaving your unrolled mat in direct sunlight, as it can dry out and damage yoga mat rubber over time. (You can learn more about how to care for and maintain yoga mats here.)
Yoga Mat Substitute
If you're not able to acquire or afford a yoga mat, a great substitute is a towel. It can help pad your knees and give you a clean space to do your yoga practice.
Bolsters are used to help create relaxation, soften postures, and open up the body. There are many types of bolsters to choose from, including rectangular, round, and pranayama. Amy likes to keep a big collection of bolsters around for restorative poses.
Yoga Bolster Substitute
As an alternative, you can create a makeshift bolster that consists of a pillow wrapped up in a blanket. It creates an oval shape and can be used as a bolster to lean back on.
Amy likes to keep two yoga blocks around for her yoga practice. They are used to support the yoga practice, and bring the floor closer to you if you can't reach it in certain poses.
Yoga Block Substitute
If yoga blocks aren't accessible to you, you can use thick books instead.
Straps are used to help yoga practitioners achieve a wider range of motion and increase flexibility. Amy suggests keeping a yoga strap around to assist yourself in poses that you feel limited in, or to help open up tight muscles after a long day.
Yoga Strap Substitute
If you don't have a yoga strap, you can use a belt as a substitute. Resistance bands work well as an alternative, too.
Yoga blankets are really nice to have around, and can be used to help you sit comfortably and relax in restorative poses. Amy also puts them under her knees when they are on the ground in particular asanas.
Yoga Blanket Substitute
Instead of yoga-specific blankets, you can also use blankets from your bed, throw blankets from your couch, or towels as a substitute.
Meditation seats and cushions are used to support the body in a comfortable seated position while meditating. They tip the pelvis so you can sit upright and comfortably in your meditative posture.
Meditation Cushion Substitute
You can use any pillow from around your house, such as from your couch or bed, to sit on during meditation.
Altar (or Puja) Space
Altars and the objects that adorn them are used to infuse your space with the energy of your yoga practice. On Amy's altar are sentimental objects, such as photos of loved ones, uplifting words and quotes, crystals, and sculptures of deities. She recommends putting anything on your altar that has meaning for you, and reminds you that you are part of something larger.
Having a regular yoga practice—even if it's just for five minutes a day—will have huge benefits over time. The more often you commit to your practice, the more equipped you'll be to flow through life's ups and downs. Having a home yoga space makes it that much easier to tap into your practice so you can make the world a better place and offer more to the people around you.
If you have any questions about setting up a home practice space, feel free to DM Amy on Instagram: @amyippoliti, or leave a comment below!