Make Your Own Zen Den
Creating a sanctuary within your home for yoga or meditation in the New Year allows you to slip away unnoticed for a needed respite during a hectic day, whether for a few minutes or an hour. The space you set aside does not have to be large, but it will need to have the elements of simplicity, quiet, balance and oneness with nature. If you cannot use an entire room, a Japanese-style folding partition can easily define the area. As YOGADHARMA founder and co-director Amy Cronise-Mead says, "Make it a place that you long to go to. It doesn't have to have much, but what is there should be beautiful and meaningful to you. A simple altar with a candle and an image of a beloved go a long way. One single flower in a vase. Texts from teachers who you resonate with can also be there as a source of inspiration, as can a few powerful images of master yoga teachers. A few things that sing to your heart and leave the rest outside."
For meditation, a beautiful zafu cushion from Vickerey is the perfect item to showcase in your space. As stylish for the home as it is comfortable, the zafu cushion is adorned with the Sanskrit gayatri mantra, which reads, "Through the coming, going and the balance of life, the essential nature which illumines existence is the brilliance of enlightenment." The 100 percent cotton cover is filled with buckwheat and, as a seat, the zafu cushion helps bring length and alignment to the spine.
If you cannot escape the sounds of a busy household, soothing music or a meditative tape will certainly aid in relaxation. Place a small mp3 player, CD player or iPod dock in the space and keep your favorite CDs nearby to keep the environment as serene and peaceful as possible. A trickling fountain or water feature will work nicely as well.
Whether your own personal "Zen den" has wood flooring, carpeting or tile, a yoga mat is an essential component to the space. Made from eco-friendly TPE, the Gaiam Sol Suddha eco yoga mat is an excellent choice for those passionate about the planet and their practice, and is available in a soothing lavender or gray to complement the sanctuary. For those worried about germs in the home, the Sol Suddha eco yoga mat features a unique closed-cell structure that blocks moisture, germs and odors from absorbing into the mat.
Bring an element of nature into the space, whether it be a tiny Bonsai tree or a favorite potted plant to enliven the space. If at all possible, the designated area should have a window or a door to allow the eyes to travel and view an element of nature, such as the sky.
To set the mood and your intention in the time you set to practice, the correct lighting is essential. If you cannot alter the lighting of a shared space or add dimming switches to your lights, try lighting an Immerse candle from Cerra. The gentle flickering and chosen scent make this the perfect candle to light anytime you need to reflect or reconnect with your moods and emotions.
Keeping you dry during your moments of practice within your own private sanctuary, the Lyrics eQua mat towel from Manduka is absorbing, comforting and slip-resistant, allowing you to become one with your mat without losing your rhythm. After use, it can be placed in the washing machine for a quick wash, all in the comfort of your own home!
Whether you designate an entire room for your new home yoga sanctuary or simply section off a small space in a shared living area, this should be a place you long to come to each day for peace and reflection. Make it yours!
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