How to Set Up the Ideal Home Yoga Studio
One of the many upsides of yoga is that you can practice anywhere. At the same time, having a dedicated home yoga studio where you roll out your mat can help you stay consistent and reap the benefits of yoga.
“Having your mat rolled out on the floor or rolled up in the corner is a reminder to get some activity and connection to your breath,” says yoga instructor Dianne Bondy, E-RYT 500, author of Yoga For Everyone. “When you see that dedicated space on the regular, you’re more apt to get on your mat, do that self-care, and afterward show up in the world more connected.”
The great news is you don’t need the perfect home yoga studio to achieve this. No matter how little space you have and how often you practice yoga, you can set up a zone for yoga at home that suits your practice style, that’s relaxing, energizing, or somewhere in between.
Here’s what you need:
“You just need enough space to roll out a mat,” Bondy says. Although anywhere in your home will work, look for walls that can help make yoga poses more accessible. But also make sure those walls don’t limit your range of motion. If possible, find a location that offers privacy so nobody walks in and turns on the TV while you’re in savasana.
Not sure where to set up your space? Try right next to your bed.
“If you are a morning person, this allows you to get out of bed and step on your mat,” Bondy says. “Plus the bedroom is already a bit of sanctuary and comfortable, and you can use your pillows for restorative poses.”
Next, consider adding a few objects that bring that home yoga studio feel.
“Decorating can help make the space more inviting, which makes you want to come back to your mat,” Bondy says.
She suggests asking what you want to get from your practice, to inform your decorative choices. Consider classic elements of home yoga studios such as a candle to use for meditation, meaningful quotes that inspire you, yoga books for sequences and alignment cues, and a plant to purify the air.
Once you have your space set up, you may want to buy a few yoga props to support your practice. The main ones to think about are a mat, yoga blocks, and strap.
1. Yoga mat
Although you can use a beach towel or large bath towel for your at-home yoga studio, a yoga mat is a smart investment if you plan to practice regularly.
“If you were going to run a marathon, you would invest in a good pair of shoes,” Bondy says.
Similarly, a mat is a one-time investment that can last for years. Cheaper mats are often thinner, have less grip, can smell if you sweat a lot, and break down after a few months. On the other hand, high-quality mats are grippy so your hands and feet don’t slip and provide cushion to support your joints. Check how much the mat weighs as well, because if you plan to tote the mat to an outside yoga studio, that can become a burden.
2. Yoga Blocks
A set of yoga blocks opens your practice to more variations and modifications, Bondy explains. In postures such as pigeon, yoga blocks provide support. In others, like triangle pose or standing forward bend, blocks bring the floor to you.
Bondy likes cork blocks, which are more supportive than foam blocks.
3. Yoga Strap
A yoga strap helps “lengthen your limbs,” Bondy says. This is often super helpful in poses such as seated forward fold or reclined big toe pose if your arms are shorter than your legs or if you have tight hamstrings or a tight back.
Additionally, a yoga strap can also create support around the hips and waist in poses such as child’s pose or reclining butterfly (bound angle) so you can achieve a deeper stretch, Bondy adds. She likes longer 10-foot straps for more versatility.
A program like Openfit Live gives you access to live and on-demand workout classes of all types and levels, including all styles of yoga. And with our Yoga52 program, you can receive precise instruction from a world-class group of yoga teachers right in your own home.
Whatever you choose for wherever you create your home yoga studio, remember: “Your practice is your practice,” Bondy says. “Whether you want gentle and restorative or cardio and strength, yoga can be all these things.”