BY SHERISE DORF | Originally posted here in Yoga Journal
It’s early. The sun is just coming up, and the house is quiet. While the rest of the family is still in bed, Julie Greenberg opens the French doors to what was once her home office and enters a tranquil, candlelit space where a red yoga mat awaits her. Alone, Greenberg stands at the top of her mat, takes a deep breath, notices the faint scent of incense in the air around her, and begins her morning Ashtanga practice. “Here I always have a place to go and no schedule to adhere to—just my own,” she says. “The emptiness of the room brings me out of my head and puts me into my body. I love having access to my yoga practice 24-7.”
Greenberg is among a growing number of yogis who have created a dedicated space for practicing yoga and meditation at home. A few have built a true studio space; some have converted an extra bedroom; and others have created a soothing sanctuary in the corner of a room.
Regardless of the approach, making physical space at home for your practice can have a profound effect on your life. With a yoga room of your own, an hour to practice means you can spend the whole hour actually practicing. You won’t be skipping yoga because there’s no time to get to a studio or spending precious minutes rearranging furniture in order to have space to unfurl your mat. A designated yoga area can also help you cultivate awareness; as you practice in the same spot day after day, you will begin to notice how the light shifts in different seasons, how your body feels on different days, how your mind greets the same space with new thoughts. With this new awareness and privacy, you may even discover the freedom to evolve and become your own best yoga teacher.
Fundamentally, dedicating space to your practice is a way to acknowledge your commitment to yoga. You are literally making room for it in your life. “You’re bringing it home,” says Gordon Johnson, a retired lawyer in Corte Madera, California, who has transformed his living and dining rooms into a yoga studio. “A yoga room supports you and your practice unconditionally. It gives you the opportunity to practice every day—it’s a commitment to developing your practice.”
Design Within Reach
It wasn’t until a major water leak damaged her Los Angeles home office that Greenberg began envisioning the yoga room she has today. “Once we took everything out and it was empty, there was no turning back,” she says. Greenberg then began to imagine a beautiful altar where the desk and computer once stood, hardwood floors instead of carpet, candles and mirrors where the office supplies used to be, and nothing more. Simple and warm, stylish and peaceful. “It represents the nothingness I was looking for,” she says.
Not everyone has an extra room, but, really, any space will do. Continue reading here on Yoga Journal.