How to make a house a home: yoga-inspired living
Yoga offers wonderful inspiration for bringing a relaxed, effortless comfort into our homes and making where we live an oasis of calm. Think soothing, neutral colours, sustainable style cues, and a wellbeing-centered way of living.
Creating zones where we can truly unwind and physically marking out the different areas of our house or flat are also important for ensuring that we can switch off and decompartmentalise the various parts of our day. This is particularly vital when living, working and working out in the same space. Yoga can help make our house into a home - and a sanctuary for our mental health.
Start with an at-home studio space to bring yoga principles and the yoga way of living into the home
We can’t talk about yoga-inspired living without talking about how best to create a studio space at home.
The three key areas to focus on when setting up a home studio are fabrics, lighting and accessories. For example, using the right fabrics in light colours helps with acoustics and also softens our surroundings so we can feel at ease and concentrate on our practice without interrupting our eye line. We also want to avoid colours that are too bold so as not put our chakras out of balance.
We should also shoot for warm lighting that doesn’t originate from spotlights or a single source, but is rather focused on corners or walls, and is emitted horizontally. The last thing we want is to be lying on our back staring at a strip light or spotlight.
Finally, accessories. Every yogi or aspiring yoga needs a few basic pieces of yoga equipment so that we can try different styles of yoga, attempt different poses and practise in a safe way. We recommend a decent mat, mat towel, foam roller and resistance bands as a starting point. These can all be used for Pilates and aerobic workouts too.
Configure and arrange rooms, bedrooms, the kitchen and hallways with this ancient technique
According to vashtu shahstra, an ancient Indian architecture practice and guide for channelling and creating the right energies in our home, we can achieve spiritual healing and enlightenment through thehow we decorate and arrange our homes configuration of our home. For example, a key vashtu principle is that our front door is the entrance way to our home but also how energy enters the house. Avoiding blocking this entrance way or cluttering it with shoes, ensuring it is well lit, and using brass plaques as well as wood and natural materials near to the entrance to our home. This will help to invite in happy, positive vibes. Other vashtu ideas include thinking about the centre of the home as the cosmic centre, and keeping this clear and open. Lots of natural light helps with awareness and opens up our hearts to new possibilities too.
Vashtu shashtra is very similar to feng shui. Both have their origins in the flow of energy, and use the same eight compass directions and energy fields. However, both are very different in terms of direction and how we decorate and arrange our homes, so it’s important not to confuse the two. Both ancient modes of thinking suggest different things about the placement of water vs. earth elements and the magnetic source of energy - e.g the auspicious direction. Feng shui is focused on scientific principles and the elements that make up the earth around us, where as vashtu is based on geographic and geometrical properties. Both have their merits and encompass different belief systems - we just need to choose the one that’s right for us.
Enjoy yoga-led design and decoration
Underpinning most forms of yoga is the sense of centredness and the unification of our mind, body and spirit. Our decor and decorative touches can help remind us of this and create the right conditions for this metaphysical alignment. However, it’s important not to have too much stuff as this can make our space feel cluttered and goes against a key concept of yoga, particularly that which is found in Buddhism, of letting go and learning not to cling. Nonetheless, a few well chosen pieces set against gentle colours or wallpaper, fabrics and open space can elevate our surroundings and serve as a reminder of the journey that we’re on. Don’t forget a few statement pieces that reflect who we are - there’s nothing like one big, bold piece that says here I am, this is my space, and I accept and honour myself.
Think sustainable, green touches for a home that’s in touch with nature
Bringing the outdoors in is not only great for our psyche. Having lots of plans and greenery indoors leads to higher oxygen levels, as well as a sustained awareness and respect for the natural world. We love to dot plants from Patch Plants around the home to achieve a grounded feeling and deeper connection to nature. Try taller plants in corners and cluster shorter or trailing plants together on balconies, windowsills, fireplaces or on tables. For a special treat and to enjoy the healing power of plants, light candles or incense and read or enjoy meditation among the greenery.