A lack of exercise is putting one in four people at risk, says the World Health Organization and the primary reason given by sedentary individuals – is a lack of time. Doctors recommend cardiovascular and weight bearing exercises, but many are also suggesting the daily practise of yoga owing to its stress busting ability. If you love yoga and wish you could enjoy its benefits more without having to commute to class frequently, why not set up your yoga space in your garden? Whether or not you have a small or limitless budget, there is plenty you can do to create a beautiful serene ambience; one that will enable you to connect with your inner world while honing your technique in a variety of asanas.
Making the Most of Nature
There is a reason why in many countries, yoga classes take place outdoors- in lush parks or forests, where it is easy to feel like part of the scenery. Studies have shown that nature has a dramatic ability to lower stress levels. Moreover, since asanas often imitate forms from nature, it seems fitting to place your personal yoga space near nature. If you have a covered terrace facing the yard, make the most of it by filling it with comfy pouffes and cushions, and decorating it with inspired imagery. If Buddha statues inspire peace and serenity, you might like to include one of these pieces, or even create a little ‘shrine’ in the garden, where you can burn incense and place themed pieces. Ideally, from your outdoor spot, you should be able to watch the sun rise; early morning will be the perfect time to head to your special space and perform your sun salutation daily.
Creating a Fragrant Garden
To get into the yogic mood, consider how fragrances can help. If your space is in your garden, consider planting fragrant flowers like roses, jasmine, and ylang ylang. You can strengthen the floral fragrances by diffusing calming essential oils like jasmine and rose, through an oil diffuser. You can also burn candles with natural scents and use the flickering flame to help you meditate or focus. If you like this idea, natural candles with wooden wicks will provide fragrance without hampering your air quality. Most store-bought candles unfortunately contain paraffin, which emits toxic fumes when burnt. Natural candles also have fragrance, but they burn cleanly and tend to contain natural fragrance such as essential oils.
Building a Garden Pagoda
If budget isn’t a problem, considering building an outdoor yoga space that can also function for parties and outdoor lunches. Imagine the ambience that a wooden-decked floor and thatched roof above your head can imbue. There is something so appealing about stretching and performing asanas outdoors but in order to feel protected against the sun, you will need to have the budget for roofing as well. If you have a smaller garden or you just have a terrace, you can protect yourself equally by installing an electronic pergola or sun shade. Opt for remote controlled variety, so you can easily select how much (or how little) sun you wish to enjoy while working out.
When building your yoga space, size isn’t everything. Even small gardens can be jazzed up through the right choice of flowers and fragrances. In addition to getting the look right, ensure you have enough outdoor storage furniture nearby to store items like mats, pillows etc. Remember that any space you build should be adaptable to other purposes such as dinner parties or al fresco lunches.