With everything going on in the world currently, it’s important to take a step back from our normal routines to protect our physical and mental health, as well as those around us. Most of us have been given the gift of time – so it is an opportunity to use our creativity to fuel the positive energy we need right now! Now is the perfect time for humanity to start looking deeper inward. Meditation and yoga are designed to bring inner peace and reduce the negative emotions that are so present in our society, and it is imperative we have a sacred space to practice and detach from the outside world. Below we will give you some tips on how to create your own zen space at home to switch off from the outside, feel safe and go deep within yourself!
1 – CREATE THE PERFECT SPOT
Time to get imaginative! Not everybody has the ideal space in their home for a zen den already, but by following these steps we can transform your spot into the perfect sacred place. Firstly, consider where you would feel most comfortable, it is worthwhile to ensure you have enough space to practice – so if you have a lot of clutter, it’s time to start tidying to make room for your minimalist space. Consider your surroundings, if you can connect your senses with nature outside this would be very revitalising – allow as much natural light into your space as possible. I think it’s most important to find a quiet spot in your home. If you live with others, ensure you create respectful boundaries to allow you to switch off from everything around you and there are no distractions or obstacles to overcome during your meditation or yoga practice. Having this exclusively mindful space is very important to signal to your brain that this is where you are coming to find inner peace and nothing else – you don’t want to bring unnecessary energies into your zen space.
2 – KEEP IT CLEAN
“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”
You need a clean space to have a clean mind. It is essential that you respect your space as it represents you, treat it like you would a holy place of worship. Untidiness can be a symptom of unhappiness, so treasure your zen den and feel good in it! Japanese Buddhists say that cleaning our sacred space expresses our respect and a sense of wholeness with the world that surrounds us.
Decluttering is essential before being able to practice and worship. It can be a very liberating process, it allows you to let go of things you are holding onto – physically and emotionally – which subconsciously interfere with your head space.
So take pride in your space, only bring in what is necessary for your yoga or meditation practice, that means no food – that’s what kitchens and dining spaces are for!
3 BRING IN SOME NATURE
Plants are a great way to breathe fresh air into a room and are ideal for bringing the outside world into your space, just without the stress! Being surrounded by nature has been proven to calm the mind and reduce anxiety, whilst adding a lot of brightness to your den – imagine it as your own Island Yoga escape. This is the first stage of giving back to mother earth by looking after one of her babies! I recommend starting with a dragon plant, which comes in all sizes to fit any room, and cacti – both are very easy to look after, and have many purifying and detoxifying properties to keep good air and energy flowing in your room.
4 COMFORT IS KEY
Essentials like your mat, blocks and cushions are a great start for your yoga practice, but it is important to make sure you are comfortable in your space. Adding some home comforts like rugs or blankets will help transport you to Samadhi. You want to create a space that is always welcoming, which allows you to sink into your surroundings and helps you go deeper as you practice your mindfulness techniques.
Introducing aromatherapy can be incredibly beneficial, scents such as lavender are very calming for the mind and can make a huge difference to your mood. Incense is known to have incredibly relaxing effects, it is used to purify the atmosphere it inhabits, as well as aiding concentration during meditative practice. Candles are also a great way to incorporate aromatherapy into your zen space – the glow creates a feeling of warmth and relaxation, and really sets the mood of the room if you are practicing in the evening. Some scents and oils don’t agree with everyone, so only add aromatherapy if it feels right for you!
5 MAKE IT YOUR OWN
It is your space, so this is your chance to be creative! Make your den inspire you, try to incorporate decorations that exude good energy. Ultimately, your space should speak for you, think about the elements of your personality you like the most – make them come alive in this space! Maybe this comes from a piece of art you find particularly powerful, or a statue of Buddha to connect with a higher power and give praise to throughout your practice. Spiritual books can be a really good tool to keep around, as it is a space for connecting and expanding your knowledge of self but also of the universe. Always allow for as much love and peace to enter your space, and devote yourself to whatever you practice – try and use the space daily.
As a planet, we may currently be restricted due to circumstances outwith our control. However, this shouldn’t stop us from connecting with ourselves and the universe. Yoga and meditation are the perfect tools to use to take a step back from society, and they are there for everyone. I think the need for our own personal zen space to practice is greater than ever, and it is the ideal way for us to be able to slow down, feel grounded and spread positive energy back into the world. Hopefully you will be able to create yours now!