It’s just as important as ever to stay home and stay safe, which means online yoga isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

Home can be a less than ideal space for practicing, especially if you live with other people – not to mention pets! But you don’t need a home gym or a dedicated room to get into the zone.

That’s why I’ve put together a list of 8 ways to quickly transform any part of your house into a little yoga nook, where you can practice in peace.

Step 1 – Communicate

If you live with other people, a quick conversation about where you intend to take your online yoga class can save you from discovering halfway through setting up in the office that your significant other has a Zoom meeting in 5 minutes time.

It’s totally OK to ask for some undisturbed time, but it can help those you share space with to know the start and end time of your class. Having clear boundaries gives you license to claim your quiet time and helps to manage everyone else’s expectations.

Step 2 – Make space

The average yoga mat is only about 185 cm x 68 cm, so you barely need much more space than that to get you started. If, like me, you own a little pup, a sweep or a vacuum doesn’t hurt, because there’s nothing like a mouthful of dog fluff to throw off your focus.

Step 3 – Ventilate

Yoga is all about the breath, so an open window and some fresh air goes a long way to helping you oxygenate your body.

Step 4 – Get comfortable

It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a brand new matching yoga outfit, or your oldest tracksuit pants. All you need is something you can move in. Think of layers – something you can peel off when you start to get hot and something you can throw on to keep you toasty during savasana or a guided meditation.

Step 5 – Engage the digital detox

Putting your phone on silent is the easy part. Don’t forget to turn the WhatsApp tab on your browser to silent and turn on Do Not Disturb in the notification centre of your computer and other devices. There’s nothing like the cacophony of having a FaceTime call coming through your phone, your laptop and your tablet all at once to pull you out of your practice.

Step 6 – Establish a ritual

Ritual serves to transition the mind from whatever you were busy with before to being fully present on your mat. It doesn’t really matter what your ritual looks like. What matters is that it’s meaningful to you.

Here are some ideas:

  • Spritz some nice smelling yoga mat spray onto your mat (check out my recipe for a super simple DIY yoga mat spray here)
  • Diffuse some essential oils
  • Light a candle or a stick of incense
  • Dim the lights
  • Make a little alter (pick a flower, find a pebble… Whatever you do, be mindful not to appropriate elements of someone else’s culture. Read more about the difference between appreciation and appropriation here.)

Step 7 – Music

Playing soft music (preferably without lyrics) can give you an audio anchor to come back to time and again throughout your practice. Even a soundscape of crickets or falling rain could work. I’ve started sharing playlists that you’re welcome to tap into, like this one here. However, if you’re hard of hearing, music can create unnecessary interference with the teacher’s voice, so feel free to take it or leave it.

Step 8 – Prep your props

Whether you’re using straps, blocks and bolsters, or the belt from your dressing gown, and a pick ‘n’ mix of pillows, it helps to have your props within arm’s reach before you begin so you don’t find yourself scrambling for them midway through class.

Photo: Tatiana Rodriguez

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