For those of us who don’t always have the time or even desire to practice yoga in a traditional studio setting, home practice is a common solution. But regular yoga and meditation practice requires a certain level of detachment from what our home lives require of us.
In order to truly set an intention and carry it through, there can be no distraction of clutter, no pollution of noise, and no solicitation of chores that must be done.
We spoke with Lindley Battle, whose yoga practice of eight years, which includes a teaching career, has led her to create spaces for her practice, not just in her home but also as she travels.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
I’ve been practicing yoga for seven or eight years now. I started off really slowly, but once I actually got into a practice, it really stuck. I’ve been teaching for almost three years!
Do you practice a specific style of yoga?
Two very different ends of the spectrum—I love Yin and Power Vinyasa. Which one I practice depends on what the day has brought or will bring.
How did you begin your practice?
I actually got my first taste of yoga on a trip to India—I was staying with a woman who had a private yoga instructor come to the house every morning, and she asked me to join in her practice. I loved it, but it took me a little bit of time after that to really find my own practice.
Once I got back home, I took a few classes here and there, and slowly started to fall in love with it. I practice because it’s absolutely, 100% necessary to my daily life. It feels like breathing to me, like really breathing.
Owning a business is so consistently hectic, getting on my mat is really and truly the only time I really get that is completely mine. I can turn my brain off, whether it’s for ten minutes or two hours, and just do nothing but move and breathe.
I think I would probably be a pretty miserable person to be around if I didn’t get this time, and when I don’t practice for a few days in a row, I can definitely feel the difference, both in my body and my brain.
Tell us about your philosophy of yoga.
I believe that yoga is our chance to first connect with ourselves, and then to connect with people as a whole. I believe that time on the mat is a sacred gift that you can give to yourself, to nourish your body and soothe your mind, and I also believe in the community element of yoga and it’s power to break down all divisions and remind us that we’re all human.
To me, the gift of being able to step back from life, clear your mind, and just breathe is a really beautiful one, and is something from which every single individual can benefit.
What elements are essential to a home yoga room?
Space for a mat, honestly.
Every time I travel, I set up a little tiny corner of the room and leave my mat there for the duration of my stay—it becomes my sacred little yoga space. All you need is room to roll out your mat.
Outside of that, I think it’s really important to have a clear space, free of as much clutter and distraction as is possible. Obviously that’s not always possible, but at least make sure that your mat doesn’t face the clutter or distraction.
One of the most challenging things about a home practice is that there’s always going to be something else you should be doing, so it’s generally better if you can’t see it.
How much money should one expect to spend to create a great yoga or meditation space?
When I bought my first house, I turned the sunroom into a yoga room for nothing other than the cost of paint. It’s really not a very expensive process, which makes it really accessible to everyone.
After that, getting some decorations and plants and maybe a wall hanging or some books to fill the space, I’d say you’re looking at maybe $200–$300 max. Fortunately, for a space like this, the more simple the better. Makes it a little easier on the wallet, too.
What if you don’t have a full room to devote to a yoga or meditation space?
If you can, try to set aside a part of a room entirely to yoga, and use it for nothing else. In my current house, the office doubles as my yoga room, but I make sure that nothing else goes in my “yoga spot,” and whenever I get on my mat there, I take a few extra minutes to clear my mind since it isn’t the same as walking into an entirely new space.
Just try to clear a space and keep it as free of distractions as possible.
What would you say to those who have never tried yoga, but would like to?
DO IT. And really give it a try. Clear your mind, drop any expectations, and have fun with it.
I recommend going to classes if you’re brand new because a teacher can really help break down the basic movements for you and make sure that you’re doing them safely, but once you get that down, create a home practice and make it a part of your life.
It’s a game changer. Everyone needs yoga.
Originally published February 14, 2018 at House Method. Republished with permission.
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