8 Ways Your Surroundings Can Make (or Break) Your Yoga Session

Samantha Allen
8 Ways Your Surroundings Can Make (or Break) Your Yoga Session

Whether you practice at a studio, at home, or even in the great outdoors, your yoga space should be your sanctuary. Wherever you practice, it should be a place where you can feel at peace. For most of us, that means creating our own space that’s as free of distractions as possible.

You may be surprised at how much a room’s ambiance can affect your practice—for better or for worse. Here are a few factors to consider when creating the perfect surroundings for your yoga session and practice.

1. The right temperature.

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Is there anything worse than shivering when you’re trying to relax in savasana? Everyone’s heat or cold tolerance is different, but in general, you want your yoga room to be warm and comforting so you don’t end up feeling like an ice cube.

2. The wrong lighting.

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You might be surprised at how much lighting can affect your mood. While you don’t want it to be so dark that you can’t check your alignment in the mirror, you definitely want to avoid harsh, glaring lights during your practice. Aim for soothing low-lighting, natural sunlight, or even candlelight.

3. Aromatherapy

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Incorporating aroma therapy into your session is a great idea. Scents live lavender, jasmine, and chamomile can help you relax and even ease physical discomforts like headaches and tension.

But you definitely can have too much of a good thing. Whether you’re teaching a class, or just preparing for your practice at home, make sure your aromatherapy isn’t so strong that you end up sneezing or headache-y halfway through your session.

4. Get some peace and quiet.

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Whatever your preferred yoga soundtrack is, it probably doesn’t involve the sound of traffic or your neighbor’s dubstep jam session. Try to find a space that’s as insulated from outside noises as possible. If you just can’t escape those disturbances, try playing ambient sounds—like waves, or thunder, or chanting—to divert your attention away from auditory distractions.

5. Keep it neat and clean.

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The last thing you want to do is contemplate the dust bunnies under your couch instead of focusing on your intention. A cluttered room can take your attention away from your practice, so make sure your space is neat and tidy before hitting the mat.

6. Fill your space with inspiration.

Everyone needs a little extra inspiration now and then. Adorn your yoga space with décor that reminds you of your inspirations and intentions. Maybe it’s a hand-written quote from the Dalai Lama—or maybe it’s an adorable inspirational cat poster. Surround yourself with whatever inspires you!

7. Lack of personal space.

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This one mostly applies to studio spaces, where a too-small room can lead to a serious lack of personal space. You need room to truly stretch your whole body during your practice—without worrying about smacking your neighbor in the face during a reclining twist.

On the other hand, a yoga space should feel intimate and safe, not cavernous and impersonal. So really, when it comes to choosing a yoga space, size matters. But it’s all about finding the right balance between personal space and intimacy.

8. The perfect soundtrack.

What kind of music do you like to listen to when you practice yoga? Whether it’s the sound of Tibetan monks chanting or a full on head-banging metal set, prepare the perfect playlist in advance so you’ll have complete control over the mood.

Just make sure that whatever soundtrack you choose, it allows you to keep your attention focused on your practice, not the sick beats on your playlist.

How do you create the perfect surroundings for your yoga practice? Share your tips with us in the comments!