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Ways to Enhance Your Yoga Space

Posted by Heather C. Lancaster on 8/8/2017 to Yoga As Fitness & Lifestyle

Yoga Direct’s Guide:

Ways to Enhance Your Yoga Space


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The setting in which you and others practice yoga can easily set the tone for the way you approach your daily grind. If there is a feeling you associate with your practice, a deep meaningful connection or perhaps an inner peace,  you’ll want your yoga space to portray that in order to connect deeply with your internal spiritual self. In other words . . . you have to set the mood.


For instructors and studio owners, the way you present your yoga space can make a huge difference for the experience your students have when attending classes. If your space is dimly lit with candles, incense and faint background music, your students will feel completely different than if they attended a studio with fluorescent lighting, a gym-like aroma and nothing but the air conditioning turning on and off for sound.


To each their own of course . . .but just to give you an idea of how different spaces can be set up and how different your practice (and others) might be affected from it, let’s go through the different factors or ways you can enhance your yoga space. After all, you’ll want to attract the best energy for your journey and possibly the journey of others in order to be as successful as possible.



{{Table of Contents}}

  1. Plants & Succulents

  2. Lighting

  3. Sounds & Music

  4. Hang Photographs & Art

  5. Custom Products (For Shared Spaces)

  6. Aromas & Incense

  7. Sell Apparel (For Shared Spaces)

  8. Offer Beverages (For Shared Spaces)

  9. Improve Props & Equipment

  10. Hold Events/ Special Occasion Classes (For Shared Spaces)




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1. Plants & Succulents

Adding a little greenery to your space improves the quality of the surrounding air and overall feel of the environment.


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{{ Purify & Lower Stress }}:

** Please note that some plants can be hazardous to certain pets. Please take the time to research the plants you place in your home or studio to avoid any negative consequences. **



  • Rubber Tree: Low-maintenance. Thrives in dimmer light.


  • English Ivy: Easy to grow. Potted or hanging plant. NASA’s top list of purifying plants.


  • Dieffenbachia: Can grow 5-6 feet high. Poisonous if eaten.


  • Peace Lily: Low maintenance. Does well in shady areas. Reduces air toxins.


  • Golden Pathos: Hanging plant. Enjoys cooler temperatures and low levels of sun.


  • Pathos: Removes toxins in air, as well as toxins in soft materials (couches & carpets) like formaldehyde.


  • Aloe Plant: Air pollutant filter. Sensitive to cleaning products. Will show brown spots when level of air pollutants rise to excessive levels.


  • Snake Plant: Low maintenance. Needs low levels of water to thrive. Great at absorbing excessive levels of carbon dioxide.


  • Jade Plant: Easy to care for. Slow growing. Thrives in bright sunny areas.


  • Red-Edged Dracena: Can grow up to 15 feet tall. Needs a lot of open space to grow into.



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{{ Low Lighting }}:


  • Peacock Plant (Calathea): Grows well in medium to low light,. Requires consistent moisture.


  • Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia): Average home temps and humidity. Can reach up to 5 feet tall.


  • Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata): Nearly impossible to kill. Cannot handle direct sunlight and over-watering.


  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum): Easy to grow. Can stand up to a lot of neglect. Thrives in indirect sunlight.


  • Heart-Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron Scandens): Thrives indoors and outdoors in a shady spot.


  • Bromeliads: Can survive on fluorescent light alone and in humid conditions (like bathrooms).


  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum): Super low-maintenance. Needs to dry out between waterings. Easy to grow.


  • Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema): Tolerates poor lighting, dry air and drought.


  • Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata): Can be neglected for weeks at a time and still look fresh. Can handle low light levels and drought. Has few insect problems.


  • Cast-Iron Plant (Aspidistra Elatior): Prefers bright light. Can survive in well shaded spots and rooms lacking natural light. Only way to harm is by over-watering or re-potting too often.



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{{ Succulents }}:

  • Thanksgiving Cactus: Loves medium light and partial shade. Keep soil slightly moist and water less in winter. Fertilize once a month until flowers drop and then again in the spring. Not toxic to cats or dogs.


  • Dancing Bones Cactus: Needs partial shade/low sun. Let soil dry between waterings. Fertilize in spring, summer and fall. Toxic to dogs and cats. Can grow in hanging pot.


  • String of Buttons: Give this plant partial sun or partial light while in shade. Let soil dry between watering. Fertilize every 3-4 months. Toxic to dogs and cats.


  • Zebra Cactus:  Loves indirect sunlight/low light and artificial light is okay as well. Let soil dry between waterings and cut soil with perlite. Fertilize once every two months. Not toxic to cats or dogs.


  • Mistletoe Cactus: Medium/partial sunlight, full shade and artificial light are all okay. Let topsoil dry between waterings. Needs more water in spring and summer. Prefers average to high humidity. Fertilize in spring and summer. Not toxic to dogs or cats.


  • Jade Plant: Place in bright, indirect sun near a large window. Keep soil moist in spring and summer. Fertilize every three months. Toxic to dogs and cats.


  • Ox Tongue: Loves indirect sun and partial shade. Water more in spring and summer. Fertilize in summer. Not toxic to dogs or cats.


  • Felt Bush: Give this plant brightness or partial shade. Let soil dry between waterings. Fertilize once every two months. Toxic to dogs and cats.


  • Burro’s Tail: Needs bright indirect light, with partial shade in summer. Requires more water in spring and summer. Fertilize in spring and summer. Not toxic to dogs or cats. Can grow in a hanging pot.


  • Crown of Thorns: Loves bright sun or slight shade. Water regularly. Fertilize every two months. Toxic to dogs and cats.


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2. Lighting

The lighting you chose for your space is the most important way to enhance and set the tone for your practice. It can affect your mood, energy-levels, concentration, sleep, decision-making and overall . . . our eyes. It’s important to fill your space with the proper lighting to adhere to your yoga practice.   


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{{ Low Lighting }}:


Lighting candles and placing them throughout your yoga space before and during your practice is a great method to use for a meditation-based practice. Those who move more slowly, holding each pose longer, followed or started with a meditation practice can receive the best results from a dimly lit space.


If candles are too dark for your space, having a source of light(s) connected to a dimmer is also a great way to get the same effect. This gives you more control over adding variety to your practice as well if you ever wanted to brighten the space.


Low lighting is meant to assist in internal development, looking less around you and more inwards towards what’s going on underneath the surface.

 


{{ Medium Lighting }}:


Brightening the space with medium lighting offers better visibility, focus and relaxation. Installing pot lights, table lamps and using natural light from windows are all great sources to achieve an environment set for serenity, concentration and a little bit of daydreaming.


This lighting is preferable for most yoga practices that offer a workout along with its initial intention. No need for extra bright lighting to maintain high energy levels and concentration, only an easy focus intended for awareness and mindfulness.


The lighting in this setting is meant to create the closest resemblance to an outdoor environment, contributing towards a more prominent sense of awareness. An awareness of self, potentially those around you (their energy), and the space itself isn’t presented as an escape . . . but allows your practice to be placed in the present moment to be able to adhere it back to everyday life.


Medium lighting is meant to connect your space to natural outdoor lighting as much as possible to create a yoga space with a similar environment.



{{ Bright Lighting }}:


Fluorescent lighting has been proven to be the worst lighting for the body and mind. Too much of it has been linked to frequent headaches/migraines, poor immune system, obesity, anxiety, sleeping disorders, hormone disruption and more. It’s insane! At all costs, as cheap and long-lasting as this light can be, try to avoid using this lighting in your yoga space.


If you practice yoga at an intensity, requiring a deeper level of focus and decision-making, bright lighting will help you stay in it to win it. For the most liveliness of lighting, try setting up near large windows and doors to allow a large amount of natural lighting into your space.


Go for warmer LED lights to fill your space, offering a wide awake feel without harming the mind or body.


Bright lighting is meant to direct a focus more so on the body and less on the mind while practicing. It’s harder to look within when everything is so active around you.



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3. Sounds or Music

Filling your space with music or sounds of nature can enhance the experience through another one of the senses, connecting the mind to a source externally as it makes it’s way inward. If it’s hard for you or those you practice with to reflect internally during yoga, music is a great method to build a bridge there . . . so to speak.

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{{ Best Options }}:


Just like lighting, depending on the type of yoga you practice or teach should be reflected in your music selection. You don’t want to play hip-hop music during meditation.


The sounds or music you choose to fill your yoga space with is entirely up to you. The organic sounds of nature are beautiful for a calm setting, as well as acoustic guitar, drums and chanting.


Some local classes even offer live music, hosting bongo drummers to attend their practice for a more enhanced lively experience.


Whatever you chose, even if it’s a focus on just the breath itself, your yoga space will have the sounds and music you require to achieve the best results for your practice.



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4. Hang Photographs & Art

As you prepare the mind and body for your practice, you tend to soak in your environment visually to set yourself up for your time on the mat. Filling your space with inspiration, mementos and reminders of your purpose for practicing can enhance this preparation.


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{{ Reminders }}:


Whether it’s your favorite quotes, trinkets or art that help remind you of why you take the time to come to your mat, placing these within your space helps to remind you and potentially those you practice with of what goal you are looking to achieve.


For your personal yoga space at home, hanging and placing these items is a no-brainer! For a yoga studio, reminders used within the space should attempt to connect with each student who may be coming to practice, giving everyone the ability to take something away.


{{ Inspiration }}:


Art such as wall-hanging macrame, paintings and even plant assortments can be used in your yoga space to help additionally set the mood. Bring the outside in with large potted or hanging plants, and hang assortments of art to inspire the mind.


Make sure not to over-clutter your space visually. Give the mind some space with solitary corners and resting places for the eyes.


Mirrors are the hardest addition to work with. Even though they are beneficial for assisting in positioning the body correctly for different poses, they become a problematic distraction. It’s easy to get caught up with your performance instead of reflecting internally and focusing on the breath. Thus, try keeping those out of your space to ensure a more quality experience.   



{{ Memories }}:


Photographs of your favorite memories, experiences or loved ones can enhance the practice of certain yogis. If you tend to place your intention for practicing towards friends and family, having their pictures in your yoga space is a positive reflection of how you chose to dedicate yourself.


For studios, hanging photographs of instructors and events can enhance the space by illustrating the intention set for the entire studio.


A photograph of an instructor reaching out to teach those in need, or a memory from a huge weekend yoga festival can allow your students to see your involvement and sense of purpose.  




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5. Custom Products

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{{ Expand Past Your Studio }}:


For studios, creating customized products for your students to take away with them is a prominent way to expand past your studio.


For an amazing way to enhance the studio, imagine placing the studio logo on custom printed yoga mats, donating a part of the profit to a local charity or cause when purchased.


A special event held monthly or annually, becoming remembered throughout the community, could receive a great response from students looking to purchase custom yoga products in honor and appreciation of it.


Yoga Direct presents studios with the opportunity to connect further with their students and community by offering an option to place your logo or message on yoga mats, blocks, water bottles and more. It’s amazing!


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6. Aromas & Incense

Burning incense or adding aromas to your yoga space not only gives your practice association with a remembered scent, but can also offer health benefits to the body and environment in which you practice in.

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{{ Sage }}:


This amazing incense enhances intuition by clearing out all energy in one’s space, allowing neutral energy to take over. Burning sage can increase relaxation and aid in deeper meditation too. Filling your yoga space with this scent can inhibit a positive energy and overall vibe for the entire space while you practice.


I would honestly suggest also burning sage regularly outside your yoga space to create the same effect. The smell can also remind you of the intentions and personal journey while on the mat.  


{{ Holy Wood }}:


Keeping energies ground and clear, burning holy wood or Palo Santo exhibits energizing and healing properties. This scent raises your vibration in preparation for meditation and allows for a deeper connection to the Source of all Creation.


To burn, hold flame below and angle wood at a 45 degree angle down towards the flame to burn. Once smoking, put fire out and place in fire safe or metal bowl to allow the smoke to expand within the space.


{{ Essential Oils }}:


All containing healing and therapeutic properties, essential oils have been used for centuries as a natural remedy for various conditions and needs.


Oils such as peppermint aiding with the common cold and stomach aches, to lavender helping with sleep and relaxation efforts. There are over twenty commonly used essential oils that can be used in a variety of different ways. Check them out here (Note: Clicking link will direct you to a new page): https://www.everythingyoga.com/20-essential-oils-benefits.



Methods to consume or enjoy essential oils include direct contact with the skin, ingesting orally or inhalation through smell. There are now infusers, humidifiers and even oil-burning candles that can aid in helping you to fill an entire space with a specific essential oil(s).




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7. Sell Apparel

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{Om On Yoga Studio | Richmond, VA}

{{ Make the Connection }}:


Not only would your connection with vendors offer opportunities outside wholesale, representing top yoga name brands in your store gives it a great appeal to students, as well as additional income for the business.


Along with re-selling name brand clothing, selling products representing and advertising for your studio can definitely enhance versatility and quality. Custom-made yoga mats, t-shirts, blocks, water bottles and more with your studio logo on them could turn in a huge profit, as well as a source for free advertising. You could even include these products in large yoga classes packages bought.


Yoga Direct offers a selection of customizable products for your studio to take advantage of.


Along with name brands and custom-made products, selling different accessories generates a diverse selection of products for students to take advantage of. A selection of books is one of my favorite items sold by yoga studios, identifying with students interested in exploring yoga further.


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8. Offer Beverages

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{{ Tea, Coffee & Water }}:


A quaint little station offering hot beverages before and after class is a great way for your studios to show hospitality. Students will be humbled knowing they are thought of and taken care of by the studio they attend so often.


If you have a drop-in student, whom could purchase a potential membership, small favors like this one make an amazing first impression.


Installing a water fountain, or leaving a filtered water pitcher out for the guests of each class . . . I’m telling you . . . is the way to go!


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9. Improve Props & Equipment

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{{ Update Old Products }}:


Take the opportunity to update old mats, blocks, blankets, bolsters and additional yoga props in your yoga space or studio to make it feel new again. Any sort of products that might be damaged or worn can present a negative connotation towards the space.


Look for opportunities to get a valued purchase through subscribing to your favorite online yoga stores. This way you won’t have to go looking for their monthly or weekly sales, they will come right to you!



{{ Improve Quality }}:


Perhaps your yoga mats and props aren’t really that old or worn, but just selected from a more affordable source. Improving the overall quality of the products you offer students to use tells them a lot about how much you value them and your yoga space.


Not saying you have to go purchase fifty $100.00 yoga mats, but even a small jump up, updating your mats from $12.00 to $20.00, can make a huge difference for the quality your studio represents.



{{ Go for a New Look }}:


One word . . . color. If you filled your yoga space or studio with all black yoga mats and props, although very sleek, it could make a great impression adding a pop of color.


Whether that’s through adding an additional useful prop like a core training ball, to start including an ab workout before/after high intensity classes, or by replacing one of your favorite well-used products with new ones of a modern color. Students will notice the changes you make and appreciate your efforts towards maintaining, updating and enhancing your yoga studio.


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10. Hold Events/ Special

Occasion Classes

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{{ Speciality Classes }}:


Introducing your students to new classes on the monthly schedule is a great way to keep them involved with their current yoga space.


Offering speciality classes, or classes you may not currently have including:


Restorative Yoga

Meditation Sessions

Yoga for Abs

Expanding Flexibility

etc.


Not only offering opportunities for instructors, but for students to explore as well. It’s the perfect way to enhance your studio, expanding the potential for additional students, possibly with a select interest, to come check out your yoga space as their potential new studio.


{{ Get Involved }}:


Partner your studio with an organization representing the outside community, or a good cause, to get your yoga space involved with helping others.


Hold yoga classes donating part of the studio fee to a charity, which could enhance the reach your studio has towards welcoming additional students. Some new students may show up just to be part of the charitable cause!


If your town or city already holds large community events, get involved and find a way to include your yoga studio by pitching a tent, holding an outdoor class, or educating community members on the benefits of yoga.


{{ Events }}:


In addition to getting involved with your local community or charity, hosting your own studio events outside the yoga space is an excellent boost as well.


Hold a weekly yoga class in an outdoor garden or open field, perhaps even on the beach to offer diversity in location for your students. Your yoga space can be taken outside its indoor location, opening up possibilities for your studio to become more notable and involved.


Honor special days of the year like Sun Salutations, International Yoga Day and the anniversary of your studio, holding special events for a day of celebration.


Workshops are popular as well, hosting an entire weekend of yoga for traveling yoga instructors to visit and teach. So many possibilities!


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Feel free to leave your favorite ways of enhancing your yoga space below!