With the introduction of mindfulness meditation in western culture, there’s a chance you already know about some of its health benefits. Those who have studied the science behind meditation consider the practice a helpful tool for enhancing mental clarity and focus, increasing a sense of well-being, improving emotional regulation, and more. Whether you’ve never tried meditation, or you practice it daily, many people don’t know that the space where you meditate is incredibly important. Here are a few tips for how to create a meditation space right in your home.
While it’s better to meditate in inconsistent spaces than it is to skip meditation altogether, having a designated meditation spot is crucial. Meditating in the same place every day will help you associate that part of your home with relaxing and centering yourself. It will also help you integrate meditation into your daily routine. Remember to use your meditation spot solely for meditation. Working or sleeping in this same space can cloud its purpose.
Silence is golden.
It’s impossible to completely eliminate the sounds of everyday life. Your neighbors’ dogs will bark, children will shout outside, birds will chirp, and the garbage truck will roar outside your window. Noises happen. In fact, one aspect of meditation involves learning to acknowledge the senses and subsequently return to your focus on the present. However, it is important to choose a meditation spot where you will have consistent quiet and privacy. If you have the space, a corner of your bedroom can work well. Avoid setting up your meditation space in areas where roommates or family members will disturb you, like a communal living room.
Comfort is key.
No one wants to sit still and focus on the breath sitting on a cold hardwood floor. It is crucial to make your meditation space somewhere you feel comfortable sitting. Many people prefer to meditate sitting on the floor because doing so makes them feel grounded. Adding a yoga mat with layers of blankets beneath you can make sitting there more comfortable. This also allows you to choose to lay down in your space if that feels right for you.
It’s also important to keep a straight back during meditation, so set up your space against a wall with pillows to support your back if possible. A number of traditional practices suggest meditating cross-legged, and if you prefer to meditate that way, place pillows underneath your knees to close the gaps between your body and the floor. The goal is to feel fully supported, not like you’re straining to maintain a posture. If you have back pain that makes sitting or lying on the ground painful, feel free to choose a comfortable chair that allows you to keep your feet on the floor. Finally, if your space is a little drafty, keep blankets on standby to cover over your legs.
Beauty is not pain.
Everything that you incorporate into your meditation space should inspire a sense of serenity and joy. The yoga mat, blankets, and pillows that you choose to bring into your space should have colors and patterns that you think are beautiful. In general, certain colors are said to bring about a sense of relaxation. Blue, for example, calms many people because of its connection to the ocean and the sky. The natural, earthy associations with the color green remind people of the outdoors, which can also evoke feelings of well-being. However, if you love the color red and it helps you feel centered, your feelings are more important than traditional color associations. This is your space, and you can decorate it in zebra print if that helps you feel peaceful.
Meditation should never become a chore. Ideally, the myriad of benefits that meditators experience should help you look forward to your meditation routine. Your meditation space should inspire you to make this act of self-care a priority. Set up your space near a window providing natural light. Put an essential oil diffuser in the room so that you can diffuse your favorite scents. Light candles nearby. Decorate the area with artwork displaying meaningful quotes or landscapes. Keep photos of loved ones close. Do whatever it takes to make your meditation space a place that reminds you of the peacefulness it can bring to your life.