Yoga has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, with more than 36 million Americans engaging in it, according to a recent survey. While many yoga practitioners enjoy the sense of community experienced in a yoga class, many others prefer to practice mindfulness in their own dedicated yoga spaces at home. Although there is no rulebook that dictates where you must do yoga in order to reap the ultimate physical and spiritual benefits, there are a few things to consider when creating a space for solitude in your house. Finding a space that is both private and comfortable is important, although ensuring that it is clean and tidy should be an even bigger priority.
Multiple Sclerosis, General Health, and Yoga
Yoga can help with many symptoms of MS, such as fatigue and balance. In this MS Society article, Dr. Allen Bowling summarizes MS and yoga research:
Yoga is relatively inexpensive, generally safe, and may potentially improve multiple sclerosis symptoms. One rigorous MS clinical trial found that yoga decreased fatigue. Other studies in MS and various other medical conditions have reported improvement in anxiety, depression, fatigue, bladder function, pain, spasticity, weakness and walking. There are anecdotal reports but minimal research on yoga and sexual function. For general health, yoga may improve arthritis pain, reduce blood pressure, and promote weight loss. The effects of yoga on these conditions may secondarily benefit those with MS because these conditions may worsen disability and lower quality of life in those with MS.
I have found that yoga has helped me stay fit, lithe, and balanced (both mentally and physically).
Keep your equipment clean
If you want to achieve true peace of mind when doing yoga, you need to do it in a space that is both relaxing and clean. By ensuring that your yoga equipment is kept hygienic and tidy, your overall yoga experience will be enhanced significantly. Yoga mats and exercise balls can become a breeding ground for bacteria if not cleaned on a regular basis. Apart from wiping your mat down after every use, also make sure that your hands and feet are clean before using it. By cleaning it, you not only protect yourself against germs but also prolong the life of the mat.
Ensure your walls and floors are in good condition
Apart from thoroughly cleaning your yoga equipment, you also need to inspect the walls and floor for any signs of water damage and mold. Mold – and black mold, in particular – pose a range of health risks and should be addressed as soon as possible. If you suspect that you might have mold growing in your home, it is recommended to schedule an inspection by a certified mold inspector. If mold is found, remediation should take place to prevent the spores from spreading throughout your home. Floors, whether carpet, tile or wood, need to be cleaned regularly to prevent any dust and grime from building up that may trigger allergies and render your yoga experience uncomfortable.
Let the light in
Natural light is of great benefit to our bodies and souls and should be utilized as much as possible in a yoga space. One way to make sure you let as much natural light in as possible is to keep your windows clean. Studies have shown that most people feel increasingly happy when exposed to natural light, and many psychiatrists recommend that people need to get at least 30 minutes of it a day to both treat and prevent the onset of anxiety and depression. The extra sunlight that will stream through clean windows into your yoga space will not only make lift your mood but make you feel more energized as well. Cleaning on your windows will also add the aesthetics of your home, making it more appealing to you and anyone passing by.
Having a clean, comfortable space to practice yoga in is very important. Not only will you feel increasingly relaxed and invigorated, but you will also be able to avoid a host of nasty germs that could potentially make you ill and detract from the physical benefits of yoga.
What equipment do I need for at home yoga?
If you are looking for some well-priced home yoga equipment, below are my three well-priced favorites for at-home yoga and self-care:
- Yoga Mat with carrying strap
- Foam Roller – I use mine daily. It enhances balance, helps stabilize core muscles, and helps relieve tight muscles. I use it every morning and night to realign my back; it has saved me countless trips to the chiropractor. I simply lie down, roll on it, and my back realigns easily. I love mine.
- Yoga Exercise Ball/Chair with a stability ring and exercise bands.