Our homes are a carefully curated collection of dedicated spaces, so if meditation is part of your daily routine (or you’d like it to be) then allocating a space for it makes complete sense.
It’s easy to make excuses for not doing something because we don’t think we have the room, or there are too many distractions, but actually carving out a sanctuary – no matter how small – will encourage you to keep up your practice, and soothe your soul every time you enter that space.
Writer and photographer Melanie Barnes of @geoffreyandgrace believes that while it is possible to meditate anywhere, it does help to have a go-to spot in the home, especially if you are new to the practice.
“Creating a designated space at home that is calm and free from distractions can really help the mind settle down and stay focused,” she explains. “Plus, if you regularly meditate in the same place you will begin to infuse that corner of your home with a calm energy. By simply stepping onto your mat (before you even begin your practice), you will find you start to breathe deeper just through association.”
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There are no hard and fast rules about how to create a meditation space at home, but life and meditation coach Bonnie Rasmussen of riseatwork.com explains where to begin: “In my experience you don’t need much, less is very often more. A good starting point for creating the perfect meditation space is simply thinking about what feels good to you.
“Then let yourself be guided by what nourishes your senses. Assuming you are in your home, choose the room you feel the most relaxed or undisturbed in.”
Melanie Barnes meditating at home
7 ways to create a meditation space in your home
It’s not necessary to dedicate an entire room, but it’s best to select a quiet space that has a low level of ‘traffic’ – often your own bedroom or a spare room works well – but make sure it is clutter-free. If this is tricky to avoid, then consider setting up a screen.
If you have more space, then why not go for it and create an entire room for your practice? It could always double up as a space for yoga, reading or crafting. Bonnie, who hosts intimate meditation sessions in her home, converted her basement into a space for her guests.
Choose soothing colours
“It is a very modest space decorated in chalky whites and earthy tones with only a few accessories in natural materials like linen, wood and wicker. The walls are deliberately kept bare and the floor has a seamless finish that flows through the entire space.
“Prior to a session the room is ‘dressed’ in candle light, warming blankets, mattresses, eye pillows and cushions, making it feel very peaceful and cocooning.”
Consider which colours promote relaxation and security in you. Similar to Bonnie, many will find pale, neutral shades are the most calming, but others may feel more cocooned, safe and at ease within a darker palette.
Add soft furnishings for comfort
Comfort is a priority, so some large cushions, sheepskins, mats and blankets are essential. If it’s not possible to have these laid out permanently, store them in a natural basket and keep them on display. Tucking them away in a cupboard may lead to them being ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
Create soft lighting for relaxation
As humans, light is incredibly important to our mood, so think about what kind of light makes you feel able to focus best. Natural light is wonderful, and you may want to choose a space which faces the sun – depending on your schedule – to take advantage of beautiful dawn or dusk light.
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Or, if you prefer dimmed light, then opt for a space with curtains and use candles as your light source. Other than lighting your space, candles, along with incense, aromatherapy oils and smudge sticks, add new layers to your practice.
Make scent a part of your ritual
Scent, particularly essential oils, assists relaxation, while burning sage or other herbs can help to cleanse the space.
Photographer Melanie also sees these additions as a valuable step in preparing your mind: “There will be elements of your meditation set up that can actually form part of your practice.
“The ritual of lighting a candle, rolling out the mat, or burning some sage becomes the signifier that you are about to sit in stillness, and turn your attention inward. These small acts of preparing the space for meditation help to get your mind and body ready for the practice too.”
Connect with nature
Adding a plant or two will improve air quality, as well as connecting you to the natural world, while making the space more inviting.
Personalise your meditation space
Without succumbing to clutter, you can make the space more personal if there are items you feel help to ground you in your practice. Crystals, a singing bowl or mala beads are often used to assist meditation, but only add these to your space if they help you to connect inwardly.
Cut out background noises
If you live in a city, or there is a lot of background noise in the house, then playing some soothing music can help to diffuse distractions. Bonnie highlights how everyone’s requirements are different: “People have different sensitivities, some are more sensitive to noise, others to visual distractions or kinaesthetic sensations [body awareness].”
With this in mind, remember that your meditation space is personal, so use your intuition to inspire what makes it feel right for you.
Don’t be afraid to try things out until you find a sense of peace and clarity that allows you to connect deeply with yourself. Look inward, then reflect this onto the space that will support and nourish your body and mind.
Candle photograph by Cathy Pyle