Create Your Home Practice Space

Mama’s pillow makes naps better.

Baxter had another episode last night – seemingly out of nowhere he got wide-eyed, shaky and started panting. He ate, peed, and pooped just fine (info you probably didn’t need, but there you go) … & then ran up to his kennel & didn’t want to leave.

This has happened twice before in the last couple years, and after x-rays & blood work (which show he’s pretty healthy for 12+ years old), weeks of rest & medication … We thought we’d try what he wanted — to be in his safe place with us close by for a while.

He did eventually calm (sidenote: Jim gave him a CBD biscuit, which probably helped) & we all slept through the night.

He woke up with seemingly more spunk, ate chicken / rice with enthusiasm (hoping to calm his tummy), & another successful bathroom break.

He’s been extra snuggly this morning, wanting to be right in my lap … So my yoga practice happened after about 30 minutes of holding him.

He has a bed right beside me, & finally settled there. I covered him with a blanket & gave home my pillow … He’s been snoozing for an hour … much-needed rest for our old boy.

What does Baxter’s story have to do with creating your home practice space?

When we are feeling frazzled, dull, or otherwise in need of recalibration … our primitive brains seek safe space. This is nothing to be ashamed of, & in fact if we pay attention to our inner knowing, we may get just be practicing Yoga — or the calming of the fluctuations of the mind (Yoga Sutra 1.2)

As mentioned in a previous post on this home practice space topic, the goal is to create a space (even if it’s portable) that you will WANT to be in! That calls to your overspent mind & body.

So today, I invite you to gather the props & textures that will make your space appealing for rest. Yes, maybe you’ll practice asana, or postures … so have your chair, blocks, straps, and/or bolster. Maybe you’ll do an invigorating breath practice or a deep meditation, so have a cushion / chair to give ease to your spine & allow for full breath.

Yet, especially during these times of increased stress & trauma collectively … the holidays, different schedules, a raging pandemic, political rebalancing, potential personal/family security concerns … our yoga practice can be a refuge for REST.

Above all, according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the asana should have 2 qualities: sthira & sukkha, or stability & ease. The point that ANY posture has these 2 qualities is a subject for another time (ever observed yourself or someone else muscle their way into a pose, foregoing any form of smooth breath or ease? just so the ego can say “I did it” … ? I’m guilty, for sure. I digress.)

So, back to your home practice space. Again, nothing fancy necessary. The Western culture mindset would have us believe we need a zen-like room in our home with the perfect silence, the perfect mat or the perfect color scheme. Nonsense.

All Baxter needed was Mama’s favorite pillow to enjoy rest.

So, gather the tools & textures around you that promote YOUR ability to rest deeply at the end of your Yoga practice. These tools may include blankets, cushions, eye pillows, extra layers of clothing / socks. When we rest, we want our bodies to maintain a comfortable temperature, so that our nervous system can be soothed, & our body/mind/spirit rejuvenated.

Rest may include a guided relaxation, journaling, a cup of tea enjoyed mindfully. Allow your body/mind/spirit to absorb the effects of your practice before moving into the world.

I hope my musings encourage you to continue creating your home practice space – a place that calls you to re-energize, replenish & REST. 🙏🏼

Published by ericaengel42

I practice & share Hatha Yoga for a simple reason -- it works. Hatha Yoga in the Himalayan Tradition is a holistic system of philosophy & practices passed down through an unbroken 5,000 year lineage of Himalayan sages. What Hatha Yoga is not: trendy, bendy or one-&-done. What Hatha Yoga is: a systematic approach to uncovering the real, authentic YOU in body, mind & spirit. Hatha Yoga cultivates well-being, stability, clarity & ease in modern life through traditional, time-tested practices. I also recognize both our shared humanity & our differing privileges & barriers -- I am a cis-gendered white female with a graduate degree, who has dealt with family trauma & an eating disorder. My goals in my own practice include to cultivate awareness of my own privileges & social conditioning, unlearn & re-learn in order to be mindful & take compassionate action toward a more beautiful, just & peaceful world for ALL humans, creatures & our Earth. I'm making mistakes daily, & hopeful that I'm falling forward toward these goals & vision. I hope we can walk our paths & support each other along the way.

2 thoughts on “Create Your Home Practice Space

  1. If there is anything I’ve taken from 2020, it’s my tumultuous relationship with rest. I crave it, but resist it. Welcome it, but rush it. Thank you for the insights & encouragement to stay the course of yoga & light.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you, Donna! What familiarity or practice do you have with yoga nidra? I’ve always been averse to naps, & usually wake up feeling worse … yet yoga nidra has been a life-changing practice for me the past almost 3 years … gives my mind something to do, while letting my body deeply rest …


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