By Heather Jacoby for Yoga Medicine®.
When you walk into your yoga room, what do you feel? Peace? Tranquility? Serenity? If not, perhaps consider adding an altar into your yoga room to help harness those senses that are synonymous with serenity and call them into your practice and your life.
In this article, we will get into the value of creating an altar for your yoga room, how to create one, and some inspirational ideas for what to place atop this sacred space. Even thinking about this brings a sense of peace, right?!
What is an altar & what can it be used for?
So what is an altar you ask? In the context of a yoga room, an altar is a space that is set apart for reflection or meditation. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you like.
An altar can also be used as a tool for manifesting your desires. By placing objects on your altar that represent what you want to achieve or manifest, you are essentially setting an intention and creating a physical space for those desires to come into fruition.
Some people may use an altar as a place to connect with the idea of energetic cleansing or even connecting with important spiritual figures in their life, or those who have transitioned out of the physical.
How to create an altar for your yoga room
Now that we know a little bit more about altars, let’s discuss how to create one for your yoga room.
You can consider using a small table or even just a shelf as the base, it doesn’t have to be fancy! Next, you’ll want to choose the perfect spot. In a corner or directly in front or behind your mat could all be nice locations.
Once you’ve determined the placement, I suggest smudging or cleansing the area, energetically speaking. Sage or palo santo both work well for this purpose. The intention of smudging is to clear any negative energy and refill the area with blessings.
Now, it’s time to start filling your altar with things that inspire you, make you happy, and represent your intentions!
Choose items for your altar that bring you joy, make you feel peaceful and represent purpose. There are no right or wrong things, go with your intuition and things that bring you feelings of joy. These could be anything from crystals and gemstones to plants, flowers, photos, books, tarot cards, mala beads, or other special and sentimental items that are meaningful to you.
If you’re feeling a little stuck on ideas here you could simply begin by using items that represent the four elements: fire, earth, water air, and you could build from there.
How to use your altar for meditation & reflection
Now that you have your altar set up, how do you use it?
In front of your altar is a great place to connect with yourself and your breath. Here you could repeat mantras, positive affirmations, or simply let go of things that are no longer serving you. Another nice idea is to create a ritual of blessing yourself, even if for just a moment every morning in front of your altar that is filled with meaning for you.
Lighting a candle or some incense is a nice way to bring yourself into the present moment in front of your sacred space.
Before beginning your yoga practice, you could take a few moments to sit in front of your altar and simply breathe and clear your mind of everything else to help you connect with your body before you get moving on your mat.
I hope that after reading this you are feeling inspired to create a space made with love for you by you!