In the 21st century, one’s home has to be multi-functional. It’s a busy era, and a busy life. And a big part of that is having the space to be calm, to empty one’s mind, and just be. So how do you create a space like that? Well, guest writer and health expert Sarah Stevenson is here to enlighten us on that very subject …
Everyone needs a private getaway. A shelter from the chaos of everyday life that helps you to regain your balance. We lead busy lives, so sometimes running off to the gym or a yoga studio just isn’t a possibility. Why not create a calming oasis in the comfort of your own home? It is easy, affordable and I can walk you through it in three simple steps.
Step 1: Find your space
Find a place that you can call your own, at least for an hour a day: the guest room, the garage, the loft or just a divider to separate you from the reality of the rest of your home.
There is actually scientific research to support something called a “doorway effect” (1), when you are unable to remember something that you thought of in one room once you walk into another. That can be quite troublesome when you’re trying to find your keys, but incredibly beneficial when you walk out of the office and into your private oasis to completely go of the chaotic life you live.
Step 2: Consider your senses
Now it’s time to appeal to your senses. Before buying gear to create your oasis, you must identify what your senses consider calming to your body and mind.
Sight: Consider lighting that’s dim and easy on the eyes. Candles, amber light bulbs or dimmer switches for the lighting you already have. What colors appeal to your eyes in a peaceful way?
Research suggests that cool colors with green, blue, violet and indigo hues are very calming to the body and mind (2). They lower your heart rate, respiration and blood pressure by affecting the parasympathetic nervous system (the system responsible for our resting state).
Smell: Our sense of smell plays a big role in our level of energy or relaxation. Fill your space with calming scents like lavender, sandalwood, vanilla and cinnamon. Scented candles seem to emanate the right amount of consistent smell but you could also use sprays or incense sticks.
Sound: Research supports the theory that sounds and music have unbelievable positive effects on the human mind (3). Calm, peaceful music can take you from a place of irritation and frustration to a place of serenity and bliss.
Step 3: How To Put It All Together
Clear out space: You want to have a clear space to work out or meditate in. If you’re crowded in by knickknacks and furniture you won’t be able to fully embrace the experience.
So moving things around or taking things out of the room completely are a must. Getting wheeled furniture may also be helpful for rooms you are using for multiple purposes. Roll that coffee table out of the way!
Temperature: Be able to adjust the temperature in this room. A space heater is very practical for yoga in the colder seasons. Also, fans may be necessary for intense workouts, because things might get stuffy. This tip is especially important if your space is in your garage, in that very few garages have vents to draw the air into the area.
Sound System: Invest in a good sound system. Music can be a huge part of your practice or workout and a good sound system makes it a much more inspiring experience. Bose sound systems are my favorite. Their sales people are very educated and will do a great job hooking you up with a system that suits your particular needs.
Dividers: If you are using a divider to set aside a space make sure it’s something attractive that you won’t mind looking at. In other words, no cut-up refrigerator boxes or sloppy curtains.
Flooring: You can cover up a cold garage floor with rugs to give a warmer, more inviting feeling. Or if you really want to invest in this space, consider lying laminate down. It looks and feels similar to wood and you are still able to drive your car onto it without hurting the floor.
Step 4: Make the time for being calm
Make sure you set aside an adequate amount of time, preferably 1 hour every day where you can escape to your sacred oasis. Your whole life will benefit from you allowing yourself a break from reality. Consider this time you set aside as important as eating and sleeping. You deserve it and will be so glad you did.
1. Radvansky, Gabriel A., Sabine A. Krawietz, and Andrea K. Tamplin. “Walking through doorways causes forgetting: Further explorations.” The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 64.8 (2011): 1632-1645.
2. Allen, Briana, Don Kemp, and DR Brasher Design Firm. “The Effects of Color on the Human Mind.” (2007).
3. Campbell, Don. The Mozart effect: Tapping the power of music to heal the body, strengthen the mind, and unlock the creative spirit. William Morrow Paperbacks, 2001.
Sarah Stevenson, a.k.a., The Tini Yogini, is a Certified Yoga Instructor in Southern California. She has a degree in Behavioral Psychology and teaches not only yoga classes but also life affirming workshops. She also writes for www.beachbody.com, which provides effective home fitness dvds for all fitness levels including the acclaimed Brazil Butt Lift, a butt workout dvd.
I never thought I’d feature the word “butt” on this blog. But, there you go.