1. THE SPACE
Find a quiet, clutter-free corner, with minimal foot traffic, preferably by a window.
If you live in a tiny apartment in a big city, a spot by your bedroom window would be ideal. Open the windows to let in fresh air and sunlight. Close the bedroom door to shut out noises from the rest of your home as you retreat inwards.
If you happen to have an extra study or office room, this could double up as a meditation room. The basic rules are the same – Keep the space clean, clutter-free and well ventilated.
2. THE TOOLS
“Meditation is the art of doing nothing,” says Sri Sri Ravishankar, founder of The Art of Living Foundation, and my guru of 20 years. However, as you meditate you realize you need a few things to get comfortable – a yoga mat, a floor cushion, a lumbar pillow, a floor chair or back jack, a warm blanket, a box of Kleenex ……….!
Try to carve out a space to put them away in a closet, a drawer, or under a table or bench once you’re done. Bonus points for choosing your meditation cushions and blankets to blend with your room décor.
Maharishi Patanjali, the compiler of the Yoga Sutras, which is the most comprehensive text on Yoga, explains that it is important to be comfortable and steady while meditating to facilitate a deeper experience in meditation.
If you are uncomfortable sitting cross legged on the floor, a bench with a little padding, or a comfortable chair are just as good; just make sure they are not made of leather. Animal hide is believed to absorb Prana, or life-giving force, from our body when it comes in contact with the skin.
Keep the temperature in your meditation space comfortable. In fact, you can have a blanket handy when the mercury dips.
Once you learn to transcend the physical discomfort of sitting in a place for a while, the quality of your meditation gets better!
Positivity thrives in cleanliness. Keep the area around your meditation space clutter free. Vacuum and Mop your meditation space at least every other day. Not only does this get rid of dirt and dust, but it also recharges the energy of your sacred space. This improves the quality of your mediation.
Make it a habit to wash your yoga mat, meditation cushion cover and blanket at least once a month. I’ve discovered that yoga mats are pretty hardy and can easily be cleaned in the washing machine. So, don’t hesitate to toss it into the washer on a gentle cycle and let it air dry for about 24 hours.
Set the mood in your space. Salt Lamps, plants, table-top water fountains, soothing pictures, get whatever you need to create your little oasis of calm. A note of caution though – adopt the rule of three and pick any three décor items to avoid cluttering your space.
Lastly, remember to turn off your cell phone before you close your eyes, take a deep breath and set off on your inner journey.
OM Shanti. May there be peace and joy in your home and in your heart!