I recently acquired a cool gig working at a yoga studio. I’ve been attending yoga classes on and off for several years, but this is my first experience really being in tune with the yoga space itself.
I work mornings, so I’m in charge of setting up the studio and getting it ready for the first class of the day. There’s a host of things that we do, such as lighting candles, burning incense, arranging pillows, etc., to make the studio come to life.
I’ve noticed that the transformation in that first hour -- from when I walk in (when it’s dark and the space hasn’t been touched in hours) to when the studio is ready to go -- is truly amazing. It becomes this cozy, tranquil space that actually makes me more productive! Plus, when I take naps (I’m allowed to, I promise I’m not slacking off) I feel super well rested and never want to leave.
I started thinking about how I could incorporate a yoga studio feel into my own apartment, and decided to share some of the things we do with you guys:
Incense has never been my thing, but that's mostly because I didn’t actually know how to use it. It’s actually so simple, and as a bonus, incense is easy to clean up!
There are many diverse incense scents to try - you can find stores that stock rows and rows of incense for you to test. The great thing about incense is that it’s a constant release, as opposed to the sometimes overpowering scent of lemon that lingers when you spray Febreeze. My nose is irritated by too strong perfumes and sprays, but incense is actually calming and pleasing to me.
If you want to get into the meditative zone, incense is perfect for you. Just make sure your dorm or apartment allows it - many college living spaces don't allow any open flames, so check your rules first.
Candlelight yoga is one of my favorite things ever - there’s something utterly tranquil about a room lit only by flames. If you don’t need a ton of light (you’re Netflix-binging, Instagramming from bed, etc.) consider lighting your room up with large candles.
Pro tip: instead of buying candles that fit snugly into a holder, buy an individual large candle and put it in a slightly bigger glass holder. As the wax melts, it won’t do that thing where it pools up in the middle, but will drip over the edges to create a seriously cool look over time.
Again, if you live in the dorms, be sure to observe your building's rules regarding open flames - battery-operated candles are a great alternative if yours doesn't allow the real deal!
Diffuse Essential Oils
The positive health benefits of essential oil diffusers are widely touted and can include headache and stress relief, appetite control, and improved sleep.
Beyond that, a diffuser lets you change to a different scent easily depending on your mood and what benefits you wish to reap. This one has great reviews and even includes color-changing lights to help set the mood in your room.
Control the Brightness
One thing I noticed from working the early morning shift is that if I turn the lights to their full brightness, it’s really annoying. Therefore, everyone always uses the dimmer to set them on their lowest power.
Since most dorms and apartments don't have dimmers (consider yourself lucky if yours does!), you may need to get creative. To get the same effect that you would from a dimmer, invest in small table lamps, string lights and paper lanterns, marquee signs, etc.
Invest in Mirrors
Ever walk into a restaurant or store and not notice until later that the back wall was a mirror? The space probably looked deceptively open, almost as if it could hold twice the occupancy! A large mirror in a tiny college apartment will add tons of depth and visual space. Plus, if you are using lamps or string lights like mentioned above, you can position the mirror to reflect this light.
One note: if you’re putting a mirror in your bedroom, carefully consider which side it faces. Some people don’t like to have their bed reflected in a full-length mirror. Ditto for any wall that a TV may face - the light could get distracting.
Do you love that zen-like vibe?
What are your thoughts on blending yoga studio decor with college living? Share your opinions in the comments!