Here’s How to Create a Meditation Room (Even If You Have Zero Space)
In times of stress, people often turn to meditation as a way to calm the mind. What doesn't calm the mind is trying to center yourself and zen out when you're sitting on the floor of your cluttered bedroom that's making you feel the opposite of peace. Enter the meditation room: A place in your house or apartment (it doesn't even have to be an entire room—just a dedicated space, really) where you can practice any kind of meditation or just check in with your body and your breathing for a little while.
That's why we turned to Candace Moore, a yoga instructor and author of the book Namaslay, and a few interior designers for advice on how to create a “quiet, inspirational, self contemplative area” in your home, as interior designer Rozalynn Woods puts it.
1. Bring the outdoors in
If you can’t actually practice outside because you don't have the space or the weather does not allow for it, Woods says to try and bring some nature inside. “I recommend putting something outside the window, like a hummingbird feeder or a hanging plant. Bring in a plant or tree that can survive inside,” she says. “If you’re building the space, make it indoor/outdoor with sliding doors that help you connect to nature.”
2. Consider scents
To really immerse yourself in your yoga practice, Moore says candles and essential oils can create an ambience. “Choose something calming like lavender for a slower, de-stressing style of practice, and perhaps something uplifting like grapefruit, or something energizing like peppermint for a more flowy-style practice,” she suggests.
3. Make it personal
If neutrals aren’t your thing (we see you, maximalists!), you can still go for pattern and color, just avoid layering a ton of small, buzzy prints and high-contrast colors. “Too much information, visually or emotionally, blocks the message or the ability to be able to get quiet with yourself,” says Woods. “You’ll notice meditation spaces are very simple and comfortable, and visually pleasing. Anyone who wants to do their own space can interpret the ‘visually pleasing’ part differently. Bring in your favorite plant or favorite color, as long as it’s not jarring—something that brings you happiness. The trick is not to bring too many things.”
Interior designer Suzanne Childress agrees, adding, “Just create a space that feels good and peaceful and has a nice energy. Take out clutter. Pare down the space and add in items that are meaningful.”
In the bohemian yoga/meditation space above, Childress used Moroccan accents, printed wallpaper and vintage fabric for the window treatments. She even installed a heated cork floor for hot yoga.
4. Match the room’s temperature to your practice
If you don’t have a fancy heated cork floor, Moore advises heating your room depending on the type of yoga you are practicing. “A vinyasa flow is more athletic with much more movement than, say, restorative, so you may want to keep the temperature cool,” she explains. “For a slower-style yoga like restorative, you hold poses for a long time in a very relaxed position, so a warmer room would be ideal.”
5. Make use of outdoor space
Woods says nature is an important element to bring into a meditation practice: “When you can connect to the earth visually or physically, it brings a different element into the experience, which is grounding.” Similarly, some of Childress’s clients use space on their deck or balcony to do yoga or meditation if they don’t have a designated spot.
6. Set aside some space (even just a corner!)
It doesn’t have to be an entire room. “You can keep all your props in the corner of a room and set them up when you're ready,” says Moore.
Or you can create a multi-purpose room. “I have a client who has a tiny cottage...with a tiny little space she used as a guest/yoga/meditation room,” Woods says. They designed the room by starting with an all-white palette, adding a daybed and a “calming piece of art on the wall.”
7. Let soft colors serve as your foundation
Woods recommends soft, muted colors or all white as a base to start within your yoga or meditation room. But try to avoid pastels, she says. “You don’t want it to look like a kids’ room.”
8. Weave in pops of color
Bring in something colorful to brighten up the neutral space. This could be as simple as a bright yoga mat or some colorful pillows or even bright red apples in a bowl, recommends Woods. “The idea is to have something to give dimension to the space and bring in some cheerfulness,” she says.
9. Add some music
Moore likes to experiment with hybrid yoga/dance classes, so she always has music playing during her practice. Not sure what to play? Try searching for “chill hop” music for “cool, downtempo vibes.”
10. Keep your charger far away
When you go to a yoga class, you leave your phone at the door so it’s easy to concentrate on the class. But at home, a buzzing phone might distract or tempt you away from your practice, so Moore suggests leaving it in another room or turning it off. Another tip she gives to help with focus is to make a to-do list before your practice. “For some reason, there's peace of mind knowing I don't have to remember anything or think about [what I need to do] any longer because it's already written down,” she says.
Shop Meditation Room Accessories
1. Walden Meditation CushionThis minimalist chic meditation cushion features an all-natural, hypoallergenic buckwheat hull fill that conforms to the shape of your body. It also has a layer of gel-infused memory foam on top for added comfort. Each Walden cushion boasts a moisture-resistant antimicrobial shell with an easy-to-clean coating and an integrated handle for effortless transport.
2. tuft & needle Calm Meditation Cushion
A bit less expensive than the Walden meditation cushion, this one from Tuft & Needle (in collaboration with the Calm app) perfectly conforms to your body while adding both comfort and pressure relief to your practice.
3. SERENE HOUSE Ultrasonic Cool Mist Aromatherapy Diffuser
This diffuser couldn't be easier to use: Just add water and an essential oil of your choice, turn it on and in seconds your space will be filled with your favorite soothing scent. Best of all, it's designed with a built-in timer and automatic shutoff so you can operate it worry-free.
4. grace & stella Lavender Essential Oil
What should you put in said diffuser? We're fans of this lavender essential oil. Why? Lavender oil has both beauty and medical benefits to soothe, relieve and treat the skin, hair and body. A few drops can help anxiety and insomnia while also having the ability to treat allergies, sunburns and dark spots. The herb alone contains components like linalool and linalyl that contribute to some of the benefits you’ll find here.
5. indie lee Hydrating Meditation Facial Mist
Infused with a blend of botanicals and antioxidants, this face mist hydrates, tones and rebalances your skin while promoting a sense of peace and tranquility. Spritz some all over your visage at the beginning or end of your meditation for even more calm.
6. Modern Sprout Seek Peace Mindful Meditation Kit
With a lavender grow kit and a 5-minute hourglass timer, this little meditation kit is an excellent tool for jumpstarting your practice. (It would also make a fabulous gift.)
7. Mer-Sea & Co. Avant Garden Morning Meditation Bath Soak
Do you typically hop in the bath or shower after meditating? This one's for you. Mer-Sea & Co.'s meditation bath soaks come in three gorgeous varieties: Sweet Clementine, Butterfly Garden and Climbing Roses. Packed with with mineral-rich sea salt and magnesium, this bath soak is soothing for both your body and your mind.
8. KonMari Daily Meditation Zen Egg
We know what you're thinking: What is that?! Designed to help calm you down this Zen Egg literally just wobbles in different directions. Nudge it, spin it or roll it around and be transported somewhere a little bit more peaceful.