When it comes to meditation, there really isn't anything that you need. You have your body, you have your mind...that is enough.
BUT.... it is extremely beneficial to create a sacred space in your home that you can dedicate to your meditation practice. This doesn't have to be an elaborate set-up or a large room, it can be any small space within your home that you can make your own (mine is a corner that is crammed in between a closet and the bathroom door).
There are several reasons why you should set aside a place for your meditation practice:
1. It’s a constant reminder: If you’re anything like me and you don't have a list created, an alarm set, or some sort of reminder... it’s not happening. Especially when you are at the beginning your meditation journey (or any journey for that matter). This is when we need CONSTANT reminders and what is a better reminder than seeing a space you have created and dedicated solely to the purpose of meditation.
2. The 80% rule: Studies have shown that your best chance of completing a goal or task, is to accomplish 80% of it before you actually have to do it. So, do 80% of the work ahead of time! Set up a yoga mat, cushion, or any other props that are going to allow you to sit or lay comfortably for an extending period of time. That way it is already waiting for you to start!
Just think, you get up in the morning and you want to meditate, but you have to get all of your props set up, a timer, etc. do you think you'll be likely to meditate? Probably not likely. OR imagine if you woke up in the morning & everything was just waiting there for you. Would you be more likely to sit and meditate? Much more likely!
Once we have invested some of our time into creating a meditation space, our brain will begin to think it was a waste of our time if we don’t use it. And thus, because we've done the majority of the work it makes more sense to complete the other 20% and just flipping meditate already!
3. Positive reinforcement: Typically when we adorn our sacred space, we choose things that ignite positive emotions within us. Motivational quotes, inspirational images, or portraits of admired people. My meditation area seems to have a certain aura about it. In all honesty, some days I post up on my cushion with a coffee and just sit; no formal meditation, just looking at the memories, momentous, inspirational message, and cultivating gratitude. Anything that creates a positive mindset is a form of meditation and a win in my books!
4. Others will respect your space: Distractions! Whether it be your kids, significant other, or roommates, once you have a designated area that you use for your practice the other people in your household will catch on! In my household my meditation area is open to the rest of the house. If my partner comes home and notices me in my spot he stays quiet (to the best of his ability). He'll take the dogs outside or do whatever he can to give me those few precious moments with myself. And if you do have kids, this is a great way to demonstrate the power of slowing down, and being with your thoughts.
TIPS for creating a Space
A great tip I was given when I began to create my meditation space was to incorporate the 5 senses: touch, sound, smell, sight and taste.
Touch – to ground you to the space
This one is fairly easy. Think props: a yoga mat, a meditation cushion, yoga blocks, bolsters/pillows, or blanket. Use anything that will bring you physical comfort and the ability to sit comfortably. Mala beads are great tools in mantra meditations. Rubbing each bead can be extremely soothing and grounding especially for those who tend to fidget.
Sound – for signaling
No meditation space would be complete without a singing bowl or bell (both of these can be used to clear the space, and set the tone for your meditation). Similarly, a timer can also be used to signal the beginning, middle or end of your meditation practice. You may wish to listen to guided meditations or relaxing music while you meditate so having a speaker/headphones near by is a great option.
Smell – trigger emotions, memories or to set the tone of your practice
Any or a combination of candles, incense or essential oils will work and can be tailored to your meditation.
1. If you are working on the root chakra, or completing a grounding meditation you can use patchouli, frankincense or sandalwood.
2. If you are practicing an affirmation meditation on the solar plexus chakra (self-confidence) you can use cedar wood, clove or cinnamon.
Sight – to inspire
This can literally be anything that creates a positive feeling or mindset. Statues, paintings, pictures, inspirational quotes, mantras, etc. As you can see from my picture below, I have a little of everything; Buddha statues, pictures to spark my happiest memories, sayings, and a mantra I created during a 6 week soul strategy course which is a great reminder to stay connected to myself and others (encourages me to continue my meditation practice).
The Possibilities are ENDLESS folks but the most important thing is to create a sacred space that you are going to want to come back to, day after day. Happy meditating!