I have been looking through the teachers' notes from the Home Practice Workshop recently. In the Home Practice Workshop, we conduct an exercise where we consider the space that we use for yoga at home, and what makes it a space that's conducive to yoga. We tend to take for granted that the space here at the studio is conducive to a yoga practice, but a lot of thought has gone into the creation of the space that we all come to in Penrith Yoga Studio.
When we were first looking for a yoga space, two and half years ago, we found rooms that might have worked, but didn't have easy access to parking. We felt it was important to be able to park your car nearby and get safely and without stress to your yoga class. We found the natural light in the room we are in appealing. So, having decided on the space that you now know as Penrith Yoga Studio, we had to decide what to do with this big, empty room.
How do you turn an empty room into a yoga space? On entering the room, we would like ourselves and others to feel a sense of comfort in the surroundings (even a "homeyness") but we wanted to keep the big, open, uncluttered light-filled space. Hence, you have pot plants, books and pictures right at the door when you first walk in; all the equipment is up one end of the room; but once you take a mat and set up, you're in a space that is quiet (most of the time!) and free of stimulation.
We're conscious that what one person might experience as peace and quiet, might to another person feel like a deathly silence that is a bit uncomfortable. To that end, we aim to have a little bit of light chit chat before the class, but once we begin the class we are aiming to respect each other's opportunity to become inwardly focused.
Next time you come to class consider the space around you and how you feel when you enter the room. Does it work for you? Is the space conducive to yoga? Conducive to a sense of comfort? Conducive to inward focus? Conducive to a sense of peace?