An article by forbes.com.with Veronica Parker. This article originally appeared on
I thought that dreaming of a dedicated meditation space in my new home was just the wild hair of a millennial wellness addict. But, it turns out, 87% of Americans believe that having extra space all to themselves makes them better people, according to a study by The Power of Space. When it comes to parents, this time for introspection becomes even more valuable. According to the same study, 71% admit to doing whatever it takes to get alone time. Of these, 69% feel renewed instead of guilty when given the space they need. Meditation rooms all around, it sounds like.
Knowing that the interest in cultivating a quiet space for peace and reflection is a priority for so many of us, I asked a series of designers, yoga teachers, electricians, CEOs and others (after all, all of us receive the same benefits from our own private hideaway) for their advice on how to easily DIY an at-home meditation space. Below are expert advice and the most useful tools for creating an in-home, meditative space to recharge and recalibrate.
The Set up – images
Lisa Melone Cloughen of Melone Cloughen Interiors is an experienced meditation room designer. This sacred space should,“ be free of visual clutter,” she says. “An excess of ‘stuff’ can be unsettling to the eye and ultimately cause the mind to wonder. If possible, empty the room and go from there, if not, remove all non-essential pieces.” She also feels that, “natural elements have an inherently restorative quality… any natural element that resonates with you is the ideal choice. Consider crystals, shells, river rocks, branches or driftwood, and definitely add a little greenery.”
Co-founder of premium indoor plant startup Leon and George Nicolas Bartoli seconds the greenery recommendation, saying, “Plants bring an incredible sense of calm. Beyond the proven psychological and healing benefits, they help foster an awareness and appreciation for what is beautiful and natural. Filling a room with plants is as close as you can get to the feeling of being in a forest, attuned to the nature around you.”
National electrical installation and repair service Mr. Electric has designed, repaired and installed every kind of residential lighting project imaginable, including yoga and meditation rooms. When it comes to lighting your meditation space, Terri Smith, owner of Mr. Electric of Rancho Cordova, recommends that, “it is key to be able to control the amount of light illuminated for various circumstances. While you need the lighting to be bright while you’re setting up, it’s not always wanted when you’re trying to practice. Installing a dimmer switch is an easy way to control the intensity of your lighting.” To achieve variable lighting, Smith suggests trying recessed lighting.
Los Angeles-based interior designer Breegan Jane is all about ambience. “Nowadays, a yoga and meditation room can often be the focus of a home, designed to be a zen oasis where one can practice in peace. To start, I’d suggest working with a non-toxic paint option and choosing a muted, cooler tone or a warm white as these tones tend to be the most calming. It’s important to make sure the color of the room works well in both natural daylight and flickering candlelight as you don’t want anything too loud or distracting.
I love working with various essential oils, scented candles and incense to bring a sense of tranquility to the room. I also like to include cozy elements to allow me to remain grounded throughout my practice including sheepskin rugs, soft Moroccan bolsters, padded floor chairs and of course extra blankets for a comforting, calming and relaxing environment.”
Lastly, she thinks, “it’s imperative to incorporate greenery and plants to filter the air and add a natural element to the space. From succulents to air plants, there are endless options when it comes to adding a natural element to your yoga/meditation room.” For added air filtration, a compact air purifier like those by Wynd can help you, “relax, breathe easy and focus on being present in the moment,” according to meditation practioner and Wynd Founder and CEO Ray Wu.
According to New York-based yoga expert, author and artist Elena Brower, “in our homes, even a corner or a section of a shelf can become a place of prayer. Even just a cushion to meditate (chattra yoga) or an artisanal blanket to lie on (priticollection.com) can be arranged to give us a place to go when we need to rest and recharge.
To add practices or rituals, I have glo.com for yoga and meditation classes and programs, as well as my books, my oracle cards, my Practice You Daily Awakening Deck, and my own breathing practices learned over these past two decades of study and practice.”
Kundalini yoga teacher Veronica Parker suggests, “to set up a small rectangular table on one side of the room as your altar. This is where you get to place intentional devotional items which can enhance your rituals and meditations. You can have candles, special crystals, essential oils, malas, and pictures of your favorite teachers or gurus. On my altar, I have two lavender-scented candles, a rose quartz crystal to amplify the energy of the heart, a mala (beaded necklace) given to me by my favorite yoga teacher and a picture of Yogi Bhajan, who brought Kundalini Yoga to the US.”
A simple checklist
Yoga instructor Alex Tran keeps a small “meditation station” that includes the following checklist of items:
- Halfmoon meditation cushion and zabuton pillow
- Singing bowl
- Zenergy chime
- Eye pillow (scented or unscented)
- Knee pad
- Bolster (prana and basic)
- Portable speaker to play meditation music, mantras or yoga nidra tapes
- Two blocks
If all of this is completely overwhelming, a home practice kit by Moonbox might be the easiest place to start. And, according to Veronica Parker, “the most important aspect for me, is to show up! No matter how busy your schedule gets or how many excuses your mind comes up with, you gotta plan your practice in advance.”