A separate space makes practicing yoga easier

Yoga here. Yoga there. At almost every store you go to, there is an abundance of yoga videos on the racks for you to choose from. Many have used yoga videos to reduce stress and build concentration skills. So as you pick one up and start to practice in the privacy of your own home, local yoga experts offer up their advice on how to set up your own sacred space.

According to Charlotte Scott-Russell, who created a whole separate room in her home in Wailua, said the first thing you have to do is de-clutter the space. She is the owner of Secret Garden Spa & Studio and Ola Massage in Kapa‘a, and said that clearing up the area leaves for clearer meditation.

“People who are more meditatively-minded need to have a sacred space,” she said. “The first thing to do is to de-clutter the space. You may have images of whatever you believe in or types of decor you feel close to. The images energize the sacred space, but you have to de-clutter it.” Clutter is considered anything extra that’s not really needed in the area, be it in a separate room or the living room.

“Some people may devote a small bedroom for their sacred space or just move a couch over,” she said. “You don’t need much space to do yoga. You really just need the space the length of a beach towel.” She is also quick to point out that the practice of yoga is meditational and not a religion. It’s the ability to quiet the mind, which is probably why more people are practicing in the peace and quiet of their own homes.

The next thing Scott-Russell said to do is to cleanse it. This is a way of removing any negativity from the space. To do this, she suggested burning incense or candles, or even sprinkling Hawaiian sea salt on the floor.

“Sprinkle the Hawaiian sea salt in the corners and the carpet and then vacuum it up. This clears up any old vibrations,” she said.

Once you clear up the space, the last thing to do, she said, is to choose a specific spot in which to practice the yoga positions.

Each person is going to feel where it’s best for them, where you would like to practice, Scott-Russell said.

Darci Frankel, founder of the Hanalei Day Spa in Haena, has been practicing yoga for more than 30 years and like Scott-Russell, has a complete separate room to practice it.

Her inspiration for creating a separate sacred space came from something someone said to her.

“Someone said to me, ‘Our space and our homes space dictates our activities,’” she said. “From that I knew I had to set aside a space only for this.” Frankel has an altar in her space where she sets pictures of things close to her.

“You want (your space) to be quiet and clean. And it should also be an enclosed space,” she said.

It should be a space where you don’t have the sun shining right on your head. Although some people like to be out in the sun or take in the sunlight, Frankel advises against it.

“It’s all right for a few minutes, but you just shouldn’t do it,” she said.

Paul Reynolds of the Hart Felt Massage & Day Spa in Waimea says creating a space has its own individual feeling to it.

“It’s one of those things you may have to create for yourself,” he said. “Some may feel you have to clear out a room and some may have a space facing the garden.” For his space, Reynolds keeps objects that he feels a close connection with.

“I keep things that remind me of who I am,” he said. “This is the same for anyone. For people of Native American descent, they could have dreamcatchers, or anyone of religion could have religious things around, some thing or things that help you maintain a connection.” Wherever you decide to set up shop, remember, it should help reduce stress, not create it.

“It’s great to have that place you can be quiet in,” said Reynolds.

Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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