Create a zen space
Today, more than ever, we realise the importance of mindfulness and good mental health. The Covid-19 pandemic has been difficult for many people as we struggled with a changed work and home environment.
Many people moved to working from home and this, paired with home schooling, was a stressful time for many. Having a designated zen space to relax in your home can be very comforting, as it offers you a place to unwind and meditate. In addition, it can help reduce stress, ease anxiety, and support good mental health.
This week I wanted to share some tips with you on how to create a zen space in your home. I also caught up with expert Ger Kinane of Breathing Place to discuss her thoughts on having a zen space in the home.
During the pandemic, Ger moved her yoga, pilates and yin meditation classes online to ensure her loyal clients could access their classes. This also led to a growth in clients, as people from all around the country could now access her fantastic range of classes remotely.
Here are our top tips on creating a zen space in your home or garden.
Find the perfect space
First, you need to find a quite area in your home that you can transform into a zen space. Consider an unused box room, guest bedroom or even a sheltered area in your garden. Your space needs to make you feel good so ensure it is clean and uncluttered. “Try to avoid clutter; if your spare room is your junk room, try to cover the junk with a sheet or face away from it so that the space feels spacious and calm,” advised Ger.
Make the space comfortable
Your space needs to feel cosy so opt for a serene paint colour that feels soothing and relaxing. White, taupe or soft greens can work well. Introduce warmth and texture with the use of rugs. It's vitally important that you have a comfortable space and low seating is a perfect option. “Large cushions act as great props to yoga practice as well as setting the tone of the space,” suggests Ger.
The room should be warm. Keep a large cosy blanket or throw to hand should your temperature drop in meditation or yoga relaxation. There is a fantastic range available from The Irish Country Home.
If you are participating in an online class, “have your yoga mat, props and any other equipment you need to hand in your space so you don’t need to search for them before your class,” recommends Ger. Also, make sure you give yourself enough space to be able to stretch and move.
Greenery and elements of nature
Bring the outdoors in with some greenery. Adding greenery will improve air quality whilst also helping to create a serene space. Living walls and vertical planting can add a real statement with organic pieces of art. Other natural elements to consider are wood, bamboo, stones, jars filled with sand or a small water fountain with its soothing sound.
Soft ambient lighting is perfect for a zen space. “Avoid strong overhead light, use softer lighting like a lamp instead,” advised Ger. If you like to meditate in the late evenings, opt for dimmers to allow you to control the light. Sheer voiles are a great addition as they can help diffuse the light whilst not blocking the natural light completely.
It’s important that you personalise your zen space so it reflects your personality. “Inspiration items like meaningful quotes, a buddha or zen chimes can create atmosphere and personalise the space,” says Ger. Other items to consider are incense, essential oils, water features, crystals, serene artwork and meditative music to enhance your zen space. Meditative music played quietly in the background can help you achieve a tranquil and peaceful state whilst drowning out the distractions and noise of a busy household.
“With yoga studios closed and yoga and meditation classes having moved online via zoom, the ceremony of setting up your space will help you settle more easily into your practice. It can be nice to light a candle and play some relaxing background music in your space before your class. A small flask or tea set to enjoy a herbal tea after practice before stepping back into family / work life is a nice treat” advised Ger.
Breathing Place in Clane, is offering online yoga, pilates and yin meditation classes. There is a choice of morning and evening classes and class recordings can be sent should you miss a class and wish to catchup in your own time. To see the full schedule and book, visit: www.breathingplace.ie/ class-schedule/ or email email@example.com
Having a zen space in your home is perfect for relaxation or meditation and can be utilised by all your family members at different times. Thanks for taking the time to read my interiors column and I hope I have inspired you to create a zen space in your home. Remember if there is a topic that you would like covered in a future column then please drop me a line with your suggestions.
Louise is a former winner of TV3’s Showhouse Showdown. Contact 086 3999926; email firstname.lastname@example.org; www.aspiredesign.ie.
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