Our yoga mats are our happy place. We roll them out first thing in the morning, or after a long day, to unwind and reflect in the present moment. The space a yoga mat creates is sacred, reminding us to maintain and cherish our connection with our mind and body through a practice that is truly individual to each of us.
COVID-19 has affected the luxury of in-person sessions, removing the element of physical community, hands-on adjustments and hot yoga studios (if that was a part of your practice). But, there are silver linings with this shift. With most everyone’s practice moving to an online space, the community is seen in a new way as our yoga studios become the free spaces we can find in our homes.
Revamping your space for a yoga practice, when everything else in life is at home, can be tough. But yoga teachers Rachel Glowacki and Isabelle Casey, along with Yogamere founder Amy Ormond, all have the tips, tricks and mindset shifts for elevating your space to reflect a divine practice.
Glowacki on a Sacred At-Home Space
is a yoga teacher and practitioner, offering practice to all ages — from children to seniors. She is certified in yin, trauma-sensitive and kids yoga. Glowacki also recently joined as a teacher.
YOGA + Life: What are the must-haves for a home studio?
Glowacki: A dedicated clear space — I find that when we declare our space and help to clutter the mind. My goal is to say, “Okay, I’m going to dedicate this one hour 30 minutes or whatever timeframe I have. This is important, like my health and my mind is important.”
Also, lighting a candle or incense, aromatherapy, so then you’re creating elements in your space that feel sacred. Having something special, an element or something sacred, that’s important to you.
YOGA + Life: Utilizing your space, what do you hope to bring that is unique to your practice and teaching style?
Glowacki: To have a clear space decorated with intention. When I am in space like that I have a little bit of a backdrop. So, you’ll see a candle, a plant and a white backdrop so that it’s less distracting for the mind. Energetically, a balance feeling light-hearted because I’m bringing all of my training into one hour.
The truth is, when you’re in your room and you’re in downward dog and you look behind you’re like, I gotta clean the corner of my closet over there, my hamper now is filling up. You have all these different things that can help you notice the thoughts because they rise up no matter where you are in, a class or at home. Despite there being more distractions, you have much more opportunity to discipline yourself.
Casey on a Clear At-Home Space
offers practices online through and her , with experience in Hatha, vinyasa, pranayama and meditation; and subject matter: philosophy, bhakti yoga, ParaYoga, Ayurveda, and energetic anatomy and physiology.
YOGA + Life: How do you make your space pleasing to those viewing your online practices?
Casey: What I was observing from all the classes that I was taking was, I can’t see anybody, where they have subpar light, or they’re dark or can’t hear them. I wanted to make sure I could actually give something that’s like clear and as high quality, and that I could just max out what I could control like from monitor. I had a friend who was super knowledgeable in that department, so I asked him to come over and help me with lighting and sound for my online practices.
I already had bought a mic, it’s called a , and I really recommend them, they’re wireless to clip into your clothes, you can’t see them, and I just and I use an addition of like a skin-colored tape.
For lighting, there are a lot of things to taking into consideration: the time of day, the color of clothing you are wearing, and where you are positioned with natural lighting in the room. When I switched my studio from my son’s room to my studio, I had to readjust again.
I have those so that they produce this effect where it’s going to illuminate me but it’s not going to cast a shadow on, because one thing that I’ve learned that people keep doing was all the lights that they’re pulling into their online classes, they keep pointing the light at themselves. If you’ve never noticed this before but there’s crazy shadows. And that gets distracting and also, going back to and this is if you care the presentation, I had to think about what’s the kind of experience that I wanted to deliver.
Ormond on a Beautiful At-Home Space
Amy Ormond is the founder of , a brand that works to create yoga accessories that answer the question: why can’t wellness be beautiful? Ormond is an interior designer and fitness enthusiast with the collection being thoughtfully designed in colors and textures that meld into the home, making them both inviting and easily accessible.
YOGA + Life: What are some tips on making your at-home practice space beautiful and elegant?
Ormond: Three things: 1. In Sight, In Mind; 2. Texture & Color; 3. View & Light.
The most essential part of creating a sanctuary at home is to have your space visible, accessible and inviting. When it blends with your home décor, it will call you to your practice … and you will practice every day.
Choose materials and colors that are pleasing to you and that meld with your home environment. Layer colors and textures that draw you to the space and insist on materials that have a pleasing touch and feel. The space for your wellness practice should be special – worthy of being left out for all to see and, most importantly, for you to enjoy.
Natural light changes and lifts your mood so whenever possible, create your sanctuary near a window or door that allows natural light to stream in. Take advantage of any view to nature by positioning your Zen space towards the vista. Turn off artificial light and flow by candlelight when you can and position mirrors to reflect sunlight towards your Zen space.
Our at home spaces can become sacred, clear, and beautiful with these tips and tricks to reflect the light within that you leave on your mat after every practice.
Webcam recommendation from YOGA + Life — GoPro HERO8 Black
With so much connection happening in the virtual world these days, YOGA + Life has been so excited to have live and on-demand movement classes through our online platform . We love these tips from Glowacki, Casey and Ormond, and in setting up our own recording space have found the to be our choice webcam for classes. Uniquely for GoPro, the HERO8 enables a 1080p or full high-definition webcam. It delivers super high quality video for more immersive video conferencing and wide-angle options to share perspectives that work better for different audiences.
“We use the linear lens function for our virtual studio,” shares Bobby L’Heureux, yoga teacher on The Practice and YOGA + Life co-owner. “The linear lens allows us to only focus on the wall of our studio while at the same time capturing our whole bodies while teaching classes. It was a seamless setup with firmware for the GoPro HERO8 and an easy install on our computer. Since the setup we’ve been good to go.”