Create your own Zen Den …a place to relax and unwind There are a few ways to go about setting up a space in your home for mediation / relaxation / yoga (or whatever it is that you like to do to nurture your body, mind and soul). One is to carve out an area in an existing room, you just need a small area where you can ideally leave all your calming items set out, another is to move things around in a spare room and dedicate the room to your special place. Or you could go all out and redecorate a whole room for the purpose. If you have the luxury of using a spare room, indulge in it, go for it! Either way, if you have an area set out just for practicing self-care, you are more likely to use it and create a daily practice.
This could be a corner in your office, a space in your living room, even just the space beside your bed. You don’t need a lot of room, just enough space to sit or lie if you prefer. I find a yoga mat is great for ‘holding the space’ for your area, even if you don’t practice yoga, a yoga mat is great as it provides a warm cushioned area for sitting or lying and if you keep it clear from clutter and only use it for meditating or relaxing (or indeed yoga if that is in your practice), you will find that when you come to your mat, you can easily transition to a relaxed mode. (For more info on yoga mats for beginners, click here)
Before I converted our spare room into my yoga and meditation room, I used a small corner of our bedroom as my ‘Zen Den’. I kept my yoga mat rolled out there and had a Buddha poster, a meditation cushion, my favourite inspiring books, a few plants and some crystals. T-lights and candles made it cosy at night. It was a comfy space that I looked forward to spending time in. Check out my post setting up a quiet area or room for relaxation/yoga/meditation for more ideas.
Keep your area sacred, fill it with your favorite soft blanket, comfy meditation cushion, fluffy socks, scented candle, incense, a small houseplant, an inspirational picture, Buddha or Ganesha ornament; anything you have that makes you feel relaxed. For sounds, an MP3 player or your phone with calming music and guided meditations. If you have enough room, a small table to set your items on is great (this could even be a beside table like mine, just make sure you keep it clear from clutter). Add some natural elements if can, shells from the beach, special stones or crystals; research which crystals are good for meditating and creating calm and place a few of these in your area. Add a plant or two if possible (see my post best houseplants for your relaxation space for more info). Even just one or two small plants can create a feeling of nature and evoke a sense of calm.
Setting up a whole room for nurturing your mind, body and soul:
If you are lucky enough to have space in your home to dedicate a whole room for relaxing, mediating or whatever it is that you like to do to unwind, then make use of it, lucky you! You could just move furniture you already have around, or you could clear everything out. You might like to go all out and redecorate it, you could freshen it up with new paint and decorate it to your liking. You could paper the walls with nature inspired wallpaper (or even just the back of a door; I have seen lovely stick on door murals with trees, Buddha, sunsets etc).
You could just place essential furniture in the room such as a table, a bookcase or shelves, and a chair. A small water fountain or a rock salt lamp would be lovely. Any items, pictures, photos, candles, crystals etc that make you feel happy and relaxed. Plants really are great for bringing the outdoors indoors and therefore an inspiring a sense of calm. As you have the space it is definitely worth investing in a nice big houseplant or two, maybe a big palm or a Yucca tree, or something similar. This is your space, so anything that inspires you or anything that you enjoy looking at is perfect.
I had a very small spare room, it was just about big enough for a bed and a desk. It was never used so I decided to make it my Zen Den. As I practice yoga as well as meditation, I put a few mirrors up to help me with alignment, but they are also great for making the space seem bigger and for reflecting lots of light. This is my room now, my very own Zen Den.
A bookcase (or shelves) to hold your inspirational books, crystals and favourite items would be perfect. This could store your favourite essential oils, boxes of incense, relaxing CDs etc….keeping everything together. I have my yoga books, crystal guidebooks, reiki CDs, smudge sticks, my yoga journal and my daily inspiration journal on my bookcase.
I hang my mala beads on the top of my book-case so I can always find them and I have a small poster on the side of crystals and their uses. I have my oracle cards and guidebooks there too. A small clock is handy, it saves you from having to check the time on your phone which can distract you. On the bottom I store all my yoga and spiritual magazines. On the top I have a spider plant; the trailing leaves and baby plants hanging from it look fab. I love having everything together.
I also have a small bedside chest of drawers with a lamp (which has a fabulous dimmer switch), a Buddha ornament, a candle holder, an incense holder, and half of my crystal collection. The drawers are great for hiding away any bits and pieces or to store spare t-light candles, lighter etc.
There are so many ways to create a beautiful Zen space, use your imagination and pick up bits and pieces as you go. Charity shops are often great, not only for books, blankets or relaxing CDs, but also for unusual items of interest, maybe candle holders, Buddha statues, pictures etc. Often worth a look. I got the candle canvas picture on my wall from Barnardos charity shop and I got the bowl I use for my smudge stick from Save The Children…wee bargains!
Please see my other posts for ideas for yoga and crystals in your Zen space.
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Disclaimer: None of the information shared should be used as a replacement for seeking medical attention.