Home Fitness Part III: How to Renovate Your Garage Into an At-Home Yoga Studio
Life Fitness encourages exercisers to remain active, whether it’s at the gym or at home. Modernize, a website dedicated to empowering homeowners with expert guidance and the educational tools needed to take on big home projects with confidence, provides a three-part series of informative articles that will help you set up the perfect home gym.
About the Author: Erin Vaughan resides in Austin, Texas where she writes full-time for Modernize.com.
Yoga at Home
Whether you’re teaching classes or just want a studio of your own, an in-garage yoga room can deepen your commitment to your practice. As you probably already know, your studio’s environment has a huge impact on the quality of your exercise. Separate from the distractions of your day-to-day life, a garage space allows you to focus and may even reinvigorate your enthusiasm to practice. Designing a yoga studio means considering how different materials, lighting and environmental factors affect our emotions and physical comfort. Slight distinctions in color, temperature, and ventilation can influence our overall well-being in a big way—sometimes even more than we are consciously aware. The following are some specific factors to weigh when beginning your renovation.
Insulate Your Space
You don’t have to be a Bikram devotee to understand how important room temperature is to your practice. A cold space inhibits flexibility, and an un-insulated room is just not very comfortable during the winter and summer months. If your garage isn’t already sealed, you’ll want to install insulation and drywall, as well as caulking and weatherstripping to prevent phantom drafts. Considering the yogi’s connection to the earth, you may want to examine the environmental impact of your materials as well. Recycled denim insulation, for instance, offers a sustainable alternative to fiberglass—it’s made without VOCs and diverts waste from landfills, and as a bonus, it generally boasts better acoustics than traditional materials, blocking out distracting outside noise.
Choose Natural Flooring
Light-colored sustainable woods are the flooring of choice for many yoga practitioners. Bamboo, in particular, has a slight give that makes it soft underfoot, while its warm texture and honey-colored hue adds a peaceful vibe to surrounding areas. Look for sustainably harvested VOC-free products that align with the spirit of your practice and make breathing clean and clear. If you prefer an even softer flooring, cork is another option—it’s naturally flexible and has a unique cellular structure that makes it warmer in winter and cool during the summer months. Both bamboo and cork can be a bit pricey, though. If budgeting is a concern for your renovation, you’ll be better off with a quality vinyl laminate.
Select a Soothing Color Scheme
Color really informs our emotional reaction to a space, and in a yoga studio, a welcoming, calming effect is ideal. Our response to various hues is as personal as our practice, however, so ultimately you should listen to your intuition. Popular hues are clean whites, earthy greens, and gentle yellows. Some even scrap the paint entirely and opt instead for variegated wood paneling that lends a natural harmony to the space. No matter which material you pick, make sure the surface is smooth, providing a comfortable and stable base during wall-supported poses.
Tailor Lighting to Your Taste
Lighting in your yoga studio is as much a matter of personal preference as the color scheme. Many people find that the holistic effect of natural lighting brings a feeling of balance to their practice, while others prefer to precisely control the brightness of the studio using dimming controls. If you’re in the former camp, a skylight or wide window is a nice option, particularly if you have a scenic view. If electric light is more your style, though, recessed or up lighting in a soft yellow hue limits glare. With a warm, inviting space to practice in, you may never want to leave that calm yoga headspace again.
Learn the Simple Steps for Transforming Your Home Into a Workout Space in part one of this series and 10 Must-Have Home Gym Items in part two.