With more and more Sydneysiders trying to squeeze into the big city, apartments and living spaces have been getting smaller.
As we live our day-to-day lives in cramped quarters, it can be difficult to fit in some of the more freeing activities. If your home doesn’t offer enough space to swing a cat, can it really be used to maintain your love of yoga?
Many yoga poses require the full extension of the body, stretching out your limbs in order to achieve the full benefits of the asana. So can true yogis live in small apartments?
The benefits of a smaller home
From Hong Kong to New York, London to Sydney, micro-apartments are becoming the norm. In order to accommodate the growing populations in these urban centres, the size of dwellings has had to shrink.
For many, the idea of sacrificing space to accommodate their neighbours is less than desirable, but there are many benefits to this version of urbanisation.
As one example, the growing number of apartments and tower blocks helps protect the surrounding environment from the effects of urban sprawl. Anyone who appreciates the delicate balance of nature and humanity should acknowledge that keeping the population within a certain city line can have significant benefits.
This environmental bonus is increased when you consider the restrictions of commuting. Rather than driving in from far away, people are living closer to their work, friends and shops – saving on fuel and helping the environment.
Another bonus is the drive to create more efficient homes. With less space to work with, and more people to attend to, new dwellings are being built smarter and greener in order to combat all the challenges.
It’s clear then that urbanisation can be beneficial externally – but what about your inner self?
There are some people who believe a tiny home is actually better for yoga lovers to become present in the moment.
The need to declutter to fit everything into a small space, the lower financial costs and stress, and the ownership of a small slice of the universe, can help improve focus. Try sitting in a small room and centering your mind – having the walls closer can actually help you to focus on a smaller part of the world around you, making it easier to achieve inner mindfulness.
How to maintain your yoga habits
If you’re living in a small home, there are some simple ways you can keep yoga as a big part of your life.
Keeping your home free of surplus furniture can help, as this frees up floor space for your yoga mat. But saying that, your yoga postures don’t often move beyond the boundaries of your yoga mat. So realistically all you need to practice, is a space the size of your mat. You might be lucky and your home provides you with a slightly bigger space than that, which makes it even more comfortable to practice. In winter a smaller space has the advantage of heating up much quicker.
If you are used to using some wall space during the yoga classes you attend and you don’t have any available at home, ask your teacher for advice. They will be able to suggest alternative postures you can do safely with similar benefits to the ones you need to leave-out.
Home practices also give you the space to truly meet ‘yourself’ without distractions like other yoga students etc. This can be very educational and promotes reflection on ones habitual patterns.
However, the very best way to keep your passion a significant part of your life, is to join group classes at a studio.
Practicing yoga outside the home with an instructor will ensure you have the space you need. While a smaller home can be good for your mindfulness, group exercising gives you access to similarly minded people, space to expand your mind and a direct line to a trained yogi who can give you sound advice.
No matter where you live, yoga is achievable. Even those living in the smallest homes can find a way to maintain a yoga practice – especially when taking yoga classes in Sydney.