You look forward to yoga class every week because of the serenity it gives your mind and body. You come home feeling like you’re walking on air and nothing else matters… but that feeling goes away the next day as you take on the world again.
Each Sunday, you and your significant other enjoy the affirmation and renewal you receive at church. You leave feeling stronger and better equipped to handle life’s challenges. But somehow, that energy leaves your mind and spirit during the rest of your week.
You have one of the toughest jobs in the world: being a parent. It’s a very rewarding position, but you look forward to every chance you get to have peace and quiet. Those are your moments to unwind and give yourself some much needed attention…if you could find a place amidst all the toys and games scattered about.
Taking time out for our spirit is as necessary as eating well and keeping a peaceful mind. We have areas of our home designated for specific purposes: cooking, eating, sleeping, beautifying, creating… but how many of us make sure to include a sacred space for regular practice?
Take a cue from these tips for creating a sacred space or reviving the space you already have in your home:
1. Determine the needs for this sacred space. Will you be the only one to use it or will it be for everyone in your home? What do you wish to feel in this space? What purpose should this space have and how can you include this?
2. Your sacred space should be placed in an area that is accessible and accommodating. For instance, if yoga is your practice, you probably don’t want to carve out your space in the bathroom.
If you aren’t able to use an entire room for your sacred space, no worries. Choose an area that will provide you easy access to your space and suit the needs you identified in step #1. A wall, a portion of a wall such as a corner, a closet, or a part of the attic/basement are great ways to create your sacred area when you’re limited on space.
This bedroom utilized the wall opposite the bed by creating a meditation area with a large floor cushion and multiple pillows.
Consider creating a sacred space outside, such as a garden or a small building like these:
3. Your sacred space should be comfortable. Ways you can ensure a comfy sacred space are a special chair, massage pad, pillows or cushions, rugs, blankets, etc. The important thing is to be relaxed, for this is the state in which your spirit embraces a higher level of energy or existence.
This room includes a prayer bench (far right). The bench aids in comfort to the knees while praying and blends in perfectly with the rest of the decor in the room.
This room has an area sectioned off with carpet squares, providing a distinct space and softness. The lounge chair would be perfect for reclining with reading material related to your spiritual journey.
Take cues from yoga and meditation centers. Cushions are key for a meditation space, as most forms of meditation require you to be seated on the floor. This room includes matching Zafu and Zabuton cushions that complement the room’s decor.
4. The color scheme in your sacred space should give a feeling of renewal, peace, and relaxation. Choose paint and decor in colors that will coordinate with this energy.
Optimal hues are muted colors like slate blue, sage, or dusky lavender. Soft, cool colors are easy on the senses, since they are not as stimulating as saturated, bright colors. My picks for neutrals would be grays or browns, as they have a grounding effect.
5. Your space should include a surface area in which to hold and display your items. This can be a table, bench, ledge, or even just one shelf in a bookshelf.
6. You want your space to be personalized, but still exude a feeling of organization and balance. Clutter in your space will translate to clutter in your mind and spirit.
Symmetry is an easy way to give a sense of balance. Check out these altar/shrine areas that utilize symmetry:
7. Personalize your space by including items that are important to you and your spiritual practice. My #1 pick for a sacred space is candles. No matter what your practice or religion, candles help create an ambiance that is perfect for relaxation and renewal. They are also symbolic, as illumination is often indicative of spiritual growth. Candles can also be used as part of a ritual, to commemorate the passing of a loved one, or simply just to create a soft, peaceful glow to your space.
Use items that are key to your practice such as religious texts, music, prayer beads, statues, yoga mats & accessories, incense, crystals, etc. Put your own stamp on the space by using personal items. Examples of these are photographs, flowers, trinkets or other items with sentimental value.
Another great way to personalize your sacred space is to create something for it. By doing this, you add value to your space as these items were created by a one-of-a-kind person and are infused with more personal energy than a mass-produced piece.
Check out these DIY ideas for your sacred space:
While these are my personal suggestions for your sacred space, there are no hard and fast rules on how your sacred space should be decorated, where it should be located, or what it should include. All that matters is that your space encourages you and is as unique as you and your spiritual, religious, or unwinding practice.
I’m working on my own sacred space as we speak… stay tuned for updates!