By Alyssa Cody, Storage.com
One of the vital aspects of successful yoga practice is the right environment—that is, one that creates harmony between the mind, body, and soul. However, not everyone has time to make it to scheduled yoga classes at their local gym, let alone have the luxury of a peaceful, in-home studio. For those in search of a quiet, tranquil atmosphere to focus on meditating and breathing, a self storage unit could be a practical and cost-effective option.
When looking for a good storage facility to create your personal yoga studio, it’s a good idea to consider the facility’s location. After all, noise pollution and other distractions can ruin your yoga practice. That’s why looking in to facilities on the outskirts of town, away from high-traffic or heavily populated areas, is smart. Sure, it’s more of a drive if you live in the city, but the stillness will provide a better atmosphere for yoga.
Also, ask about how busy the facility gets during certain times, as this can affect your ability to focus on your yoga. Knowing what days of the week—as well as what hours each day—storage renters like to visit their lockers will allow you to plan your yoga practices around a distraction-free time.
“If you want quiet, [then] I would suggest avoiding weekends and weekday evenings,” says Jeff Ley, sales manager of STORExpress in Pittsburgh, Pa. “Any time during the normal workday or after about 10 p.m. when access becomes limited for most facilities would be ideal for less traffic.”
So practicing yoga in your unit anywhere between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. is advisable. However, Ley knows that not everyone can make it to a storage facility during those hours, especially if they work during the day. In this case, finding a storage facility with 24-hour access could make determining a good practice time easier, as you can find a low-traffic time (perhaps in the early morning or late evening) that works with your schedule.
Keeping with the distraction-free environment, Ley suggests asking the facility manager for a unit in an area with less foot traffic, off the first floor, away from stairs and elevators, or in a back corner. This will allow you to practice without hearing doors opening and closing or people making noises as they move items in and out of their storage units.
But noise isn’t the only distraction your unit can have. During yoga practice, it’s important to have enough room to transition into poses without feeling restricted or conscious of everything around you. Your yoga space should be, at least, the length of your yoga mat, but there should also be enough room on the sides to extend your arms and legs without touching a wall.
Yoga and meditation entrepreneur Natchez Lee recommends your yoga space be at least six-feet wide and ten-feet long with high ceilings. In this case, getting a 10×10 self storage unit would have ample room for you to move freely.
Temperature is another detail to consider when choosing a good self storage unit for your personal yoga studio. Practicing yoga in colder temperatures can make it difficult for relaxation and stretching. However, practicing in temperatures that are too warm could lead to dehydration or heat exhaustion.
Ultimately, temperature is dependent on the type of yoga you prefer to practice. For example, hot yoga is performed in hot, humid conditions, in which case you would want a unit that’s a little on the warm side. Most yoga instructors consider 68°F ideal. Temperatures above 77°F may increase flexibility, but often at the cost of decreasing strength, stamina, and concentration.
Nevertheless, this is where having a climate-controlled storage unit can be a huge benefit. With these types of units, you can control the temperature and humidity levels in your unit so that you have the perfect environment for yoga practice.
After you’ve found a suitable facility and unit, you need to create the right atmosphere in your unit to ensure you get the most of your yoga sessions.
When putting together your personal yoga studio, think about how the environment will affect all of your senses. Bee Bosnak, a certified power Vinyasa yoga instructor, suggests a hard floor because it makes holding balance poses much easier and provides an appropriate aesthetic. “Natural materials, such as wood and stone, create an earthbound connection that enhances the spiritual element of your practice,” she says. “It should be a refuge, not a small island in a sea of chaos.”
Now, most storage unit floors are cement, which means they’re hard enough for holding your balance, but they don’t have the natural connection that wood or stone can provide. Unfortunately, ripping up the floors in your storage unit to put in wood or stone isn’t allowed. That being said, you can find temporary wooden or stone interlocks that you can lay down to improve your space.
“I would recommend placing some items you consider sacred in the space, [too],” Bosnak says. “You want to make the space a sanctuary where you can retreat to a place of healing and restoration.”
Bosnak also advocates for soft and serene lighting in a yoga studio. Natural lighting is the best option, but soft incandescent lights are good substitutes. And if you can’t quite block out distractions, then consider adding a media player to your storage space to play instrumentals or music based on your yoga mantra. This is where finding a storage unit with electrical outlets can help so you don’t have to run lights and music players off of batteries.
With enough space, the right temperature and sensory elements, you can easily transform a self storage unit into your own personal yoga studio. Namaste.