Recharging your body and mind, improving your focus and boosting clarity are all great reasons to meditate – but what if you could improve on what you’re already doing?
Recent studies have linked mindfulness meditation to an increased ability to regulate emotions, helping people cope with anxiety, depression, and addiction. Meditation helps athletes perform better on and off the field. Because it changes how we perceive pain, meditation is useful for those enduring chronic pain, chemotherapy, and even tinnitus. While meditation isn’t a magic cure-all (you should always consult your doctor for medical advice), it is a relatively low-cost, accessible activity that has gained popularity in recent years, with promising results.
Regardless of your reasons for practicing meditation, a surefire way to take your practice to the next level is to create a routine, complete with a special place you can return to time and again. Newbies and seasoned practitioners alike will benefit from creating a “sacred space” in the home to deepen their meditation practice.
Creating the perfect meditation space in your home
Carving out a private enclave for meditation doesn’t have to be tough, whether you’re living in a studio-sized condo or a spacious estate with a dozen spare rooms you’ve never used. With a few simple tips, you can transform any space into a private nook where you can disconnect from daily stresses, internal dialogue and negative experiences.
What is a Meditation Space?
A meditation space is a sacred spot where you can release stress, find serenity and center yourself. Sacred doesn’t necessarily mean religious or spiritual; in this context, it means you only use the area for meditation, yoga, rest or stillness. It’s your own personal retreat within your home, and you can designate a corner, a partitioned space, or even an entire room to it as long as you feel good about your choice.
Exceptional Spots for a Meditation Space in Any Home
This is your space, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all spot that works for everyone. Ideally, you’ll be able to walk through each room in your home and narrow down your choices to rooms you absolutely love – those that make you smile, relax you, and give you a sense of peace. As you search for your perfect meditation space, be mindful that:
- Facing a southeast corner will bathe you in early morning light, which may be perfect for dawn meditation.
- Facing a northwest corner will let you bask in the sun’s waning rays, which could be ideal if you’re an evening meditator.
- Facing due east emulates Buddha, who sat beneath the Bodhi tree and meditated directly toward the early morning sun.
Where to Meditate in a Small Home
If you don’t have much room to spare, a terrace, patio or corner of a room in a condo or townhouse might be the perfect spot to set up your meditation space. Add a privacy screen or hang billowing curtains from a single point on the ceiling to shut out the world while you connect with your inner self, or clear out a closet for instant (and expense-free) privacy.
Although it’s tough to find spare square footage in a condo, apartment or studio, you can make extra room by:
- Swapping out your sofa for comfy chairs
- Installing a loft bed in a room with high enough ceilings
- Storing non-essential accessories and furnishings rather than trying to cram them all into your space
- Using wall cabinets rather than freestanding bookshelves in your décor
Where to Meditate in a More Spacious Home
Create your private paradise in a quiet corner, in an enclosed room or the garden to find your inner peace. One of the keys to successful meditation is carving out a distraction-free environment where you can get comfortable.
Spots to Avoid
Steer clear of high-traffic areas or those where distractions are likely to pull you off the path to Nirvana. Try to avoid the kitchen, the living room or anywhere too close to a lavatory, the front door or a space that faces a street. Your home office may drag your mind toward work, and a place that makes you want to nap rather than meditate (like your bedroom) might be a little too relaxing.
Meditation Room Ideas
The more peaceful, relaxing and beautiful your meditation room is, the more time you’ll want to spend there. You’ll feel it pulling you in before you start your day, each time you need a break and when you wind down for the night.
The Perfect Room Décor in a Meditation Space
Designing your Zen meditation space for self-help and personal development requires you stick to a few principles:
- Keep your space clean and clutter-free.
- Only include items you love and that contribute to your happiness and peace.
- Add natural elements where possible, such as living plants and stones.
The Bare Essentials
You don’t have to dedicate an entire room and a month’s salary to creating your meditation space. The simplest – and sometimes most effective – meditation spaces feature only the bare essentials, such as:
- Meditation cushions or a soft spot to sit
- Natural light
- Something with personal significance, like bells, crystals or affirmation stones
- Fresh air
If you can, spring for a serene color palette in the room. Neutrals, which are the most popular (think earth tones and off-whites), are what you’ll find in monasteries and professionally designed meditation spaces, but here’s where you can make it interesting. Dark colors make a room feel smaller, which is ideal if you want to feel enveloped in your space, and pastels lend an airy, open feeling to any room, which could be perfect if you prefer a sense of freedom while you meditate. Bright, glossy white that produces glare is generally off-limits, though, because it’s too harsh for the serene environment you’re trying to create.
Pro tip: If natural sunlight hits the wall and makes you squint, the paint color is wrong for your meditation space.
Your meditation room can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be. A few carefully chosen elements can turn any space into a soul-nourishing haven. Consider adding décor such as:
- Attractive incense burners
- A fountain for the sight and sound combination
- Singing bowls
- Decorative cushions
- A Zen sand table
- Aromatherapy diffusers
- Adjustable lighting
- An altar
Bare wood floors can add a sense of authenticity to your meditation room, and they can make the room appear (and feel) larger – but they’re not necessary as long as you have the proper posture. A plush area rug or tatami mat on top of carpet can carve out a private space where you can meditate, practice yoga or rest without costing you a fortune.
Best Plants for Meditation Spaces
Most people find that having at least one living plant makes a huge difference in the quality of a meditation space. They’re essential for pulling volatile organic chemicals out of the air and allowing you to commune with natural, earthy elements. Plants that thrive in low light and contribute to Zen include:
- Monstera Deliciosa
What Not to Put in Your Meditation Space
Few things are more distracting than clutter, so your meditation room needs to be light on things that can counteract your Zen. Avoid electronics (the TV has to go!) except for music players or electronic aromatherapy diffusers, and banish toys, paperwork or other distractors that will prevent you from connecting with yourself.
Bonus Tips for the Perfect Meditation Room
- Buy plug protectors in case you’re tempted to bring in electronics (other than that music player). They’ll serve as a gentle reminder that technology is unwelcome in your space.
- If your window has a bad view, use Japanese rice paper or privacy glass decals to shut out the world without compromising your natural light.
- This room is your escape, so nothing that pulls you back into your everyday existence belongs there.
What’s Your Dream Meditation Space Like?
With a little planning and a dash of inspiration, anyone can create a spectacular meditation space – and we’d love to hear about what you’ve already done. Share your story in the comments below!