I don’t know about you, but there’s something about Fall that has me craving all things cozy. Maybe it’s the cooler weather or the fact that somehow when the leaves start to change color and the sun rises a little later, I’m reminded that it’s okay to approach life at a slower pace — to savor the holiday season and time spent with loved ones. For me, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
Isn’t it amazing how a season or a space can make us feel that way? If Fall has us craving a cozy environment, chances are our students are also craving it.
Now that many studios are once again offering in-person class options, it seems like the perfect time to take a look at the spaces around us and transfer that same level of coziness into those environments as well.
As I take a look at the space around me now or scroll through pictures of cozy looking spaces on Pinterest, I begin to notice themes: soft lighting with candles, fuzzy blankets that make me want to snuggle up with a good book and a cup of tea, essential oils that smell like Fall spices, or a pot of soup simmering on the stove.
With that inspiration in mind, here are 4 ways to cozy up your space — on and off the mat:
Declutter Your Space
Before I get out my festive decor each year, I find myself going through things; just as the leaves fall to allow room for new growth, I, too, find myself parting with things in my environment that no longer serve me.
On the mat: When your students come to class, it’s often a chance for them to reset — to leave their stressors at the door and spend the next hour grounding and refocusing. To serve them in that, it helps to make sure that the space in which they are practicing is free from any clutter or distractions.
Off the mat: More than likely, you have that one area of your home that seems to collect clutter, no matter how hard you might try to keep things tidy. Maybe it’s your laundry room or a junk drawer or your dining room table. No matter where the space is, start by decluttering that area first! It will feel like much more of an accomplishment to finish the biggest task first and likely spark motivation in moving on to smaller areas that could use a bit of decluttering.
Set the Mood
Have you ever noticed how the light seems to change in the fall? As sunset approaches, the light appears almost magical as it radiates through the trees, making golden hour seem a bit more golden.
Our senses play a crucial role in helping to determine the mood of a room! Have you noticed how restaurants often dim their lights in the evening and place candles on the table to provide a more romantic ambience, or have you ever been to an open house where the smell of freshly baked cookies still wafts through the air? In the same way, we can use lighting and scents to set the tone in our environments.
On the mat: Teaching an energetic morning flow? You probably want to make sure the room is filled with bright or natural light. If you’re one to incorporate essential oils into your space, citrus can be an invigorating scent to diffuse in the morning. Leading a trauma sensitive or a yin class? You’re probably looking for something a bit softer, like dimmed lights and lavender, to create a more inviting atmosphere.
Tip: If your studio’s lights aren’t set on a dimmer, light candles (or use battery powered ones!) to help create a softer light for your class.
Off the mat: For the most part, I try to avoid harsh, artificial lighting after the sun goes down, and especially when I’m wanting a cozier environment. Most of my lamps have smart bulbs so I can easily dim them from an app on my phone — or even program them to dim automatically at sunset. I almost always have some sort of essential oil blend diffusing as well. Depending on what I’m doing, I may even light a few candles or turn on my himalayan salt lamp. Everyone’s senses are different, though, so find what works best for you!
Bring the Outdoors In
If you live in a climate where seasons can be rather harsh, it isn’t always possible to spend time outside in the cooler months. This is where incorporating aspects of the outdoors can come into play with making your space more cozy and grounded.
On the mat: Try adding some greenery to your yoga space! Plants have been shown to help with air purification and mood enhancement, but also provide a level of visual appeal and an immediate sense of coziness to a space. Snake plants and ZZ plants are a couple of easy-to-care-for plants that can survive in almost any lighting condition, making them the perfect addition to your space!
Off the mat: Plants are a great addition to any home, plus you can cater the plants you choose based off of your room’s specific lighting or depending on how much of a green thumb you have. Other ideas for incorporating part of the outdoors into your home include: having a windowsill herb garden; foraging some branches from your yard to display; arranging dried flowers or pampas grass in a vase; etc. Get creative and use the elements of the outdoors that you love the most!
Comfort is Key
This might go without saying, but the key to being cozy is being comfortable! If I’m wearing a tight pair of pants, I’m going to have a harder time settling in and being comfortable than if I were wearing my favorite loungewear set. Nothing says “cozy” to me more than snuggling up in a big, fuzzy blanket with a chai latte (or maybe some hot chocolate if I’m feeling extra festive) and a good book!
On the mat: Having blankets, cushions, and bolsters available for your students to use is a great way to provide comfort. Your students may find sitting on a cushion during guided meditation to be more comfortable than their mat, or they may like to lay in their final resting pose covered by a blanket — plus these items can all double as props!
Off the mat: Being cozy does not necessarily mean adding in more clutter. You can still live minimally and cozily! Try adding a throw or some extra pillows to your couch, place another blanket on your bed during the cooler months, or find some loungewear pieces that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen in. All of these things can go a long way in helping to make your space feel more cozy and comfortable!
I hope that these 4 tips spark some ideas for ways you can cozy up your space this Fall, both on and off the mat! As a yoga instructor, doing so will help further ensure that your students have a safe and inviting space in which to practice, especially as many of them might be easing back into in-person classes for the first time in over a year! From a personal standpoint, I’d encourage you not to neglect your own space as well; view it as a form of self-care, creating a space that you love and that allows you to focus on your own health and well-being!
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our Pinterest board!