As your meditation practice becomes a regular occurrence, you may want to set aside a special space to unwind and get some quiet time. Everyone is different when it comes to what is relaxing, or distracting, so your space should conform to your wants and needs.
Here are my top considerations when designing an area that can be deeply relaxing while addressing your physical and mental comfort:
- Physical: Start with a comfortable chair, or whatever furniture you can relax into. Most people find laying down more comfortable than sitting. I personally recommend a chair that leans back to a position where the feet are just above the heart, such as a Zero Gravity Chair. It’s much easier for the heart to distribute blood throughout the body, takes the compression off of the spine, and distributes your weight over the length of your torso so you can relax more deeply.
- Sound: We all find different sounds comforting and you might have to experiment with various speakers, head phones, ear muffs and/or white noise until you find the right combination. For instance, my wife has a custom mixed background noise that she turns on whenever she has some serious thinking to do (ie, preparing our taxes). It doesn’t focus me in the same way, and, truthfully, can get a little annoying, but that’s the beauty of a custom mix.
- Smell: For some, burning incense goes hand-in-hand with meditation and many people use aromatherapy to help them relax. On the other hand, it’s not uncommon for people to find they relax better without the extra stimulation, especially if scents trigger allergy or asthma symptoms. You might also try running an air purifier in your meditation space. The smoke free air can help your lungs and can provide a background/white noise that can block subtle noises which can be distracting.
- Sight: What you see around you is just as personal as the other traits discussed above, but if you’re only going to use the space for an hour per day while meditating, you’ll likely be leaning back and closing your eyes anyway. In this case the décor isn’t nearly as important.
What’s right for you, may not be right for someone else, so don’t be afraid to mix things up to personalize your experience and maximize your comfort.