words Alexa Wang
Yoga is a way to tone your body, but it also helps quiet your mind. Practicing yoga in nature offers you all the benefits of yoga, plus the calming effect that the outdoors offers. Here are some ideas for building a yoga garden in your backyard.
Choose a Flat Area
For starters, you’ll need an area to safely practice the various positions of your yoga routine. The surface can be grass, dirt, stones, concrete, or wood. In other words, anything on which you can put your yoga mat. This will be the starting place for your yoga garden.
You’ll want to make sure the area is relatively flat and a surface on which you can maintain your balance. Also, be mindful of the maintenance that may be required for different surfaces. Grass must be cut regularly. Dirt will need little or no maintenance, but bare dirt has a tendency to produce weeds. You may need to pull the weeds or mow them down like grass.
Stones laid flat, like on a patio, are a good choice, but you do risk injury if you slip as a yoga mat offers little protection against the unyielding hardness of stone. Concrete is only different from stone in that it’s manufactured. It is just as hard and unyielding.
A wooden deck is an ideal surface for yoga. It’s hard, but does yield slightly to help cushion your fall, although you can still injure yourself falling on a wood surface.
Add Beauty with Flowers and Green Plants
Your next step in your yoga garden project is to beautify the area using flowers, green plants and even wildflowers. A mix of green shade-loving plants, with their varied colors and leaf shapes and sizes, is ideal for the shady area of your yoga garden. Shade-loving flowers, such as impatiens, alyssum, and calendula are easy to grow and will bloom virtually all summer long.
Wildflowers planted in the sunny areas will require little care beyond mulching their bed with wood chips or straw when you plant them. They will provide you with a succession of different blooms for the entire growing season.
Ready to buy wildflower seeds and start planting? Click here to learn more about popular types and where to find good seeds.
Trees for Shade
If you’re lucky enough to have a spot in the shade of a tree to make your yoga garden, you need only ensure you have a flat surface where you can do your yoga poses.
If you don’t have an existing shade tree, a hybrid poplar tree will grow five to eight feet every year when properly cared for. Depending on the cultivar, a weeping willow can grow between three and eight feet a year if you provide it with adequate moisture. If you prefer an evergreen, the arborvitae cultivar, Green Giant, grows about three feet each year and also makes a great windbreak in all seasons.
The sound of trickling or falling water is very soothing and is an ideal addition to a yoga garden. Small fountains suitable for outdoors are available in many shapes and sizes, made from a wide variety of containers. You only need to fill the reservoir with water and plug in the pump. Some are available with solar panels so you don’t even need to run electricity to them.
Portable pumps are inexpensive and available at garden centers. Using a pump, you can make a water feature out of virtually any container that will hold water. Fountain kits are also available and contain the necessary tubes and spouts to complete the job. Using this method, you can make a fountain that is unique to your yoga garden.
Walls or Fences for Privacy
If possible, build your yoga garden in a private area by a fence or wall. It’s hard to concentrate on proper yoga form when you feel like a fish in a fishbowl. If there is no fence around your yard, try to put your yoga garden in a protected area alongside your house or garage, using the wall of any structures, like your home, for privacy.
You could also install a privacy fence, although that may be an expense you aren’t ready to incur. A solution that can fit into most budgets is to install a cyclone fence, a metal type of fence with an open grid. To make it private, hang bamboo or rattan blinds from the top of the fence and secure them to the bottom as well. You’ll get instant privacy!
If you live in an area with severe winter weather, simply remove the blinds and store them indoors for the winter months. They’ll last longer that way and chances are you won’t be doing yoga in the snow.
If you are fortunate enough to have an existing flat surface and privacy in your yard, it’s a simple matter of adding soothing plants, flowers, and a water feature to create the perfect yoga garden.