Soothing Spaces: Feng Shui for Studios
For Carol Bridges, the design and décor of a yoga studio should reflect the spirit of what will happen in that space. "My ideal would be to make the space glow as if from within," says the feng shui master, who is based in Nashville, Indiana. "Just as one would like to glow with spiritual light from within as a yoga student."
Bridges has an exalted goal, perhaps, but the ideal is not as elusive as some teachers might think. The basics of designing a yoga studio as an enriching, soothing space are achievable whether classes are held in a rented storefront, a posh office building, or the student's living room.
The Basics of Feng Shui
Because color and lighting surround us in a room, they exert a strong and immediate effect upon us. Debra Perlson-Mishalove, director of Flow Yoga Center in Washington, D.C., chose a soft, squash-yellow color for the walls of her studio, "which seem to glow from the reflection of the sun," she says. The door is painted in a color she calls "flow green," and a lounge is "filled with a warm, earth-tone palette accented with vibrant colors." (View her studio at her website, www.flowyogacenter.com.)
"These choices were not made through the direction of design books," she adds, "but more through intuition of what would just 'feel good.' When I think about my approach to the design, the word 'harmony' comes to mind." Perlson-Mishalove also recommends as much sun exposure as possible, and soft, indirect lighting without harshness or glare.
Clear Away the Clutter!
Her quest for order extends beyond the studio: Perlson-Mishalove tries to lead a "paperless life," she says, keeping as many records as possible on the computer.
Larry Hatlett, director of Yoga Center of Palo Alto in California, likewise maintains a "separate room with a closed door" for the studio's office and storage. The studio itself is kept immaculately clean: virtually all of his classes focus on standing poses with no mats, and the floor is mopped before every class and thoroughly cleaned once a week.
Bridges approves of such fastidiousness for both studio and office, which she says "needs to be organized, just as one's mind needs to be cleared for a good yogic practice."
A "Yogic Décor"
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