Balance

8 Things You Need to Create a Home Altar

Make space for gratitude and inspiration with a beautiful home altar. Here's what you need to get started.

Make space for gratitude and inspiration with a beautiful home altar.

Deities

Deities from the Indian tradition hold great significance. Choose a deity for your altar that helps inspire you to be your best self. Hanuman may remind you to be a good friend and servant of love, Shiva to dance with the mysteries of life, or Ganesha to be a remover of obstacles.

Family Photos

While meditating, you may find it comforting to see the faces of loved ones smiling back at you. It will also help you appreciate the long, but beautiful, journey through life.

Words of Wisdom

Hang or place words of wisdom that resonate with you on your alter. Seeing these words so often will allow them to sink in and become an integrated part of your psyche.

Lights

Lights symbolize an offering of energy and love. Decorate your altar with candles or other forms of light, calling energy and love into your home and heart.

Childhood Photos

Remind yourself to stay playful and to cherish those who helped raised on you by adding fun childhood pictures from the past. We’re never to old to feel young again.

Fresh Flowers

Mmm the smell of fresh, fragrant flowers. Incorporate more of your senses by adding fresh flowers to your altar—you’ll be able to smell the sweet nectar throughout meditation and prayer.

Prayer Beads (Malas)

Traditionally, malas, or garlands of prayer beads, come as a string of 108 beads (plus one for the “guru bead,” around which the other 108 beads turn like the planets around the sun). A mala is used for counting as you repeat a mantra. Malas are used based on preference but, in general, touching or counting the beads lightly can help bring you back to yourself.

Find Space

Choose a place for your altar that is quiet and private. It could simply be the corner of your dresser —what imbues an altar with its energy is the spirit you bring to it. Lastly, place a mat or pillow in front of it to set the space apart from everything else.

Set an Intention

hands anjali mudra

Close your eyes and think about your intention for creating an altar. Maybe it’s to inspire you creatively, express gratitude, or wish someone healing. Most important is to create a sacred space that reflects back the energy of your yoga and meditation practice. 

And don’t be afraid to change it up—swapping out old pictures and flowers for fresh inspiration. Continue to add pieces as they come into your life and speak to you.

Make It Your Own

altar

No matter what you choose to put on your home altar, make sure it feels your own. Altars are a place for healing, love, and the divine—so make sure the things you cherish are an integral part of your sacred space.