Yoga for Small Spaces
School is back in session and college students are moving into dorm rooms and shared apartments. We thought this would be a perfect time to make some recommendations for yoga postures that can be done anywhere, from a dorm room to a small apartment and everywhere in between. Whether you’re a student returning for the fall semester, or just a person who lives and/or works in a small space, this guide is for you.
There are many poses that can be done just about anywhere. If you are looking for seated yoga poses, we highly recommend researching chair yoga or taking a yoga chair class to see how poses are modified in a seat. Here are a few standing and lying down postures that you could easily do with a small amount of space:
Mountain Pose (Tadasana): Stand tall with your feet together or hip-width apart. This foundational pose requires minimal space and is an excellent way to focus on alignment and grounding. It can be done anywhere.
Chair Pose (Utkatasana): Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend your knees, as if you were sitting in a chair. This pose builds strength and balance and doesn't require much floor space. You can use the wall to support your back as you lower your hips, bending at the knees.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana): Balance on one leg and place the sole of your other foot against your inner thigh or calf. Keep your hands in a prayer position at your heart. This balance pose can be done in a small area, with the option of using the wall for support.
Child's Pose (Balasana): Kneel on the floor, sit back on your heels, and extend your arms forward with your forehead resting on the mat. Child's pose is a relaxing stretch that can be done in a small area such as a dorm room.
Eagle Arms: Cross your right arm under your left, intertwining forearms and aiming to touch palms. Lift elbows to shoulder height while drawing shoulder blades down and back. Hold, then switch arms. This stretches your upper back and shoulders, fostering balance and focus.
Cow Face Pose: Raise your right arm overhead, bend the elbow, and reach your hand down your back. Extend your left arm to the side and bend the elbow, reaching it behind your back. Clasp your fingers or hold a strap between your hands.
Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani): Sit with your side against the wall, then swing your legs up and rest them against the wall. This restorative pose is great for relaxation and can be done anywhere you can lie down against a wall.
Supine Twist: Lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest. Gently lower your knees to one side while keeping your shoulders on the ground. This twist can be done in a compact area or on your bed. It provides a nice stretch of the spine.
Savasana (Corpse Pose): This final relaxation pose involves lying flat on your back with your arms at your sides and your legs extended. This pose is also recommended for meditation as it allows you to completely surrender
How Can I Make My Dorm Room Yoga Better?
If you’re still feeling like you can’t get anything out of yoga from your tiny dorm room, think again. There are many small steps you can take to make the space feel more inviting and to utilize the resources you already have.
Clear the Clutter: Before you start your practice, make sure the space is clutter-free. Remove any unnecessary furniture or objects that might get in the way.
Vertical Space: If you have wall space, consider using it for balance poses and inversions. You can place your feet against the wall to invert or use the wall for aligning your shoulders, back, and hips.
Folding Chair: A folding chair is an excellent addition to a dorm room or small apartment. Not only does it provide an extra seat that can be stored, but it can be used for alignment and practicing without a lot of space.
Mirror: If possible, place a full-length mirror in your room to check your alignment and form during poses. A mirror can also help the space feel bigger!
Seated Poses: Seated poses and chair yoga work well in yoga for small spaces. Incorporate seated poses or chair yoga into your routine, as well as meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises).
Outdoor Yoga: If possible, take your practice outside to a nearby park or green space. Practicing in nature can be refreshing and liberating.
Personalize Your Space: Make your dorm room yoga more inspiring and motivating. Add some plants, burn incense, or post inspiring quotes to create a peaceful atmosphere.
Remember that the essence of yoga is not about the size of your practice space but about your commitment to your practice. With a little creativity and adaptability, you can have a fulfilling yoga practice in even the smallest of spaces.
Still feeling hesitant about yoga for small spaces? Visit Yoga Haven to practice yoga in a spacious studio with an amazing community of likeminded individuals who can give advice for poses and modifications that will work for you. We look forward to meeting you on the mat!