I describe myself as spiritual and not religious. I practice yoga and meditation because it seems to settle and center me. I also tend to eat and sleep better. I like being at peace and relish my quiet times. I am in a job that can become extremely noisy during the day, so I can’t wait to get home to my serenity.
I have often thought that I could enhance my practice and my state of being by creating a visual reminder that beckons me to my practice and that immediately settles my mind and my spirit. But creating an altar seemed to be more than what I wanted to do. Many altars seemed to be more distracting to me than settling, so I avoided them. Then, one day, while shopping for candles, I saw this painting. As soon as I gazed upon it, I took a deep breath and my shoulders relaxed. I knew this was the piece that my empty shelf was waiting for! The peaceful pose, the neutral colors and subtle contrast in line and texture settled my soul, so I brought it home. And now I gaze upon it, become completely relaxed and pull out my yoga mat for my practice, sometimes twice a day.
As a designer, this was a perfect piece because it represents my design aesthetic by complimenting the distressed furniture and the eclectic decor in the room.
I like my peace and being surrounded by things in my home that remind me to stop, inhale, exhale and settle.
I purchased this painting because of what it did for my spirit . . . not for my ego.
How do I know the difference? From ego, the purchase would have caused anxiety from buyer’s remorse. And there would have been an anxiousness around the desire. In this case, there was no desire, no anxiousness, no remorse, only calm and so I purchased it.
Consider the following when designing your altar:
- Color: Choose colors, preferably neutral that compliment the surrounding design
- Texture: Select decor that combines textures of smooth and rough like a candle and a stone or a ceramic vase and a chime. Texture can offer subtle contrasts that calm and soothe.
- Visual focus: Select an image or object that causes you to “pause”, to take a deep breath, to inhale and exhale. It is a visual trigger to settle into serenity.
- Lighting: Add soft lighting around your altar – candles add a soothing and calming look and feel
- Aromatherapy: My personal favorite are my candles that add a calming aroma to the space, but essential oils can be just as powerful.
- Flow: It was important for me to create an altar that would blend into the surrounding design but be large enough in it’s proportions to catch my attention each time I walk into the room. Now I am constantly reminded to pause, breathe and bring harmony and balance into my state of being for meditation or yoga practice. Make sure you honor the flow of your altar into the design of your room.