Build Your Own Indoor Meditation Garden
A lush, budget-friendly retreat can offer escape and stress relief in the comfort of your home.by Danielle Broadway
The first time I visited a meditation garden near where I live in California, I felt as if I had been transported to another world.
I remember the vivid colors of koi fish, flowers and trees. And, although there were other people around me, I felt a serene sense of peace. It was a feeling I didn't want to let go of.
Due to COVID-related restrictions, I can't return to this garden, but I carry a piece of its magic with me in my own apartment. I've created a space where I can be surrounded by plants and sage while engaging in centering yoga poses.
I harness inspiration from my small meditation garden, and it has kept me grounded during this stressful year.
You might think meditation gardens are too pricey and difficult to create in your own home. In reality, they can be as expensive or as affordable as you'd like them to be.
Even with a very limited investment of time, energy and money, you can transform a part of your home into a rejuvenating space of peace, harmony and beauty.
Creating a space for your meditation garden
From choosing a comfy location to decorating with plants and art, the process of building your own meditation garden can be as customizable as you want.
The first step: Find a suitable location inside your home.
With the weather getting colder, indoor meditation gardens will probably work best. Find a spot with hardwood flooring, if possible, so as to not damage carpets or rugs.
The area you choose shouldn't be too noisy, and it should have enough space for a yoga mat. The idea is for you to have room to both spread out and also add your decorations and plants.
Next, you'll want to think of how to decorate the walls. Avoid excessive wall art that may feel cluttered. You may even want to hang a simple wall tapestry that you find relaxing.
Depending on your budget, that could be all of the decor before adding the plants and your yoga mat. You could also add meditation cushions, benches, blankets and other decorations. Try searching online for reasonably priced items and deals.
For larger budgets, you may want to add an indoor fountain, calming statues, aromatherapy candles or essential oils to diffuse in your meditation garden.
Picking your plants
It wouldn't be a meditation garden without the lush serenity of plants to nourish the body, heart and soul.
Gardener Maya Nicole has recommendations for the best meditation garden possible.
Nicole suggests starting with indoor plants that are easy to grow and that also double as great air purifiers.
"Snake plants are good for absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen at night. They're also really easy to care for," she said.
Aloe, succulents, spider plants and peace lilies are also abundant sources for air purification and relatively easy to care for.
It can be helpful to look at nurseries and even big retail outlets for affordable plants that speak to you and make you feel at ease.
Have fun choosing color schemes for your pots and make sure they all have proper drainage holes to avoid root rot and other diseases.
Meditation and yoga in your garden
Once your indoor garden is set up, you've got the perfect space for practicing meditation, mindfulness and rejuvenating yoga.
"This meditative posture often serves as a common variation for siddhasana, or 'accomplished pose,'" Auguste said.
"Each cycle of breath enters and exits the body, allowing the head to be light, as if it were floating upward. This pose can easily be done at any point of the day — to set an intention at the beginning of the day, or to calm the body and mind at the end."
Next, Auguste suggests engaging in the "child's pose," also known as bālāsana, the "legs up the wall," or viparita karani, the "recycling bound angle pose," or supta baddha konasana, and finally, the "corpse pose," or savasana.
"A number of these poses are restorative in that they support the body in reaching full relaxation and rest," Auguste said.
"Allow the breath to guide you as you transition in and out of these poses, as well as during. These poses can be done anywhere between five to fifteen minutes."
Auguste recommends combining meditation and yoga practice with the diffusion of essential oils to achieve a greater sense of tranquility.
"Although there are a number of essential oils that contribute to a deeper state of relaxation, I find that lavender, whether by itself, or blended with rose or sage, does the trick," she said.
"In addition, I often burn sage or palo santo in order to clear the spaces around me of any lingering, unneeded energies. Doing this offers an opportunity for a sense of renewal and serenity to enter the spaces I inhabit."
If essential oils aren't the right fit for you, try burning sage, candles or incense to help create a sense of healing harmony.
The important thing to remember in building your garden and adopting meditation practices is to find what works for you within your budget.
While the pandemic and the stresses of the world may feel overwhelming, everyone deserves a way to gain a soulful escape for healing and rejuvenation.