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Yoga garden

By: Steven Nordmeyer
Create a space that encourages balance, good health and peace with this tranquil yoga garden and patio.

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Create a tranquil yoga garden

Some places just make you feel peaceful. It might be a secret spot tucked away near a favorite hiking trail. Or maybe it’s the loveseat on your deck. Whether it’s a completely natural or a man-made environment, we’re all looking for spaces that help us connect with the rest of the world and find balance and peace.

With that in mind, we’ve created a design for a backyard escape that incorporates some principles of Vastu, which is a traditional Hindu philosophy of architecture and design. This approach combines the elements of earth, water, fire, air and space into a place that encourages balance, good health and peace. Whether you are someone who practices meditation or yoga or not, we think you’ll find what you’re looking for in this beautiful space. Read on to learn how these elements work together with the plants, objects and ornaments in this garden. You’ll notice that each element traditionally belongs in different corners of the space. Then scroll down for helpful suggestions, a detailed plan and to meet the plants that make this yoga garden truly tranquil.

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Incorporate Vastu principles into your yoga garden

1. Air: Movement, clear communication

The northwest corner of this garden design will have plenty of air movement that encourages healthy plants and insects. The alternating screens offer a degree of privacy without stifling movement. Silver and white traditionally represent the element air.

Incorporate these elements:

Include elements that show movement. Windchimes allow you to hear when the wind blows, but a mobile, a fan or streamers would show you this element in visual form, as well.

2. Water: Ability to adapt, flow

In Vastu, the northeast is associated with water, which is essential for health. Include a water feature in this quadrant to emphasize this element. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that blue is the color that best represents water.

Incorporate these elements:

As you listen to the gurgle of water, you can feel your mind slipping into a restful space. But the water doesn’t have to be moving, as this bubbler is. Other water options include reflecting pools, birdbaths or even a painted blue wall. Turn any container into a bubbler with a container fountain kit from your local home improvement store.  

3. Earth: Grounding, calming

Create stability in the southwest corner by adding stones into your design or planting large trees. Colors include natural browns, golds and rusts.

Incorporate these elements:

Use large, solid ornaments, big boulders, concrete statues, or even shade trees with deep roots give you the effect of permanence and stability.  

4. Fire: Confidence, vitality

Lighting, fireplaces and outdoor cooking surfaces all represent fire. The best colors for this space are warm reds, oranges and yellows, and traditionally, fire belongs in the southeast.

Incorporate these elements:

Balance the other elements with the energy of fire in the southeast corner of your retreat. This might be small torches like the ones shown in the plan, a firepit, a red mirrored globe or even an outdoor kitchen. Spiral Garden Tiki Torches available at www.hpotter.com.  

5. Space: A centering place

In the center on the deck is where you can feel the balance of all of the other elements working together. Here, the open sides, wide deck and uncluttered atmosphere make it a perfect spot for reflection.

Incorporate these elements:

In the centering space that brings all the other elements together, you may choose to meditate. If so, keep a basket of yoga mats and blankets handy. Or if that’s not your practice, a few simple, comfortable chairs will help you focus on the details and beauty around you and within. Find a variety of yoga mats and blankets locally or online at these retailers:

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Details of the yoga garden plan

Check out the overhead map below that shows you where to place the plants chosen for this tranquil yoga garden. The slideshow below will provide details on the plants and some helpful growing information.

  • The path in this yoga garden allows you to interact with your surroundings as you walk to the retreat space. Listen to the crunch of gravel beneath your feet. Reach down and run your hands over the grasses and sniff the roses!

  • ‘Bernice’ bellflower’s cup-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds. Plant ‘Prairie Sun’ gloriosa daisy and you’ll likely have butterfly visitors.

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Published: Jan. 21, 2020
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