6 Soothing Ways To Create An Outdoor Meditation Space
Meditation is an amazing practice. Multiple studies have shown that it has the ability to reduce stress, lessen symptoms of anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure, promote more restive sleep, and improve your overall health.
When you combine nature with meditation its effects can be even more powerful, as the natural environment also has a profound, positive effect on the mind and body.
I cannot recommend meditating outside enough. Meditating outdoors provides such a different experience to doing so inside. The sweet smell of the fresh air, the feeling of the wind on your skin, the sounds of birds and insects — it just takes things to another level entirely.
How to create your outdoor meditation space
From comfort to activating your senses, here are six things to look at when creating a meditation space where you can unfurl:
Comfort is key for a restive meditation session. Create a comfortable nook with outdoor rugs, meditation mats, cushions, and throw blankets. You can also secure fabric to nearby trees or structures to create a shaded cover.
Also bear in mind that the comfort aspect of your meditation nook outside can be transitory. Cushions, throws and fabric roofs can be prepared in advance as a ritual act, and taken down after your meditation session. If you plan to leave your comfort items in place forever, choose items that can handle sun, dirt, and rain to save yourself some grief.
When choosing which plants you want to fill your meditation space, use your senses as a guide.
Touch: look for plants with pleasing textures, such as Lamb’s Ears, Irish Moss, or Fountain Grasses.
Sight: brightly coloured flowers offer visual delight while providing a sanctuary for butterflies and bees. Small succulents in pots can help you create an organic green meditation corner quite cheaply, with little maintenance.
Smell: aromatic flowers and herbs such as jasmine, lilac, lavender, and gardenia emit soothing fragrances.
If you don’t have a lot of ground space for plants, don’t fret. Container gardening is an easy way to add plants to your space. Whatever greenery you choose, make sure that it’s fairly low-maintenance. You don’t want to end up associating your meditation garden with backbreaking work.
There are lots of ways to incorporate stone into your meditation space. For instance, you can use flat stones and river rock to build an altar.
A simple, winding labyrinth can be constructed with bricks or pavers. If you have a large backyard, you can use boulders to add an organic sculptural element. You can also create rockeries, rock sculptures, or place stone upon stone to create your own cairn markers, not unlike the inuksuk. All will add to the strength and stability of your outdoor zen garden.
One of the downsides of meditating outside is that the sounds of traffic, lawnmowers, and other noise pollution are bound to intrude upon your peace. Fortunately, there are ways to counter this irritating racket and find your centre at the same time.
Firstly, work with what you have – your perception. If you’ve ever tried hypnotherapy, you may already know how the practitioner often suggests you incorporate sounds from the outside world as additions to your relaxation. As you meditate, consider how lawnmowers and cars going past make you even more relaxed – they are white noise that helps you immerse further into your experience.
You can also add pleasing sounds to your outdoor meditation space to anchor you in welcoming sounds.
Running water is not only incredibly soothing, it’s also a great sound to focus on while meditating.
Incorporate a recirculating patio fountain somewhere in your space and you’ll achieve inner peace before you know it.
The tinkling sound of wind chimes can also be extremely relaxing. Choose chimes constructed of bamboo, glass, or metal to add the elements into your meditation practice. If all else fails, some earbuds and calming music will help you drown out the din.
Lighting & Decor
When decorating your meditation area, it generally recommended to go for a minimalist approach in order to avoid distractions. Choose decor that fills you with peace and serenity.
Common items include singing bowls, bells, meditation beads, altars, statues, crystals, affirmation stones, and artwork.
Bring light into your space with candles, decorative lanterns, string lights, or a fire pit. These features will transform your garden into a meditative space by separating it from the rest of the yard.
It’s pretty hard to meditate when your neighbours are staring at you. If you want to build a truly peaceful outdoor refuge, you’re going to need some privacy. Of all the things you’ll need for your backyard meditation space, this will probably be the biggest investment.
If you have money/space:
For more permanent privacy, fencing, hedges, and trees are the way to go. Trees are especially awesome as they can actually save energy by insulating your home!
If you really want to go all out, a yurt, gazebo, or enclosed pavilion will provide shelter from the elements and add value to your home.
If you can’t afford to spend much money on this project:
Not all of us have the money for fixed privacy options (*cough*millennials*cough*). These options might work for you. They can be temporary and tucked away when you don’t need them. They may also work for a little balcony as well as a garden:
- Patio umbrella
- Folding screen (this cream wicker room divider is quite cheap)
- Curtains or fabric drapes
Your outdoor meditation area doesn’t have to be huge or filled with expensive statuary. Some of the most peaceful gardens are created with tiny pockets of space. As long as it’s furnished with things that induce calm and tranquility, you’ll find yourself happier and more centred than ever in your outdoor haven.
Try taking meditation outside to find your peace, and soak in the glory of nature. Meditation can still be a beautifully private experience when all the world is all around you.
More meditation tips on Mookychick:
- How meditation helped me cope with anxiety and panic attacks
- Quick meditation tips for the busy urban world
- Transcendental meditation exercise – transcend the tack