Through your yoga practice, you are able to achieve a higher state of awareness. And this awareness is not only for your body, but also your body’s place in the surrounding environment. The synergy you feel with the universe during your practice is palpable — a mental, physical or spiritual connection of purity — which can be enhanced even further with the addition of plants. The integration of plants into your yoga studio can have many benefits, including the purification of air, a greater sense of calm and a deeper connection to nature.
Purify the Air
Plants have the ability to purify the air around us , filtering out harmful gases or VOCs that are toxic and may hinder our health. VOCs are chemicals that pollute our oxygen. Household VOCs can be produced by fabric softener, dish soap, makeup and many other everyday products. They can take the form of formaldehyde — a known cancer-causing compound — or ozone. Through phytoremediation, plants can bioaccumulate, degrade or neutralize harmful and toxic contaminants in the air. A greater concentration of clean oxygen in your studio will greatly benefit your breathing and overall practice.
The Biophilia hypothesis says there is an instinctive bond between humans and other living organisms. Ecologist and creator of the hypothesis, E.O. Wilson, simply describes biophilia as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.” The affinity we have for nature is embedded in our DNA. The presence of nature in your environment reminds you of your connection to the earth and brings a sense of calm. The incorporation of plant life into your studio will create a more calming and soothing environment for your practice. To really feel as though you are in nature, choose larger plants that have a wider leaf span. Larger plants will help you avoid distractions from the artificial elements of your studio and allow you to focus on your yoga. Even adding a bouquet to the room will enhance the room’s natural aesthetic.
Types of Plants
Certain indoor plants are the best fit for your yoga studio, each offering their own set of benefits. Ferns are known to grow extensively and cover a large amount of space, which will make your studio feel like a serene forest. Ferns are also known to effectively convert formaldehyde to oxygen.
Another detoxifying plant is the rubber plant. The large leaves filter out polluting gases like benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. The rubber plant can remove 90 percent of chemicals in the air in 24 hours, so you can breathe in pure, filtered oxygen during your yoga workout.
Areca palms can increase the humidity of your studio and are great for keeping a balanced climate. The moisture these bring to the air allows you to breathe deeper and easier.
Lavender, which is usually grown outdoors, emits a soft fragrance that induces a greater state of relaxation. Its scent is shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure. Try growing some lavender in a window box outside of your studio, then bring in some freshly cut lavender sprigs and enjoy the aroma inside. Whether you’re starting with sun salutations or ending with savasana, refreshing lavender will bring you from start to finish.