Backyard Meditation Space Ideas
The act of meditation is thousands of years old and is practiced around the world. Some meditate to reduce stress and manage anxiety, some to lower blood pressure and improve their health, some to look inward for reflection and spiritual growth.
The benefits of meditation are many and can be enhanced even further by combining them with the health benefits of spending time outdoors. Some of these benefits include reducing stress, boosting your immunity, improving sleep, increasing longevity, and even reducing inflammation
If you have a regular meditation practice, you likely already have a favorite spot in your home for meditating. This might be a dedicated meditation studio, or it could be a comfy chair in the corner of your living room. To expand your options and combine the benefits of meditation and those of being outdoors, now is the perfect time to create a backyard meditation space where you can take your practice outside where there is fresh air, sunshine, and nature.
An outdoor meditation area can be as simple as a cushion or yoga mat on your patio. After all, you do not need any special tools or a particular setting in order to meditate. You only need a comfortable spot where you can sit or lie down while quieting your mind and focusing on your breath. If you have a favorite bench or chair in your outdoor living area or garden, you might already have the perfect spot for outdoor meditation.
If not, or if you want to create a more personalized space for your practice, here are tips and design ideas to inspire you and get you started.
Backyard Meditation Space: Creating a Soundscape
There are two purposes to creating a soundscape for your outdoor meditation space. One purpose is to block external sounds that might be distracting or disruptive while you are meditating. This might include traffic, neighborhood dogs barking, kids playing, lawnmowers, or talkative neighbors who also enjoy spending time in their outdoor living areas. A wandering mind is challenging enough when meditating indoors where you have more noise control, but the number of potential distractions outside can make it far more challenging to achieve and maintain a meditative state.
The second purpose of creating a soundscape is to introduce soothing sounds that may help you to relax or focus your attention to quiet your mind.
If external noise is not much of an issue, you might be able to just introduce some soothing sounds with wind chimes. If you would like to manage external sounds and create a soothing atmosphere for your meditation, the easiest option is to use your phone with an outdoor speaker. There are many apps and music streaming services that offer music or calming sounds suitable for meditation.
For a more natural option that also adds visual appeal, consider a bubbler or fountain to introduce the relaxing sound of water and help block distractions. Most fountains need to be plugged in, so you will need to consider this when selecting your mediation area. Solar fountains can be placed anywhere with adequate sunlight, so you will have more freedom to create your outdoor meditation space in the spot that works best for you.
If these options for reducing outside noise and introducing soothing sounds are not quite enough to help quiet your mind, focus on your breath. You can count each breath or simply focus on each inhale and exhale. Alternatively, you may want to recite a mantra to help you calm your mind and focus.
Backyard Meditation Space: Protection from the Elements
If it is too windy or rainy outside, you will likely choose to partake in your meditation practice indoors. However, unless you are planning to only meditate early in the morning or late in the evening, you will need protection from the sun. This can be accomplished by creating your space under a shade tree, on a covered patio, or under a pergola. If you do not have any of these options, you can install an inexpensive shade sail to block bright glares and help protect your skin from too much direct sunlight.
Outdoor Meditation Structure
If you have the space and the budget, you might want to build a dedicated structure for your meditation practice. This could be a closed structure, such as a shed, greenhouse, summerhouse, office pod, treehouse, or yurt. Or it could be an open structure, such as a covered patio, gazebo, canopy, or pergola. Either of these options offers more privacy, even with the open structures, since you can add patio curtains to the open options. Something like a simple pergola with retractable fabric can be a one-day, DIY project that will define and protect your meditation space.
Meditation structures also allow you to meditate outdoors when the weather is not ideal. Plus, this allows for a dedicated space that you can set up with cushions, candles, incense, statues, and anything else you might want to enhance your practice. With a dedicated space, you can leave your meditation accessories and supplies set up or safely stowed nearby so that you do not need to bring them out and set them up for each session.
Backyard Walking Meditation Space
While most people are familiar with sitting meditation, that is not the only style. There are some forms of meditation that involve movement, such as qigong and walking meditation. You can practice qigong in the meditation space you create, but the space may not be large enough for walking meditation. While walking meditation does not require a large area, it does help to have enough room to walk in a small circle or oval. You can also walk back and forth in a straight line.
To practice walking meditation, focus on the act and feeling of stepping, including lifting your foot and setting it back on the ground. Some people count while they are walking, while others focus on their breath and steps.
To create a space for walking meditation in your backyard, you could install a meandering path that winds through your garden or, perhaps, a labyrinth if you have an open area available. A simple labyrinth can be created using paving stones or rocks following design inspirations you can find online.
Meditation Garden Design Ideas
You do not need a dedicated deck or yurt to practice meditation, but creating a welcoming, relaxing space can help. If your goal is to meditate outside to enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and nature during your practice, you may want to create a meditation garden where you can sit or walk in a peaceful setting.
If clean lines and order bring you calm, consider a Zen garden with well-placed rocks or rock formations, and sand or gravel that you can rake into fluid designs.
If the sights, smells, and varied textures of nature make you feel grounded, create a meditation garden filled with plants in colors and scents you find pleasing and relaxing. Some options include lavender, jasmine, and gardenia.