How to Work Yoga into Your Fitness Center

Posted by Karah Ehrhardt on Jun 13, 2016 10:29:02 AM

Yoga has become one of the most popular forms of exercise, with people of every age and stage using the exercises, postures and mediations to stretch and strengthen the body in a balanced way. Whether it is casual users looking to relax or more experienced practitioners looking to expand their minds and improve their bodies, people who practice yoga want to do so in the right environment. As you work on the design for your corporate wellness or medical fitness center, you will definitely want to include a dedicated space that can be used for yoga classes and group exercise.

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Yoga has become increasingly popular as an exercise style, with people of all ages practicing the poses for health and well-being.

Yoga Styles and Room Design Needs

There are many different types of yoga, and you will want to take the varied requirements into account as you are designing the space where yoga may be performed. In general, the space will need to be large enough to accommodate at least a small group of people, perhaps 8-10, with plenty of room for them to perform the lengthening and stretching poses of yoga without bumping each other. An athletic form of yoga called power yoga may require extra space simply because of the athleticism of its performance.

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A yoga studio should be large enough to accommodate 8-10 people, with room to stretch and move comfortably.

Other types of yoga require special conditions or props to perform correctly. Bikram yoga, sometimes called "hot yoga", is performed in a very hot room, usually at least 100 degrees, as are Ashtanga and Vinyasa. Other types of yoga, including Iyengar, Anusara and viniyoga, use props such as belts blocks and bolsters, as aids for getting into proper alignment during the performance of the poses.

Dedicated Room Versus Flexible Space

One of the top considerations you will have when designing your fitness center will be deciding what spaces will be flexible in use and what spaces will be reserved for specific equipment or exercises. Working with a fitness management company such as Active Wellness can help you navigate these waters. Whether to have a dedicated yoga space, or to simply include it in a general exercise room will depend on your estimation of demand and participation. Active Wellness can help you, using their expertise in planning and developing fitness centers and facilities, as well as demographics for the community, to recommend what the best design for the fitness center should be, including space for yoga.

Designing a Yoga Space

When it comes to designing a yoga space, details really do matter. The color of the room and the lighting within it should help to create a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere which is more conducive to the meditative and peaceful practice of yoga. Natural lighting is the best, but artificial lighting is fine if it is not too bright. Dimmer switches may be an important addition, especially if the space is not dedicated exclusively to yoga performance.

The décor of the space is also important. Whether it is a yoga-only space, or a flexible room used for a variety of exercises, decorations and accents should be organic and natural. Art, sculpture, and floral decoration should be attractive without being overwhelming, and should not become the main visual focus of the space, instead maintaining a relatively neutral vibe.

The practice of yoga has increased dramatically since it first hit the mainstream in the 1980s. Today, millions of people practice yoga in various forms and capacities. With that in mind, planning out the design of a fitness center for a residential community should logically include a space for people to practice any of a variety of forms of yoga. Whether it is high-intensity workouts or slower-paced, relaxing poses, yoga performance should be an important part of your facility's design.

For more information about Active Wellness services, or to schedule a consultation for your fitness center project, please contact us.

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