Designing a Yoga Garden

moss garden by atelier te at www.pithandvigor.com

For over 25 years, running has been a constant in my life but with the recent onset of knee pain, my orthopedist has advised I pick a new form of exercise — which has led me to yoga. I’ve toyed around with yoga as a way to stretch and meditate over the past couple of years, but now I am practicing a couple of times per week. I love how it leaves me feeling both mentally and physically and it has led me to totally new idea that I am obsessed with.

Here’s a concept that I want you to critique (you know – just like when you ‘pin up’ in design school).

What about a yoga garden?

I’ve been envisioning a garden with a variety of rooms – each having a different theme based upon a yoga asana or pose.  I just found out that Rochelle’s book has a whole chapter about this type of thing (and I’m eager to read it for more ideas!) – but these are some of mine…

The sun salutation garden…

the animal poses garden…

the warrior poses garden…

the moon poses garden…

and the chaturanga garden. (actually, I am not so sure about the chaturanga garden but I just like saying the name).

longwood gardens silver garden by @acallage via www.pithandvigor.com

The center of each garden would be an oval of stone paving or a wooden deck where yoga poses could be practiced. The surrounding plantings would be designed to be seen while in the pose. In the sun salutation garden, maybe there would be a deck overlooking a moss carpet floor. When you are “falling” forward into your bow, you would stare down at the moss, perhaps. The plantings could also have plants that play off of the name of the poses. In the moon poses garden, we could could plant full-moon maple, moon flower, along with silver plants that makes the area look like you are on the surface of the moon.

This is something that you could slowly progress your way through, so that the garden becomes an experience and a yoga session at the same time. The concept is still really raw so feel free to share your ideas on how to make it better. I really want to build a garden like this in the near future and this winter I am studying up on the details and history of yoga in order to develop a deeper understanding of the practice. Please share with me your ideas and suggestions below. Thank you! Namaste.

Rodney

Images:  @atelir_te@sacallage

 

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rodney eason

Rodney Eason - Director of Horticulture and Plant Curator at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, father of 4, husband to a Renaissance woman. I spent the first part of my life in North Carolina, the middle in Pennsylvania, and now I am determined to become a Mainer  while keeping my southern drawl. I consider the rhetorical question, "you're not from around here, are you?" a compliment. I love great gardens, beautiful plants, and inspiring architecture. Because of this, I am on a lifelong quest to find a garden that artistically combines beautiful plants while being centered around an evocative building. For me, this would be Beatrix Farrand's Dumbarton Oaks, with the plants of Lotusland and Chanticleer, around Fay Jones' Thorncrown Chapel. My wife and I are now making our new home and garden in a 130 year old New England house with a farmer's porch near the Damariscotta River in coastal Maine. When our kids get into college, we want to hike the Appalachian Trail as a family over a summer break. My likes (in random order): the smell of fresh basil and rosemary, bold foliage, India Pale Ale, good running shoes, Top Gear, the smell of New England in the fall (it reminds me a bit of English Leather, which my grandfather wore), and the sound of our family laughing together around the dinner table. I dream of one day owning an old Toyota 4X4 pick-up and seeing the Avett Brothers in concert.

5 Comments

  1. Jasmine Kabuya Racine on December 12, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    I definitely love this idea! For my part, I would add slightly perfumed plants to the design.

  2. Julie on January 3, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Love it! Sounds like the makings of a retreat center. I’m a yoga teacher and have fantasized about having a nature-based set-up for classes when unable to practice outside. For your garden: definitely wood platforms, not stone—pretty but impractical for real practice. Moon poses=white flowers, twinkle lights for evening practice. Animal asanas=topiaries (I’m not a huge fan, but would be fun for kids). Sun salute poses=the obvious sunflower garden? Warrior= arching, reaching, tall plants, like bamboo,(strong and flexible) or aspens (think Tree pose). Savasana=a winter garden, at rest. Have fun and let us see what you come up with!

  3. Chris on January 8, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    YEAH baby, I think I have a foot or two left of space around here somewhere, LOL. (I have us all gardened out…) I think my wife would appreciate this as much as I would. May just have to give it a go.

  4. Eric Teske on February 1, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    Hmmm cool concept! I could see it more as a calendar photoshoot than an actual place to do yoga, but I like the idea of the poses driving the plant selection and design.

  5. Calvin Kent on April 30, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    concept is so good.The picture you using that is great.Great post!! very informative.

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