You've told yourself that this is the year you'll practice mindfulness. Maybe you'll try meditation or yoga. You can do it—all you need are a few minutes and a quiet spot—and there are health benefits.
With your own serene space, you might find the motivation to stick with the plan. If you have an extra room (guest room, she shed, man cave), you can easily turn it into a "Zen Den", but if you're short on space, any quiet corner will work. So, paint the wall a neutral color, line the windowsill with green plants, clear the clutter, and get ready to unwind.
As an occasional yogini who started meditating years ago, I'm always looking for that quiet little space away from everyone else. I've been thinking about this for a while—the best way to outfit a Zen Den. Now, I'm sharing the list with you. Here's all the gear you need to outfit your personal relaxation space. OM...
1. Our favorite yoga mat
If you're going to use your Zen Den to practice your asanas, you'll need an excellent yoga mat. We've done exhaustive testing of yoga mats and we loved this one. It's a bit pricey but well worth it. Our tester said you might find it hard at first, but it won't wobble, and you won't slip. It rolls up small, which makes a big difference when you're packing up. If you do hot yoga, consider getting a mat in a dark color to hide the sweat stains.
2. Noise-canceling headphones to maintain the silence
When you're trying to relax, an excellent pair of noise-canceling headphones can make a big difference. Street noise? You'll never hear it. Kid noise from adjacent rooms will be taken down, too. These Bose headphones are our top choice. When you put them on, they make it so quiet, you'll be able to hear yourself chant. And they're Alexa enabled, so you can listen to your favorite meditation playlist on Spotify.
3. An air purifier to help you breathe deeply
Mindful breathing is an easy, powerful way to start meditating, so you want to make sure you're breathing clean air. We haven't tested air purifiers yet (we're working on it), but this one from Wynd is my personal favorite. Developed by some young MIT graduates, here in Reviewed's neighborhood, Wynd is portable, clears the air in a one-yard range around it, and lets you check on the air quality anywhere in the world.
4. Great-fitting ODODOS yoga pants
The Zen Den is looking good. How about you? You deserve some new yoga pants. We recommend ODODOS, the top-selling pair on Amazon. You'll love the stretch and breathability, the convenient phone pocket, and the flattering high waist that lets you forget that you haven't quite met your fitness goals yet. We all adore Lululemon, but you don't have to pay that store's prices to get pants with great perks.
5. A luxe faux fur throw
When you come to the end of your yoga flow, and you're ready to go into Savasana, cover yourself with a luxurious faux fur throw blanket. It's a zillion times more comfortable than those itchy yoga blankets they use in class. This throw blanket is soft, fluffy, and light in weight. It's so cozy that it will probably migrate from the Zen Den to the living room couch, so get used to sharing.
6. An electric tea kettle for refreshments in a hurry
Sometimes, you need to take a little break from your practice. Keep a mug and a stash of Zen tea in your Zen Den, and when you're ready to brew some up, use our highest-rated kettle. The Cuisinart PerfecTemp 1.7 Liter Electric Kettle is not as pretty as some, but select a temperature and a mere five and a half minutes later, you'll be sipping away.
7. A game-changing lamp
If the dark days of winter get you down, your calm cave might need a light that will lift your mood. You turn it on the Philips goLITE, sit arms-length away, and let the light splash over your face. Just imagine how amazing that would feel! But definitely, see your doctor before you try light therapy. It's not for everybody.
8. Our hands-down favorite oil diffuser
Set the mood in your Zen Den using an excellent oil diffuser and some essential oils. You don't have to spend a lot on the InnoGear. Okay, it's not the most beautiful, but with its colored lights, it's easy to love. The generous capacity allows it to run for between seven and nine hours. Seriously, you may never want to leave the room. You need one of these for your bedroom, too.
9. Meditation cushions for more comfort
You can meditate in any seat, as long as you sit up straight. But some people like the support of a meditation cushion (or Zafu). This one, by Seat Of Your Soul, is a favorite on Amazon, where it averages 4.6 out of 5 stars from over a thousand customers. It's stuffed with buckwheat hulls, making it easy to adjust as you align your spine. One of the seven colors is sure to complement your Zen Den.
10. This starter kit for your home practice
Moonbox has put together some tools and snacks to enhance your Zen Den. The box includes a yoga mat strap, yoga mat mist, spices and teas, crystal drawer pulls, and an oil rollerball. It's a nice gift for yourself or a fellow yoga practitioner, especially for someone who's just getting started with mindfulness.
Prices are accurate at the time of publication but may change over time.