Establishing a place in your home for yoga will help you stick to your plan. After all, you are more likely to take to the mat if you set aside a dedicated area. If you live in a small apartment or house, however, “don’t let the limited room be a deterrent to your home practice,” says Bender Birch. You can temporarily move tables, chairs, or couches, or for more privacy, you can section off a specific yoga spot with portable screens.

Proper lighting and room temperature are important considerations when preparing a yoga space. Natural light is best because it is soothing and limits reflective glare, says Yee. The room should be comfortably warm, around 75 to 85 degrees, to facilitate heating muscles and improving flexibility. In chilly weather, you can roll out your mat in front of the fireplace or heater for a cozy, inspiring spot.

Another factor to take into account is floor surface. “Hardwood or ceramic tile are ideal because of their stability,” says Bender Birch. She advises avoiding spongy surfaces or padded carpet, which can throw off your balance. To keep from slipping, get a nonslip or sticky mat. “[Other] props, like blocks and straps, are not required but can be helpful in some asanas [poses], especially for beginners,” says Bender Birch. “But keep in mind, a great thing about yoga is that it’s so portable. When you load up on stuff, you lose that benefit.”

Music and scents are optional. “Soothing or meditative types of music can be a nice addition for Savasana [Corpse Pose], but I don’t recommend music during most of the practice,” says Bender Birch. “It’s more important to focus on your breath.” If you do choose to include a scent, Bender Birch recommends natural, pure products instead of synthetic scents, which could introduce chemicals into the air you breathe. “Don’t burn incense during your practice either, because it releases smoke that could be irritating,” says Bender Birch. Instead, use smokeless aromatherapy diffusers with natural scents, such as cedar, pine, rose, or lavender.

Step Three: Begin your practice