yoga in tight spaces

How to do yoga in tight spaces

September 8, 2021

This summer, my family traveled across the country twice. This double adventure meant we spent a lot of time in hotels, which are notoriously difficult spaces to have a movement practice of any kind. The carpeting is awful and of questionable cleanliness. The rooms are often tight and cramped with furniture taking up all available movement space. Plus, if you’re traveling with kids, you’re all in that one room together. Even less space and none of it personal.

And while on the road, in these tiny spaces, I managed to do some really fun, creative, and sweaty movement practices.

I’m fairly familiar with having to practice yoga in tight spaces.

When I first fell in love with yoga, I lived in a tiny New York City apartment. I shared that space with 2 cats, occasional other random rescue animals, and another human.

My practice space was between the front door and the stove.

I only accidentally turned the burners on once. Once was enough.

Small or tight yoga spaces don’t scare me.

They inspire me.

But a lack of space or too small practice space is one of the big reasons so many people don’t do yoga or workout at home.

And while I get it, the truth is that you don’t really need a lot of space to practice yoga or exercise at home.

While we were traveling, I decided to film one of my practices so you could see that yoga and movement in tight spaces is not only possible, but fun.

Here are a few simple tips so you can do yoga in tight spaces, too!

Focus on standing poses.

This is a good place to start, especially if you’re squeamish about hotel carpets. Standing poses are any poses in which one or both feet are on the ground. This can include lateral poses (sagittal plane) like Warrior 2 or Triangle pose, balancing poses like Half Moon or Tree Pose, and front facing (coronal plane) poses like Warrior 1.

Think about poses that don’t require much space

Some poses take up a lot of space while others don’t. Good examples of poses that don’t take up a lot of space are camel pose, malasana/squat, crow pose, and low lunge.

Think outside the yoga box

You don’t just have to do yoga in tight spaces. What about other movement practices or actions? Squats are great in tight spaces. So are kicks. If you don’t mind touching the floor, you could do planks or pushups. Bear planks (hovering table) with rows.

How can you use your space?

Think about ways you can use the tight space to enhance your yoga/movement practice.
Can you use the walls for a deeper side body stretch?
How about using the bed for elevated lunges?
Could you use the doorframe to go upsidedown or for a shoulder release?

Want a little more inspiration?

Check out my latest youtube video sharing one of my fun, tight space, hotel room practices from this summer.

You can also head over to my free facebook community where I shared a picture flow of 9 poses you can do in order to create a simple, dynamic tight space yoga flow. Click here to see the flow!

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