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10 Steps To Create Your Own Altar

Photo by Kathryn Budig
March 30, 2016

We can be connected and spiritual anywhere in the world, but it helps to create a space conducive to appreciation, gratitude, and connection. An altar can be an entire room or a small table with symbolic items on it. Create an altar the way you would decorate a mantel—full of images and symbols that create good feelings and memories. Here are some ideas for what to include:

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  • Symbols of hope and inspiration. (My altar has my childhood teddy bear to remind me to be playful and a wand that my mother gave me to remind me that magic is real and I can create it.)
  • Pictures of your loved ones, teachers, and people who inspire you.
  • Sculptures/physical representations of deities. (What deities do you relate to? This can be Shiva, the Virgin Mary, or even Artemis.)
  • Beautiful, living things (plants, flowers).
  • Storage for yoga and spirituality books.
  • Something to write with and a sacred journal. (It’s also a good place to store important letters or notes.)
  • Candles, incense, and holders to help you relax or focus, to be lit and extinguished at the beginning and end of a practice.
  • A fireproof bowl in which to burn incense, resin, and paper inscribed with things you want to let go of.
  • A bundle of dried sage to burn and cleanse the space before a practice. (I’ll sage myself to dispel negative energy after a practice around frustrating people or situations.)
  • Mala beads (for Japa meditation practice) to keep them energetically charged.

Think of your altar as your sacred space and use it for whatever you wish. You could meditate here or practice yoga, or just think of it as a space to find inspiration. It's all yours and it's there for you whenever you need it!

From Aim True by Kathryn Budig. Copyright © 2016 by Kathryn Budig. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
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Kathryn Budig
Kathryn Budig

Kathryn Budig is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher and author known for her accessibility, humor, and ability to empower her students through her message, "aim true." The Kansas native graduated from the University of Virginia with bachelor's degrees in both english and drama before moving to Los Angeles, where she trained at Yogaworks under Maty Ezraty and Chuck Miller. She is the author of Aim True: Love Your Body, Eat Without Fear, Nourish Your Spirit, Discover True Balance! and travels around the world teaching.

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