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I love our new house. We’re in a small, friendly neighborhood, a little removed from the busier suburbs that are closer to D.C. We have a front porch that we can sit on to watch the sun set and we also have a great view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
What we do not have, however, is a gym less than 25 minutes away. This was a downside that I readily accepted, but a downside, nonetheless. I had grown very accustomed to my barre studio being less than 10 minutes from my house and having a neighborhood gym at my disposal.
I can’t give up that easily…
I would have loved to accept this fate, hang up my running shoes, and never have to exercise again. In that version of reality, the sky is entirely made of rainbows, beloved pets never die, you can eat whatever you want and never gain weight, and most importantly to me, I don’t live with chronic pain.
The reality I live in has a blue sky, pigs don’t fly, and I certainly can’t eat whatever I without gaining weight. Given that, I knew I needed a solution for not having a nearby gym. Since starting to track things that make my Fibromyalgia symptoms feel better or worse, I’d noticed that regular exercise was one of the most effective ways to have more good days than bad days, so I needed to maintain a workout schedule as best as I could. Running outside year round is no longer a thing that I willingly put myself through. Our winters are frigid, and our autumns & and springs are pretty rainy.
I had to think very carefully about what type of exercising I could realistically do at home. It had to be something I could sustain. We had a small area of our basement that was going to be designated as the workout space, so I knew the space I was working with. Eventually I settled on purchasing an inexpensive stationary bike for spinning workouts. I also resolved to begin doing more yoga. Both those types of exercise were low impact and I knew those activities would bring me joy (well, I’d feel joyful after the workout, at least).
There was one problem with doing yoga in that space, though. Our basement has very thick, soft carpet. (First world problems, I know.) That carpet would make it harder for me to balance when I was doing yoga. Since balance is key, I needed some sort of board I could lay on top of the carpet, and then I could lay my yoga mat on top of that.
I was on a pretty tight budget, but if you’re not in the mood to DIY, this Lifeboard is basically what I made, except mine doesn’t fold up. Most of the money was going toward the bike. After research and much consideration, I finally landed back on the first idea I’d thought of. I was simply going to use a plywood board, and cover one side so that I wouldn’t get splinters. I even came across this awesome video of a DIY yoga board that was basically what I was picturing! I followed her directions for parts of the project, and it came out pretty well! If you’re interested in how to build a DIY yoga board like this, I’ve included the materials I used and the directions below. Enjoy!
Materials I used
1) ¼ inch birch plywood, size 4’x8’ cut down to 3’x7’ (Home Depot cut it for free)
2) Self Stick Vinyl flooring – I went with the Taupe Oak color by TrafficMASTER (I bought a case that covers 36 sq ft and only used about half of the case)
3) extra strong, permanent glue (I used this)
4) Sanding block (I used this)
5) Razor blade, just in case you need to trim pieces off at the end – I wound up not needing it.
6) Rags or paper towels to clean up any messy glue overflow
1) Sand the edges and corners of the board enough that you won’t risk splinters if you need to grab the edge to move the board.
2) Lay a drop cloth down to protect your floor (if you need to. I made this in my basement so I wanted to protect my carpet).
3) Before starting to glue/stick the floor planks to the board, lay out the boards while the backing is still on it, to get the placement of the boards the way you’d like, and to make sure they fit nicely.
4) Check that the plywood is free of dust or debris that might prevent the vinyl planks from adhering to the plywood. Clean as necessary.
5) Begin laying the boards by peeling of the backing, running a strip of glue on the board where you’re going to lay the plank, and then lay the plank in place. Press the board down to help the plank and plywood adhere to each other. The glue is necessary because the glue on the planks wasn’t strong enough to stick to the rough board. They’re made more for sticking to something smoother and less porous than the rough plywood.
6) Continue laying the glue and planks until you are finished covering the plywood.
7) Trim any planks as necessary and wipe off any excess glue.
8) This is an optional step – place heavy items on top of the board for at least 6 hours to help everything adhere and seal to with each other. I conveniently still had lots of moving boxes full of candles for my business so I piled them on top and let it sit overnight.
9) Remove boxes and enjoy! Namaste!
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Yoga deck construction DIY
In 2016 the Ecolodge expanded its outdoor infrastructure by building the garden kitchen and oven, outdoor showers, compost toilets. In the beginning of 2017 we started conceptualizing a wooden platform that could be used for all kind of activities like yoga seminars, dancing seminars, acrobatics, theatre and so on. Our first design steps where made at the computer visualizing the overall look and the technical necessity that the construction would demand. The goal was to provide a shaded place on the wooden surface for about 15 people with mats. We calculated that we would need an area of about 10,5x4m what comes out to 42 sqm so that every body would have a surface area of 2,8 sqm for moving and laying. We came up with this rectangular area because our stone terraces have very limited depth. The benefit of this shape on the other hand is that it is easy to design the shading pergola without posts that stand in the middle, while maintaining a light weight construction. The pergolas that we have build so far are all covered with bamboo which is a great material for the job. It provides nice playful shade while being a natural material with good look and durability of around 10 years. The downside is that its quite expensive and it comes a long way from Asia. So we also investigated plastic liners, jute linen and plastic textile nets for olive harvest. The last one is very cheap but comes with low durability. The jute linen is also cheap but will start to mould in the very wet conditions of the winter time. The plastic liners are expensive but will last for years, the drawback is that it gets really hot under them in summer.
The construction becomes much more complicated when the shading material is flexible, but gives a lot of possibilities for shaping. In the end we decided again for the bamboo but went with a mixed design from bamboo and our local reed that we can locally harvest. On the right are some design alterations for the pergola that we went through depending on the cover material.
Material of the Yoga deck
The type of wood that is used comes down to the most important decision that one has to take while planning an outdoor wooden deck. There are many considerations that could be discussed from an aesthetical point of view such as texture, colour, smell and surface structure. But I believe that this consideration should stand down for Eco friendly, durability and workability.
The durability is decently easy to define while taking a look into the norm EN 350:2016 that describes the resistance of wood to weathering and ground contact.
Timber Durability Chart by Gate Expectations by Inwood
Most of the very resistance hardwoods originate from Africa, South America and Asia. Besides the long transport it is mostly questionable under what circumstances this materials are harvested and how sustainable it is to use them over here in Europe. The FSC label could offer some indication but the certificate has many problems ( further reading at FSC Watch). So in my opinion it is good to go with locally sourced timber that has short transport and local standards. For the Greek market and especially Tinos Island the availability is also an important factor. So that leaves us in the lower price range with European pine that is a soft wood that can be treated well by high pressure impregnation or thermal modification and achieves this way good durability standards. There are two qualities with knots and without knots. The without knots is a bit more pricey but has less splints and no issues with turning loose knots over time. The workability is also great because soft woods are much friendlier to your hand tools than hardwoods. Cedar could be another good choice but has nearly double the cost. The price per sqm starts at around 15 euro for impregnated pine, goes to 25 euro pine knot-less, over 35 euro for keruing, cedar 40 euro and teak around 60 euro. So we went with impregnated knot-less pine that we painted with an outdoor deck oil in the colour teak. For the preservation it is good as a general rule to paint darker colours because they have stronger UV filter capabilities and protect the timber better.
Basic technical design of the yoga deck
The foundation is made out of 18 point foundations that hold the under construction above the ground level. In order to have a good ventilation below the deck for drying after rain there should be around 15 cm of free space. The 12 point foundations are 30x30x30 cm casted concrete blocks. The other 8 are 30x60x30 because they have to support the extra weight of the Pergola beams. The foundation beams are 15×6 cm and hold the 5x5cm beams that build the support construction.
Beginning of the construction
Here is a small step by step photo series that shows the construction of the clearing and levelling the ground, framing for the foundation, building the deck, erecting the pergolas and some flowers for the end…
We started by clearing the ground area. Then we built up a basic butter board in order to get our dimensions and levels straight from the beginning. It takes quite some time to set it up but it is a great help throughout the entire building process. Then we went on by digging out the point foundation holes and levelling the ground. This part is the hardest because you have to dig quite a lot and it means moving a lot of earth by hand. After that we built the concrete shutters out of some scrap wood that we had laying around and started to fill them up with on-site mixed concrete. We use and 1:3 ratio from cement and sand/gravel mixture in order to get constructional concrete. In the pouring process we added the galvanized steel rods for the foundation beams. The beams where cut, drilled and installed.
In order to save us some digging we only created ditches along the foundation beams. Then the deck under construction was attached to the foundation beams. Marilia was painting the anti fungicide and the tar on the beams. Then we covered the ground with geotextile in order to have some weed barrier underneath the deck.
Behind the Deck we decided to build a retention wall in order to hold back the earth that would fall otherwise slowly underneath the deck. So there was another tough job bringing up the stones. But we found that a two donkey driven wheel-borough is quite effective. After getting it done we started screwing the deck on the underconstruction and painting everything with teak oil.
The pergola was nearly finished when we got the first enthusiastic users on the deck. That came with some unknown talents in building with stone. Kids have this amazing ability to find everything new if presented well fascinating. So with some extra hands things are speeding up.
After that we decided to rest a bit and let the construction settle making our first Yoga exercises in the glory of the morning sun and enjoying the hammock on our new spot in the plot.
The finishing up was done with some great help of our friends. Decking the pergola with bamboo on the sides and in the middle we harvested some reeds cleaned them and screwed everything nice and tidy into place. We planted some Bougainvillea that will climb up the pergola in the next years and will paint the whole deck in their amazing blossoming red to rose.
For questions, suggestions and so on don’t hesitate…………
Text : Nicolas Bedau
Illustration : Nicolas Bedau
If you have any suggestions, questions or improvements just post a comment below
Do You Have A Yoga Deck Yet?
Yoga has never been more popular. This is no great surprise, anyone who practices yoga knows how much better they feel for taking part. Not only is your body stronger and more flexible but most yoga practitioners also reap a range of psychological benefits too.
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Yoga schools sprouting up everywhere, there is also a great choice of yoga retreats in far off places. Spending a holiday in one of these lodges can be life-changing. The experience of performing yoga outside with fantastic views and feel of the wind and sun on your body is hard to beat.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could recapture some of the magic when you get home or provide a similar experience in your yoga school? All you need is a bit of outside space in which you can create a clean, flat area for your yoga practice to build a yoga deck of your own.
It is hard to keep the ground clear of weeds, insects, mud, and water so in nearly all cases you need to create a raised area on which to perform your practice. Concrete and paving are sturdy options for surfacing – however, they are cold and feel gritty to the touch. A much pleasanter sensation is provided by wood which is why decking is such a popular choice for exterior yoga spaces.
It is relatively easy to build a yoga deck so if you have some DIY experience and the right tools you can have a go at building one yourself. If this is beyond you there are plenty of decking specialists who will be able to design and build a suitable deck on which you can practice your yoga. In either case, there are few things you need to know to make sure the deck you get will last and be fit for purpose.
If you want to build a yoga deck yourself detailed guidance can be downloaded at the Timber Decking and Cladding Association and there are also lots of great instructional videos on youtube.
Prepare the ground
In most cases, decking is constructed over soil and grass. You should level the ground first and lay down weed retardant matting. You can leave it uncovered, however, topping it with a layer of gravel will look more attractive. Don’t skip this step – light and water filter through correctly fitted deck boards so weeds will grow under your deck if they are allowed to. Any that do grow are virtually impossible to pull up once the deck is constructed.
Decking should not be butt against your house or garage. You should leave a gap of a minimum of 10mm to allow for drainage and air circulation otherwise you could cause damp.
The beams which make contact with the ground and form the structure of the deck need to have sufficient strength for the job. Softwood with a grade of C16 is the minimum that you should use. Don’t worry if you don’t know what C16 means, any decent decking supplier will be familiar with these wood grades as they are industry standard. Higher grades of C18 and C24 should be used if you need to support long spans or if the deck will be used commercially. Expect C24 timbers to be a lot more expensive than their C16 counterparts.
Deck boards should have a minimum life of 15 years but there are grades which have lives of 30 and even 60 years. In the UK, for decks built on new homes deck boards with a 60-year service life are mandatory.
Whilst it may be tempting to go for the cheaper option (a 15-year life) you should think carefully before you do. If you are planning to move soon or your decking is only a temporary structure then 15 years is fine. If, however, you plan to use the deck for a long time you should invest in deck boards with a longer life to ensure that your deck lasts and looks good for more than a decade. If your yoga deck is for commercial use you should definitely use a higher grade of wood as your boards will receive more wear.
Note that deck boards should have a small gap between each one (maximum gap 8mm) to allow for drainage and for the wood to expand and contract.
If you have used decent quality timber and/or treated your deck then it will last a long time with little maintenance.
Give your decking an annual clean to remove dirt, grease, mold, and moss. Avoid using bleach as it damages the wood. You can buy special deck cleaning fluids and as they are not too expensive it is a good idea to try one. You will be sure that they will not damage or discolor the wood and some may have added anti-fungicide properties will help extend the life of your deck. You can also buy deck oils which help extend the life of your decking even further.
Pressure washers are useful but do not use a high powered one. The force of high powered jet washers will rough up the surface of the wood reducing its life and making it feel nasty.[clickToTweet tweet=” Buy special deck cleaning fluids ” quote=” Buy special deck cleaning fluids ” theme=”style5″]
Periodically you should look over your deck and check for raised nails – hammer these back in so they do not stand proud of the deck as they could cause painful injuries to people’s hands and feet. If any nails are loose replace them to keep your deck boards in position.
Although decking is classed as a temporary structure there are cases in which you still need planning permission. In the UK you need planning permission if;
- Your deck is more than a foot from the ground level.
- Add your deck size to the size of your shed, any other decks, outbuildings, and extensions. If that area is more than half the size of your garden then you need planning permission.
- You may also need permission if your deck will affect a neighbor.
In the USA planning rules depend on the town so you should ask before starting work. So are you thinking of building your own yoga deck?
Today's guest post is from Jake, a 27 year old YBC reader from Salt Lake City, Utah. A few weeks ago, Jake had posted on the YBC Yoga Forum that he had found a solution to doing yoga on carpeted floors. His hard surface yoga platform has served him so well and was generating quite a little buzz on the forum that I thought I should ask if he'd be willing to share his step by step process with everyone on the blog. I'm so glad he said yes! I really think this will help so many people! Hope you all enjoy! And now, turning it over to Jake.
I started practicing yoga about three years ago, but only about a year ago is when I began taking it seriously. I went to a few local classes here and there to get a feel for then, and it wasn't until I started going to classes at Core Power that I really noticed my potential. Hot yoga will change your life, for sure!
Practicing yoga had helped improve my mood, my golf game, my running, and my overall outlook on life.
However, classes aren't cheap - as you know - and if this was something I wanted to start excelling at, I had to start practicing more at home. That lead to a Youtube search for yoga before bed, and that's when I discovered YBC.
At that same time, I had just moved into a great apartment. So much space but almost every inch of the floor is carpeted. Practicing at home was so much more relaxing than any class I'd been to - when you're at home, you can do whatever you want without any interruptions. You can create your ideal environment for every one of your senses. I like to become really relaxed in a somewhat dark room, either with music or a video playing - not having to worry about anyone or anything else. Being alone just allows you to reach levels you can't reach in a class.
I dealt with the carpet for a while, and it was great for the no mat foam-rolling sequence I came up with for the pre/post golf and running. But I knew that in order to improve, I would need a hard surface to practice on consistently.
I made a post on the YBC Forum, inquiring about home studios, and eventually decided to take the project into my own hands. Who wants to spend over $100 and wait for the delivery, when you could go to Home Depot and get the materials for a fraction of that? I could make something better than that, I thought. I had a general idea in my head of what I wanted to do, and the rest was kind of freestyle.
I had a few old mats laying around, and my roommate had recently moved out, leaving behind the perfect screws (he was a security installation dude), so all I needed was the board.
I decided 2.5' x 6.5' would be the best option - leaving enough room on each side of the mat. Looking back, going with 3' x 7' would be even better, or ever 4' x 8'. It's really up to you and how much space you've got. I would've mind covering half of a room or so with these boards, though!
Diy yoga platform
Kolka's hands hugged a fat ass - he did not understand what he was doing - while sitting, he continued to caress the kitty. With his mouth. Having folded into a ball, he found the clitoris with his tongue, the woman moaned softly and, helping her unexpected happiness, put her left foot on the edge of. The shelf, leaning back. Without resisting, she sat down on the table, lifting her legs to his shoulders.Building a Meditation Platform
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