Make Your Mat A Special Space: Design Tips & Signature Items

My friend, Regan Ruiz, owner of Atmosphere | Home, a décor and lifestyle brand, recently said something to me that made me stop. I was asking her for some tips on creating a space to practice yoga and Pilates at home. She said, “If you have space for your mat, you have a space.” When she said this, it reminded me that for me my mat is my “me time” space. It is sacred. I get on it, and the rest of the world fades away.


Regan Ruiz


It seems so simple, but it takes some creative knowledge to make a small space special. Regan is masterful at creating beautiful and meaningful spaces and evoking feelings that makes you want to stay there. She offered me some quick and easy tips to share with you for creating a [yoga] space in your home. Insert whatever fitness, meditation, or movement technique you do at home and read on.



  • • Choose an image to focus on while you workout such as a plant, a candle, art, anything that brings you a feeling of vitality when you rest your eyes on it.
  • • If possible, allow natural light into the space, or lamp lighting that creates an inviting feeling. Natural lightbulb hues work best, or for a soothing practice like gentle yoga or meditation, choose candlelight.
  • • Infuse the space with scents. Use pure essential oils or naturally scented candles. Try spraying a light mist of your favorite scent above your mat or on your pulse points just before you start. You can also use a diffuser to infuse your space with scents such as wild orange (uplifting), lavender (calming), or one of my personal favorite blends called Breathe (a combination of oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, laurel leaf, and lemon).
  • • Remove background noise by using bluetooth ear pods/earphones.
  • • Taking a few minutes to set up your external environment will support you to become more present and focused.
  • • Create internal space. Remember that practices like yoga and meditation are less about your exterior space and more about your inner feeling. Make sure your external space supports the internal feeling you want to cultivate.



To learn more about Regan Ruiz and Atmosphere | Home visit @AHbyRRi on Instagram, or on the web at

To help you make your home space beautiful and functional Mind the Mat is offering you these key items:

1.) Yoga Mats – if you have space for your mat, you have a space just for you! $20 each. We have purple or green.

2.) Yoga Towels – place this over your mat to prevent slippage. $30 each. Color: Purple.

3.) Blocks – blocks enhance your yoga and Pilates practice in amazing ways! We suggest having two at home. $12 each. Color: Black.

4.) Straps – get into yoga postures you didn’t think you could do or use a strap for extra resistance. $12 each. Color: Purple.



5.) Hand Weights – weights can give that extra oomph! $10 per pair. We have two and three pound weights in green or purple.



6.) Ankle Weights – $15 each. Temporarily sold out!

7.) Essential Oils: Wild Orange ($14 for 15 ml bottle), Lavender ($31 for 15 ml bottle), and Breathe ($30 for 15 ml bottle).



8.) Scented Candles by Bright Black. This is a candle with an incredible mission! Click here to find out more.



Mind the Mat partnered with Bright Black to brand our two favorite scents:

Enlighten Your Life: An earthy, citrus blend. Each 10oz Black, matte vessel contains 7.5 ounces of wax and custom-blended fragrance, along with sleek wooden wicks. 70 – 80 hours of burn time each. $25 each.

Love Your Body: Floral blend of peony and gardenia blossoms with a faint touch of the iconic French crème brûlée. Each 10oz Black, matte vessel contains 7.5 ounces of wax and custom-blended fragrance, along with sleek wooden wicks. 70 – 80 hours of burn time each. $25 each.



Get an item the easy peasy way. Just email Mind the Mat at and we will set up a pick up time from the studio, or deliver or mail an item straight to your home.


  • The latest from Sara
co-owner, CMT, e-RYT 200, RYT 500 | Mind the Mat
Sara VanderGoot, CMT, e-RYT 200, RYT 500, is Co-founder of Mind the Mat Pilates and Yoga and Director of Mind the Mat Yoga Alliance certified teacher training program. Sara is an experienced Registered Yoga instructor with Yoga Alliance. She studied Interdisciplinary Yoga with Don and Amba Stapleton in Nosara, Costa Rica and at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Sara is Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, licensed by the Virginia Board of Nursing. Sara has been practicing massage therapy, including specialties Prenatal Massage, Postpartum Massage, Deep Tissue Massage and Thai Yoga Massage, in Del Ray, Alexandria for over 15 years and a yoga instructor for 7 years. At Mind the Mat she specializes in Prenatal Yoga, Postpartum Core Yoga, Mommy and Me Core Yoga, Partners Yoga, and Hot Flow Yoga. Sara frequently acts as a birth companion for many of her clients, doing massage and yoga during labor and delivery to facilitate comfort during both medicated and unmedicated births. Before becoming a massage therapist and yoga instructor, she was a lawyer in the Washington D.C. area and found that the healing practices of massage and yoga brought a balance to her life that she had been searching for.

Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga was founded in 2008 by Megan Brown, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Polestar Certified Practitioner of Pilates for Rehabilitation and Sara VanderGoot, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher (e-RYT 200, RYT 500). In their private practices as physical therapist and massage therapist respectively Megan and Sara observed that many of their clients were coming in with similar needs: relief for neck and shoulder tension and low back pain as well as a desire for more flexibility in hips and legs, stability in joints, and core strength.

Together Megan and Sara carefully crafted a curriculum of Pilates and yoga classes to address needs for clients who are pregnant, postpartum, have injuries or limitations, who are new to Pilates and yoga, and for those who are advanced students and are looking for an extra challenge.     

3300 Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22201


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