How to incorporate a yoga practice at home [with Rose Barkley]

Rose Barkley Interview: How to incorporate a yoga practice at home

Our guest today is Rose Barkley, a certified trauma-informed yoga instructor for youth and adults based in Los Angeles, California, to talk to us about how to incorporate a yoga practice at home.

You can follow Rose on Instagram.


Rose: [00:00:04] Start from the top.

Andrea: [00:00:08] From the top, okay.

Andrea: [00:00:10] Thank you for joining us today. My name is Andrea Bahamondes.

Andrea: [00:00:13] I am the founder and Head Coach of Bloom Coaching Services. At Bloom, we we’re all about work life balance and helping professionals reach a higher potential while they’re maintaining a quality of life that is fulfilling.

[00:00:26] A recent survey shows that 80% of organizations are encouraging or requiring their employees to work from home and 97% have cancelled all type of work-related travel. So we’re all in this together.

[00:00:42] We’re having to stay home, having to rearrange many of our healthy practices to stay balanced. And I know that’s a lot of my clients are what are used to going to a yoga studio or a meditation temple. And that’s no longer available. That’s why I’m very happy and excited to introduce our guest today, Rose Barkley. Rose is certified in trauma informed yoga for youth than adults. She’s based in L.A. and she was originally trained and worked in San Francisco for The Art Yoga Project, which is a nonprofit dedicated to serving marginalized teenagers. She’s going to share today some of her wisdom around how we can incorporate a home yoga practice and meditation that is kids friendly, tools that are helpful to have on hand as we build this practice, and one of the most important things, how do we stay centered and find peace when times are really, you know, we don’t know what’s going to happen next.

[00:01:48] So welcome Rose, thank you so much and I love the sunshine behind you.

Rose: [00:01:57] Yes. Sunny L.A., of course.

Andrea: [00:02:01] So get us started.

Rose: [00:02:04] Yeah, so you brought up a few things, especially, one thing that’s on my mind is the fact that we can’t go into the yoga studios any longer and that there has to be a home practice that’s keeping us grounded, keeping us moving and hopefully meditating, too. So a lot of tools that I’ve been using recently, especially that are kid friendly and adult friendly is I have actually a Hoberman sphere.

Andrea: [00:02:31] Oh, that’s so interesting. What is that called?

Rose: [00:02:35] It’s called the Hoberman Sphere. It was created by a scientist,so the idea is that when you’re breathing, you open it up. And when you breathe out, you close it.

[00:02:53] And this was a tool that I used a lot in the school based programs that a lot of the kids that I worked with are familiar with.

Andrea: [00:03:00] I’m sure that’s going to be sold out soon on Amazon.

Rose: [00:03:05] I also have a glitter meditation bottle for anyone that’s struggling with meditating and staying in stillness. If you don’t want to use a timer, you can actually create these on your own using glue, Elmer’s glue, water and glitter. It’s two parts water, one part glue and glitter so that gives you access…

Andrea: [00:03:26] How does that work? Do you use a like a sand…

Rose: [00:03:28] Yeah, so you shake it up like this, which is kind of a nice action. Any sort of shaking is really good for stimulating the body, especially when we’re really stagnant. And you would want to put it on a flat surface in front of your eyes and focus here with your hands. You can repeat a mantra pressing into the index finger and thumb. I am so calm. Could be one. So you go from index finger to middle, finger to ring, finger to pinky finger. And as you’re doing that, you’re repeating the mantra, I am. So whatever you would like. I am calm. I am so creative. And the idea is that you’re repeating this mantra. And as you’re doing that, it’s actually calming the parasympathetic system down, which is where we want to try to head into when we’re coming into meditation.

Andrea: [00:04:26] Wow. That is so practical. You know, many, many of the questions that I have for beginners is how do I get started with a meditation practice? What do you recommend for somebody that has never done this before and is really having the need to find that balance?

Rose: [00:04:45] Yeah. I think starting simple with a mantra can be really helpful. Repetition helps our mind start to focus and hone in, tuning out the sounds of the rumination, thoughts or the spinning out of control when you’re in anxiety or, you know, thinking about the to-do list or what I need to clean get done. And just allowing that space to just be. And repetition is huge, especially in the trauma informed community we’re using a lot of that as well as nice visuals…

Andrea: [00:05:19] And Doing it over and over again and out of the incorporation of visuals, because that keeps us, I guess, something to focus on, right?

Rose: [00:05:27] Exactly. We definitely need something to focus on. Often I hear teachers say focus on something on the floor. And if you have something that’s special to you, maybe it’s not a glitter bottle, maybe it’s something you have on hand, you can always focus on that, too. So there’s a lot that’s available to you. It’s up to you as to what you want to use. You could use a little bottle or maybe something special in your house.

Andrea: [00:05:57] Amazing. I love it. I love it that we don’t have to, like, go to the store and get something. It might be something that we already have at home that we can incorporate as a focus point, right?

Rose: [00:06:09] Right. And actually, just to build on that point, I think it’s a good time to maybe pull back from purchasing and seeing what’s available in the house that you could use to help maybe create a glitter bottle. You might have those supplies on hand. You could use a jar. There’s so many things out there and online tutorials on how to make objects such as glitter bottles. You might as well take advantage and craft it and then create a limitation.

Andrea: [00:06:37] That’s a great idea. So not only we are adding the healthy practice, but also it’s a way of being creative and maybe incorporating the gifts to help us do it, right?

Rose: [00:06:47] Yeah. In sustainability, you’re reusing things that you might already have on hand.

Andrea: [00:06:51] Yeah. One question that it’s also very common that my clients ask is, especially now, how do I create that space in which it’s my space and I’m not distracted? I mean, I’m not new to working from home, but having everybody at home is new. I mean, there’s a lot of distractions. You know, you have the kids, the husband…

[00:07:14] So, how do we create a space? And what’s the best practice, so we can allow ourselves that space?

Rose: [00:07:22] I mean, that’s actually a really great question, because I live in a one bedroom apartment with my boyfriend and we both work from home now and I’ve converted my living room into a yoga space, as well as a videotaping space for my yoga practice. At the end of the night, occasionally, I’ll move the furniture back. Sometimes I’ll leave it like that. So I think moving furniture around, don’t be afraid to do that. It can work up a sweat just doing that alone. And you might find yourself cleaning in areas that you’ve forgotten about, but really just finding your own section of a house or outdoors if you have a yard. Or if you have something that you can access to create a shrine, maybe flower you picked outside or something that reminds you of beauty and grace and peace, that can be enough to start your practice. And yeah, I think the visual is really important even when you’re given small amounts of space.

Andrea: [00:08:29] So getting creative with the space as well, kind of re-inventing our environment. I love that. I mean, you’re not only giving us… I love how creative you are.

Rose: [00:08:40] I have to be creative.

[00:08:43] I think one thing that not having a lot teaches you is you must rely on your creativity. And right now, we’re all faced with the challenge of not having maybe as much as what we’re used to or maybe having access of something that we’re we normally don’t have access. So we’re trying to all navigate a balance right now. So I think it’s really important to tap into your creativity and find balance in your own space as well.

Andrea: [00:09:14] With what we have.

Rose: [00:09:17] Yeah. With what we have.

Andrea: [00:09:18] That brings us to our last point, I think, which is how do we embrace the unknown?

[00:09:26] I think we’re all living day by day and sometimes hour by hour. Things are changing quite rapidly. We’re being not only inundated with news, with negative news, but also having to re-adapt very quickly to things that, you know, we really don’t know what’s going to happen.

Rose: [00:09:48] I think the truth and the reality, as you say that is, we never know what’s going to happen. And accepting that thought alone is a part of the yoga practice. It’s as well a part of, I think, a life practice, accepting the unknown and really feeling into that. It’s OK, it’s OK to maybe be confused or to feel angry or upset. And I think it’s also important to acknowledge those feelings that come up and know that you do have the ability to control your own breath, maybe control your own movements, and that’s going to give you permission to trust yourself to be in the unknown.

Andrea: [00:10:34] Oh yeah, I love what you said. It’s the things that we can control are within ourselves. I mean, being able to give up, giving us permission to breathe, right? And to slow down. Those are things that at least is something that we have power over.

Rose: [00:10:53] Yeah. And we always have power over that. And maybe this is a good time to reflect on that and not take that for granted.

Andrea: [00:11:01] Yes. Yes. Yes. I’ll end with that.

[00:11:04] That’s a great reminder that the pause that this virus is giving us is really bringing us back to basics and allowing, I think, creating a space for all of us to be more creative, to be more mindful and to go back to what we can control, right?

Rose: [00:11:27] Yeah, totally. Yeah. And except that we can’t control a lot of it either. And I think that’s just… That’s OK. There is uncertainty and we can live in the uncertainty and it’s OK.

Andrea: [00:11:42] Yeah. Thank you. Thank you, Rose, for joining us today. I wish you the best. I know that you’re doing the world is so important, especially in the times that we’re living, so I’m really grateful for you making the time to jump on this call with me, OK?

Rose: [00:11:56] And I’m grateful for you and all the work you’re doing. So thank you for inviting me.

Andrea: [00:12:01] Thank you. Thank you.

[00:12:02] Huge virtual hug.

Rose: [00:12:04] Yes. You can always hug yourself.

Mentioned in this interview

The Art Yoga Project

Hoberman sphere

Where to find Rose


By Andrea Bahamondes

Andrea is the Co-founder and Head Coach of Bloom. She’s a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. Co-founded her first business at 26 and turned it into an $8-million-a-year company. She’s dedicated to studying personal transformation, emotional intelligence, diversity, sustainability, and spirituality.

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