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.
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.Buy special deck cleaning fluids Click To Tweet
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?