DIY: Simple Backyard Labyrinth

This is the second post in a series discussing the features at the Wellness Workshop.  The first is here.

Today we'll be sharing one of my favorite DIY's to date: a backyard labyrinth!

simple backyard labyrinth

The classical labyrinth pattern has been used from as early as 430BCE on coins and mosaics, and floor labyrinths have been used for walking meditation/prayer since the 11th century.  It's an ancient tradition that I'm glad to be a part of.  I'm also really glad that it was super easy!  I'm definitely not a measure twice, cut once kind of gal, which worked out great in this project.

Materials

  • Labyrinth Pattern found on internet
  • Weed Whacker bought at Home Depot $39
  • Rocks bought at Home Depot $3.97/bag
  • Arms pretty great, thanks Mom for the genes

Photo May 15, 9 08 56 PM

My backyard is relatively flat, and didn't get used for much, because the deck doesn't have stairs - making it more of a one story balcony.  We busted up a pinata in the yard once, but that's it.  I knew I wasn't using any valuable 'real estate'.

Step 1 - Cut the Grass

  • I wanted the path to have good contrast, so I let the grass/weeds grow for about a month so I had almost knee high growth.
  • Referencing the pattern image, which I had up on my phone, I imagined how the path would twist and decided the where the turns would go.
  • Then I just started walking with the weed whacker, sweeping it back and forth like a Russian hay thresher.  PRO TIP: long pants would've been a good a idea, as I got a small gash on my shin from a flying stick!   I'd stop, pull out my phone from my pocket, and get my bearings in the yard every 5-10 steps.
  • When I got to the center, I turned around and walked back out with the whacker on, this time really going at it, making sure I got all vegetation in the path cut right down to the dirt.  This is tough work, so say thank you to your strong arms.

gun show!

Step 2 - Lay the Rocks

  • Bags full of rocks are heavy.  Really damn heavy.  Who knew? Make sure you have these at intervals around your labyrinth, so you don't have to drag them around (like a ... friend I know).
  • Open up the bags, and start divvying up the rocks.  I only had three bags, so I decided to just line one side of the path as an accent.  If I'd had four bags, I could have lined both sides.  I still like it this way, as it ended up having a very Hansel and Gretel bread crumbs feel to it!
  • The bags will have a lot of rock dust at the bottom, so when a bag gets close to empty, just pick it up and empty the contents along your path.

labyrinth ro cks close up

Step 3 - Walk

  • You're done with building your very own labyrinth!  You can now do what I did, and invite 14 of your favorite ladies over to enjoy it, or just savor the meditation on your own.
  • Repeat one phrase or word over to yourself with your breath as you walk in, and then change it to a different one on the walk out.  This evening after work, I said "I am kind to myself," on the walk in, and "I am kind to others" on the walk out.
  • Sing, or listen to a favorite song.  Repetitive ones in the round are particularly great.
  • Think of something internal as you walk inwards (feelings, emotions), and something external as you walk out (surroundings, other people).
  • Just breathe.

At the workshop I appreciated the labyrinth, but I've really fallen in love with it the past few days enjoying it on my own.  I've found it to be a great way to prep myself for transition times, either before work to get mentally ready for the day, or after work to decompress from a stressful time.  Please feel free to come over and walk it whenever you like!

Photo May 10, 7 09 49 PM

much love,

ktk