Broke Yoga Tips – for when you can’t afford the pretty things

broke yoga tips for doing yoga when you are poor

Emmi’s yoga tips for when you’re broke and can’t afford the classes, the mountains of lycra or the £100 yoga wheel.

Yoga, the spiritual path known now for skinny women on insta-worthy mountainside retreats wearing expensive lycra, has its roots in a practice that has developed over 5,000 years. It balances mind and body with meditation and strength and flexibility exercises.

I am not in a position to speak with confidence about the great traditions and history of yoga.

But I can tell you that you don’t need the skinny body, the mountainside or the money.

You don’t need much, really, to start yoga. Whether you want to increase your flexibility (like me), deal with some back pain (also me), lose a few pounds (well, I wouldn’t mind) or calm a storm in your mind (who wouldn’t?) yoga is as good a place as any to start.

Step One: Get in the Flow

Don’t worry about standing on your head or getting your spine to form a perfect circle. Not yet, anyway. And definitely don’t get yourself in a flap about that £100 yoga wheel that was the first thing that popped up when you typed ‘yoga kit’ into Google.

As with all exercise regimes, the first and most important thing is to make sure you are safe and comfortable. Make sure you have a space to practise in and clothes that aren’t restrictive. If you are at home, feel free to do it in your underwear or your hot-chocolate stained pyjamas if that’s what you can move in. I won’t judge.

Yoga is essentially a series of poses called asanas that you do in a sequence, often referred to as a flow. Each pose has its own name. Or two – the original Sanskrit and a translation in your native language. Corpse pose (not as morbid as it sounds) can also be referred to as savasana, and different practitioners might use one or both names.

Do You Yoga videos on YouTube

If you’re just starting, you can get pretty far just typing ‘yoga for beginners’ into YouTube. This was the first yoga routine that had me thinking ‘yes! I can do this’. I still fall back on it now when I cannot think of what to do in the evenings. Do You Yoga have lots of different videos on their channel, ranging from yoga for beginners to evening sequences and even yoga for those chained to desks during the day.

Yogi Surprise sequence cards

If you can’t focus on a video as you stretch, Yogi Surprise has these cute little sequence cards available. A nice printed version comes in their monthly boxes and you can download them as PDFs for free from their site.

Yogi Surprise sequence cards

I’ve loaded mine onto my Kindle for easy access, but I think they’d make a nice addition to my planner if I were to size them right and punch holes. And if you’ve got a little cash to spare or a loved one is looking for birthday present ideas, their boxes are a cool way to dip your toes in the world of yoga-related products.

Step Two: Yoga Kit Optional

You can keep going at it in those hot-chocolate stained pyjamas until you are sitting on your own head if you like, but at some point you might want to invest in a few bits and bobs.

I practised on my playroom rug for weeks until I came across a yoga mat in a sale and snapped it up. I have to say it improved the experience immensely.

Other toys I have acquired include:

  • yoga socks – toe socks with grips on the soles, for practising without a mat on slippery hard floors
  • a yoga block – for supporting poses that you aren’t quite reaching
  • a yoga mat bag – handy for keeping your mat in and lugging it around if you want to try a class
  • several sets of workout tops and yoga pants.

Aside from the bag which was a birthday present, I have never paid full price for any of my yoga gear. And I built it up over time.

The great thing about a fitness trend that is so fashionable is that brightly coloured mats, pants and accessories are frequently joined in the stores by new styles. And the better thing is that the ‘older’ styles are then reduced in price to get rid of them and make space. If you aren’t fussy about prints and colours, you can cheaply collect anything you like to support your practice.

I’m on the lookout for a cheap yoga strap next, though I am still lusting over that £100 yoga wheel…

Step Three: Om!

There are many different ‘paths’ of yoga. Some tinkering and exploring through different methods can help you find ‘your’ preferred yoga style.


Whether you search out classes (which can be pricy, or cheap, check it out), master YouTube’s finest (there’s always new stuff available) or string together whatever ‘feels’ right on any given day (guilty as charged), yoga is waiting for you.

Need more? Search for ‘yoga’ or a more specific term on:

  • Pinterest (great for infographics)
  • YouTube (great step by step videos – and there are lots of yoga videos for different body types and health conditions too)
  • Yoga blogs (often full of stories of personal improvement)
  • Regional health websites (like the NHS guide to yoga)

Out of ideas? Try searching for:

  • Yoga for back pain
  • Yoga for sleep
  • Inversion yoga
  • Yoga for men
  • Yoga for pregnant people

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