Follow These 3 Yoga Principles to Get Out of Debt

What on Earth does yoga have to do with getting out of debt?
When I first tried yoga, I never would’ve imagined that yoga had anything in common with paying off debt. But the more often I practice yoga, the more I’ve realized that many of the same principles that apply to yoga can also be applied to digging yourself out of debt.

Here are 3 yoga principles that you can use to get out of debt:


1. Dharana

In Sanskrit, Dharana means concentration and focus. In yoga, Dharana is the practice of maintaining a single-pointed focus – whether you’re in a specific pose, meditating, etc. This concept of deep concentration can also be applied to paying off your debt.
Paying off debt requires an entire shift in your mindset – it becomes an act of staying focused on the end goal and concentrating on the steps you need to take to become debt-free. Just as you can practice Dharana in a balancing yoga pose, you can practice it when it comes to getting out of debt.

2. Samtosha

Samtosha (contentment) means being content with what we have and not coveting the possessions of others. When you first start doing yoga, practicing Samtosha can certainly be a challenge. As a beginner, you may feel tempted to compare yourself to another yogi in a particular pose, but Samtosha teaches us to be happy with what we have rather than longing for what we don’t.
This principle of contentment can also be applied to getting out of debt. It’s tough to see others traveling and spending money freely while you pinch pennies and work hard to pay off your debt. If we’re content with what we have (instead of comparing our possessions or our lives to others), we can successfully pay off debt and achieve financial peace.

3. Daya

Daya, in Sanskrit, means to be compassionate, which includes having compassion for yourself.
Yoga reminds us that every BODY is different. Certain poses are more challenging for certain people. When you struggle with a specific pose, it doesn’t mean you’re weak or inflexible. In yoga, it’s always best to honor your body by practicing compassion and self-acceptance.
The principle of Daya can likewise be applied to tackling debt. Getting out of debt will be uncomfortable – there’s no doubt about that – but we all have our limits and it should not be painful.
And no, that doesn’t mean you should stop paying off your debt – it simply means if you’re working 100 hours a week and your health is starting to suffer, stop. If you’re taking frugality to an extreme and you feel burnt out, stop. Pain is simply your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and something needs to change.


A Final Note

When I first started doing yoga, I never would have imagined that yoga has anything to do with paying off debt! Yet the more I practiced yoga, the more I realized that many yoga principles – including Dharana, Samtosha, and Daya – can be applied to tackling debt.
You can shift your approach and still pay off debt. It might take a little longer or you may need to make some sacrifices in other areas. Every situation is different. Do what works for you. Remember that yoga isn’t over when you step off the mat. The principles that you learn from your yoga practice can benefit you outside of class as well.

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Jen Hayes

Jen Hayes is a frugal lifestyle blogger and freelance writer. She is passionate about helping fellow millennials to lead healthier lives — financially, physically and mentally. Jen is currently on a journey toward shedding 50 pounds and $117,000 of student loan debt by 2018. You can find her blogging at

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