Why Are Yoga Peeps So Broke? ~ Sergio DiazGranados

Via elephant journal
on Sep 30, 2011
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Photo: John Paul Aguiar

A Closer Look At Why Many In the Yoga Community Have No Money.

Growing up, I had a hard time with money. My parents were divorced and I was left with my mom, who could barely figure things out and had very little education. My grandparents were always stressed about money. All I’d heard my entire life was how we could never do or buy anything because we didn’t have the money. It was an eerie mantra that my entire family was obsessed with saying over and over again: “I don’t have any money.” Sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy, no?

Photo: Bruce Allen

Fast-forward a few years and in my early teens, I became quite the entrepreneur. OK, to be clear, I sold pot. But I was really good at it and I took the money I made (I never dipped!) and invested it into events — and later, a magazine. Long story short, I swore to myself that I didn’t want to be broke anymore; I made the magic happen, took myself out of the self-fulfilling prophecy and perpetual state of financial fear, while doing what I loved.

This had nothing to do with world domination or filling some void in my life with money. I’ve definitely avoided the “more disease” that plagues most of the people on this planet. Mainly, I just wanted the freedom to come and go as I pleased. If I wanted some sushi, I wanted to buy it and not stress that I just threw down $30 – $40. If I got invited to go snowboarding or on a vacation, I wanted to be able to do that and not worry about money.

Fortunately, as I established myself and learned how to hustle in this world, I was able to transmute this fear of “lack of money” that my family passed onto me. After leaving the DJ music scene, I started to work in the LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) and in the yoga community. What I noticed right away was that many conscious yoga peeps have this same belief structure or approach to their finances that my family has.

I think most of us would agree that we don’t need a lot of money. In fact, most of my friends would say a solid $40,000 – $50,000 after taxes would be plenty to live a good life. Yet so many are barely getting by; so many wonderful people with amazing ideas and intentions barely have enough to eat, let alone fork over cash for a monthly yoga membership. I have a friend who will trade eating properly on a regular basis for taking yoga. Is this the way we should be living?

It saddens me that so many wonderful people who would do positive things with their money have none. It became clear to me that the reason why so many in the LOHAS movement have no money is because most of us grew up equating people with money as total assholes. We see people who are financially rich on the outside — but poor on the inside — and they use their money in negative ways. We grew up seeing this and subconsciously created a negative belief system around money. We saw having money as being a bad person.

For many, to be conscious means to renounce all material things and be poor. I say screw that; you can be conscious and spiritual and still have money. It’s not about the “what”, it’s more about the “how”. From my perspective, how one uses their money determines their outcome. You can still be conscious, live simply, tread lightly and still have money.

If you are one of these people who have established a negative belief system around money, then you’re doing everyone a huge disservice. For the time being, until we can get our act together as a planet and live on a more resource-based economy or some alternative/sustainable exchange system, money is the way the world turns. By instituting a belief system that says “money is bad”, it doesn’t do anyone any good. 

Let’s look at this closely:

Photo: Jailbird Designs

A. If you have lots of money, then you’ll buy sustainable products, support charities, buy a membership to elephant journal and support projects that will create more joy and positive outcomes in the world.


B. By having a negative belief system around money and not having any, you allow others to have more access to it to fund wars, build more yachts and private jets and spend it on totally frivolous items or services. Even worse, you come to elephant journal for your three free articles and then have to wait until the next day because you can’t afford a few bucks a month.

In many ways, we’re at war. That war is no longer just being fought with weaponry. It’s being fought with money that is a symbol for energy. Take a close look at your belief systems and ask yourself this very important question: what must I believe to be true about money and abundance that keeps me from obtaining what I want and deserve in life?

Please leave your response in the comments area, as I would love to know what belief you have about money that is holding you back from creating true abundance.


As the founder of Yoga Training Guide, the most comprehensive guide to yoga teacher training, Sergio DiazGranados is dedicated to supporting students along their path of becoming a yoga teacher.  He recently launched an annual yoga teacher training scholarship program, where you can win one free teacher training.





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5 Responses to “Why Are Yoga Peeps So Broke? ~ Sergio DiazGranados”

  1. Jade Doherty says:

    I really enjoyed this, especially the part about selling pot!

    It does seem like there's some unwritten rule that yoga teachers/healers/etc can't make money. That the choice is do something you like and be poor, or sell your soul and be rich.

  2. Kim says:

    I found your article to be quite insightful. Growing up in a family that continually stressed about money because there was never enough conditioned me to have the same mindset for a very long time. I finally came to understand that was self defeating. I now know that what ever true need arises there will be the means to solve it. Also as I go along I try to give to others in need, whether monetary, spiritual or physically stepping up.
    I completely agree with you that its not the "what" but the "how" you use your money that determines your outcome.
    Great article.

  3. Heather says:

    This article resonates with me on so many levels. I have had such a hard time with money ever since I could remember. I think for me it not only has to do with how others have used it. But I grew up with such a fear of not knowing what to do with my life that I think in the back of my mind I am always worried if I would end out on the streets if I could never figure it out. You are right, "how" plays such a big role in the effect money has and I have only seen negative things done with it. Either used for negative reasons or because I have feared not having enough to make ends meet.

  4. megann says:

    Great article, and very easily relatable! It always baffled me growing up to hear my mother and other adults complain constantly that they didn't have enough money; yet there was always enough food, a place to live, clothes and a car. So, so much stress around the issue seemed unnecessary to me and I always told myself that when I was grown up I would always have enough money, and guess what, I always have! I believe that because I have always been appreciative and even happy about any bit of money I did have, instead of building the "negative belief system " that there was never enough, I respected completely whatever I had, and with this attitude "whatever I had" seemed to get bigger the farther I ran with my mantra.

  5. megann says:

    (continued) I learned a lot of my money practices from an old man on disability who has all his bills/food/housing paid for by the state, and even if it is the end of the month and it means he won't eat for 3 days, lends away his last ten dollars to a friend more in need. He always told me, "there will always be more money in the world," and I've found these words to be so true. So I spend money like I have it and have always lent/given what I can because money is never the problem; greed, selfishness, and the theory that there is "never enough" is what leads to all the negative issues (jmo!).