EST. May 2000 (AD)


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Seven Step Budget Yoga

By Naomi Short

We've heard a lot recently about the health benefits of yoga, and really, who wouldn't want to take up a exercise regime that doesn't involve teamwork or being out of breath, and dedicates a chunk of time to lying around with your eyes closed? Unfortunately, the cost of classes can be prohibitive to some. Here at Happy Woman we believe in equality for all, so read on to find out how you can reap the benefits of this ancient practice without having to cut back on your kids' lunch money.

You will need:


Step 1

Capture the family pet and close the door to prevent it from escaping.

Step 2

Smear white school glue over the soles of your feet. Yoga students normally use a special 'sticky' mat, but the glue will work just as well and cost a lot less (free, if you get your kids to steal it from their school).

Step 3

Stand in your clear patch of floor. Your feet a little bit apart, arms by your sides. This is the most basic yoga pose. Hold for five minutes to calm your nerves.

Step 4

Observe the family pet. Imitate its postures as best you can for about 10 minutes.

Step 5

Stand with your feet wide apart facing forwards. Place your thick book by your right ankle. Stretch your arms out to the sides, then lean over to put your right hand on top of the book. Hold. Do the same for your left side. Alternate repeatedly for 10 minutes. As you progress you can stretch individual arms and legs in different directions to make more innovative poses. Don't worry about doing anything wrong, there are so many different styles of yoga that whatever you do will exist somewhere in somebody's teachings.

Step 6

Standing with your back against the wall, stand on one leg and stretch up to be the best tree that you can. Hold for a minute or so while you contemplate your 'roots' (your history), your 'trunk' (your strengths), your 'branches' (your direction), and your 'foliage' (your appearance). Stand on the other leg and repeat.

Step 7

To conclude your yoga workout you must do the 'corpse pose'. This is where you lie around and do nothing, don't even think, rather like dead people really. So, let the family pet out of the room, dim the lights and lie down with a cushion under your head. Stay there for 30 minutes.

You're done!

Try to do your routine twice a week and you should start to feel the benefits immediately. Capture other neighbourhood pets for a variety of inspiration, and if you get a weird rash on your feet check that your glue is non-toxic. Enjoy!

© 2004 Naomi Short


Currently a research scientist who has to write stuffy technical papers, Naomi is trying her hand at writing more light hearted things.