15 dominant struggles that aspiring yogic-minimalists meet

 In Be Your Own Therapist, Reflect Now!, Yogic Minimalism

Yogic Minimalism is a concept that helps you finding the essence of your efforts and practices and integrate that into your daily life. It's about simplifying. You will train your ability to feel, ask yourself the right questions, to see your own patterns and to find your optimal balance. This concept is based on yogic mindfulness where we:

  • Mind our body
  • Mind our breath
  • Mind our mind
  • Mind our food
  • Mind our speech

Oversimplification doesn't work here. You need to go through complexity, to find simplicity. The work needs to be done. Every day. Using tools like asana, the breath, mantra, meditation, reflection, study...

These practices are minimal. It's about finding richness by deleting distraction and unnecessary chunks that covers up true nature. What does not align, is being removed. What is removed creates space to breathe. You will feel expansion in your journey towards optimal balance and health (a state of Svastha) and becoming your own therapist while integrating this concept in your own life.

yogic minimalism

‘Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler‘ Einstein


1. I don't know where to begin. I feel overwhelmed by the idea of simplifying my (yogic) life, feeling too busy to begin or just unsure where to literally start.

2. I am afraid of feeling a lazy yogi/ less dedicated yogi if I practice a shorter/ less intensive asana practice. Someone may told you that you have to practice every day for xxx amount of minutes, otherwise it doesn't make sense to practice at all. 

3. Everything is important, I cannot choose what to remove from my practice. I don't feel what is essential. I have no-one to reflect with. 

4. Eating real food daily. It takes more time to prepare and is often more expensive than junk food/ fast food. Stick with the vegan/ vegetarian diet. Although it's not necessary to commit to a vegan or vegetarian diet, the struggle lies is sticking with the diet of choice. Reflect on your diet, make a choice that lead to your optimal balance, and stick with it. 

5. Convincing a spouse of the benefits of simpler living. A partner that is either not supportive, not really understanding, or who is tightly holding onto their own (materialist) ideas and clutter. Physical or mind clutter. Patterns of overly speaking or gossip belongs to this category.

6. Getting rid of gifts, or (expensive) (yogic) items #1. Feeling guilt at giving away items someone else spent time or money on, as well as feeling regret at having spent a lot of money on things you now never use. 

7. Getting rid of gifts, or (expensive) (yogic) items #2. When you give things away, did you ever consider to give away your most beautiful: trousers/ shirt/ bag/ yogamat..? 

8. Being able to be in a shop and not feel the desire to buy things you don't need. Reflect on your relationship with shopping as a stress relief or emotional escape. Remove pretty and yet useless items from your basket before paying like overpriced leggings or books you don't read (because there is still a pile of 6 unread books before this one). 

9. Accepting the fact that walking more slow, means getting somewhere too late. Accepting the fact that walking barefoot in the city, will make people look over their shoulder at you as if you were crazy. 

Everything is important, I cannot choose what to remove from my practice.

[Think out of the box, experiment and feel: How does it feel to practice asana off your mat?]

10. Letting go of a sentimental object, being afraid of losing the associated memory. How can we decide what is really important and what not? Is this memory supporting the feeling of Svastha (optimal health)?

11. Keeping things 'just in case'. Worrying that we will get rid of something and then suddenly need it. Wanting to keep multiples of something believing it will make life easier in the long-run.

12. Struggling to re-locate items, for sale or donation. People either don't show up to buy things, or they just don't sell. Or, you struggle to set aside time to physically remove the items from the home.

13. Having less to choose from. Removing means you will have less options to choose from each day and so you worry that you might feel bored or limited by what you still have.

14. Teaching our children about having less. We can actively work on our personal relationship to stuff but trying to help our kids de-clutter or feel less desire to things, could be a bit more difficult. [This could also be a great support in the struggle. Kids 'get' it perhaps more easily than you expected.]

15. There are all the usual obstacles we have to overcome when embracing a more yogic minimalistic life, from worry about your level of dedication to consuming less, to letting go of things. And, we can also feel limited by those around us, and the dominant ideologies by which they — and our society — living a consuming life.


Ganesh Mohan shared in his interview here recently:

'Patanjali never mentioned a yoga mat or yoga studio!’

Can you live without? And practice within?

I would like to hear from you

Do you ever struggle when making changes in your life? Do you wish to simplify and declutter and meeting these or other difficulties on your way? You are invited to share your biggest challenges when seeking your personal balance and optimal health, below in a comment. I'd love to talk with you...



hi, i am Anneke

You are your own therapist, and I am here to support you!

As a sustainable life philosophy for health and wellbeing, yoga and meditation offers great tools.

I hope to inspire you improving your habits, find a state of optimal balance and live your happiest and healthiest life!


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  • Lauren Tober says:

    My hardest one is number 11 – Keeping things ‘just in case’. But now that I’m getting better at this, my kids go through my piles of things to give away and they unpack it to keep for themselves!

    • Anneke Sips says:

      I know… it can be difficult. My girl (6) has a hard time saying goodbye to things. I created now: ‘give away’ and ‘sell’ baskets and slowly over time we collect things in there. If I do it more quick, she is upset and unpacks all that I had set apart to remove from the house..!

  • Andrea says:

    Such a great post Anneke! Inspiring me to try a bit of minimalism, starting with #8! So many pretty leggings…

  • Celine says:

    I notice when I simplify I feel much more geplunderd at forst and then afterwards deel more empty and complicatie things again. This might be worth questionning and journaling about for me..,

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