Are expensive yoga classes holding you back from regular practice? At $15-$20 a pop, quality classes can really add up. Here are some ways to save money and make sure you are getting your recommended daily allowance of yoga.
1. Seek Out Inexpensive Classes
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Many yoga studios offer community classes at a discounted rate. These classes are often at off-peak hours, so you will need a flexible schedule for this one. Community centers, university extension programs, YMCAs and gyms are also places where yoga may be offered for less. The quality of the teaching will vary quite a bit, so it's best to go with a teacher you already know, or at least make sure the teacher is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with the Yoga Alliance. In warm weather, it gets easier to find free yoga classes in parks and other outdoor spaces. Donation-based studios are also becoming more prevalent in cities. Do a Google search to find one near you.
2. Buy Classes in BulkBy committing to a class card good for 10 or 20 yoga classes, you can save some real money. Most studios offer a substantial discount on class cards, which can bring the price of a class down to as low as $10. You will need to have the money up-front for the class card, and be a regular student to ensure that you attend all the classes you have paid for before your card expires.
3. Invest in Your Own Yoga Mat and Water Bottle
Two dollars for a mat and a dollar for bottled water may not seem like a lot, but it will quickly add up over time. With yoga mats
available for purchase for a little as $20, it doesn’t take a math whiz to figure out how many rentals it takes to equal your very own mat (uh, 10?), which, by the way, will also be a lot cleaner than a communal studio mat. And carrying your own water from home not only saves money, but helps reduce waste too.
4. Do Karma Yoga
The truly broke, such as students and the unemployed, need yoga too! Those with flexible schedules (i.e., more time than money) can often trade work for classes at yoga studios, especially if they have been regulars in the past. This type of work, called karma yoga
, may include simple cleaning, front desk work, carpentry, publicity, or graphic design, so you might even get something for your resume out of it. Don't be shy about asking your studio if they do karma yoga; many studios are more than happy to trade classes for services they value.
5. Practice at Home
Doing yoga at home
along with a video or audio download is definitely more cost-effective than attending classes, though the trade-offs are boredom and missing out on the advice of a teacher. You can even find free yoga videos and audio on the web (search "free yoga"). If you go this route, try to treat yourself to a class every few weeks to keep yourself inspired and on the right track.