Probably one of the questions I get asked the most often, when it comes to yoga at least. It’s no secret that I practice yoga a lot ( #everydayiyoga ) and often I think the assumption is that I’m probably rich (ok, maybe just crazy) to be able to afford to go to the studio so often. But the truth is I’m not rich at all, crazy probably a little.
- Check out your local studios, and see what their “first timer” or “intro” packages are like. Often studios will offer your first class free maybe a super cheap first week or even month. You could “shop” around and try the into package out at a few studios, getting in as much budget friendly yoga as you can and maybe finding a studio you love in the process.
- If you live in a big city, the Passpost to Prana is a must. This pass is only $30 and it allows you to visit each of the participating studios in your area one time out of the year. So really it’s $30 for how every many classes as there are participating studios. And you can renew your passport once a year.
- Check local studios for Karma or Community classes, they might be called something different in your area. These classes are usually a “pay what you can” sorta deal (again you’d have to check the details of each studio), and the money usually goes straight to charity. Basically these classes are a great way to get in a once a week class, they are usually a lot busier then a normal class but that can add a lot to your practice as well.
- The studio I go to, which is a franchise and they have studios all over North America. They offer an auto renewal program, which is basically like a membership program. They charge me every month for the same rate and I can go to unlimited classes, which is 1/4 of the reason why I go soo often (the other 3/4 is that I’m hooked and I love practicing in the hot room) – I make it worth it.
- I personally think studio > gym when it comes to yoga classes, but I’m sure this isn’t always the case. Maybe your local gym has a really affordable pass and they offer great classes, most definitely worth a look into.
- Once you find a studio and maybe have used up all the above options or you don’t have all these options available. Many studios offer an energy trade program, which basically is you working a few hours a week in the studio and are paid in yoga classes. Always worth a chat with the studio manager or owner about this option if you have a little bit of time to give.
- Buy yourself a video or two. This can be affordable if you find one that you totally love and then use often, but often it’s not exciting to keep doing the same dvd over and over and over. I have heard really great things about The Ultimate Yogi, if you have P90X the yoga dvd is pretty great, or the dvd offerings from Moksha/Moda.
- Membership websites, there are a few and most cost around $9-$20 per month for unlimited videos that are updated daily and taught by some amazing teachers you might otherwise not have gotten a chance to practice with. MyYogaOnline.com and YogaGlo.com are probably the best of the bunch.
- There’s an app for that. SO many apps, that you can get for your phone or tablet and practice along with. My favorite apps for a great yoga practice are: Yogify (there are some great free practices that come with the free app), MyYogaOnline (this is if you pay the $9/month membership fee), Yoga Studio (this one is $2.99), Yoga.com ($4.99, personally I haven’t tired this one but have heard good reviews).
As for finding time to practice? I’d say listen to Tim Gunn and “make it work”, waking up extra early or turning the tv off extra early before bed are probably my favorite practice times – well other than practicing along side Harlow in the day time sun, that is awesome in so many other ways.
I personally think that no matter if you are just starting out or you practice at home often, making sure to fit in a studio practice even once a week or once a month at the very least is extremely important in building a strong and safe practice. Videos and apps are really great, but unless you are a yoga teacher yourself or have a really strong practice already there is only so many alignment cues and breathe work you can pick up by studying a screen. Not to mention the whole community aspect of yoga, and videos and apps often focus on asana and some pranayama which leaves out the other 6 limbs of yoga. Really the benefits that come from a regular studio practice are extensive, so even if it’s sparatic that you do go, you’ll reap the benefits. As as the other hand it’s equally as important to have a bit of a home practice – for someone who mostly practices in a studio, a home practices teaches so much. I mean it ain’t easy to focus on your practice when the tv and computer are right there and maybe kids are running around – lot’s of focus and discipline required!
Do you have any tips or ways to make yoga more affordable? Maybe a video or an app to add to this list?
Or check out these other posts if you are interested in talking about yoga clothes and gear, how to start doing yoga, make your home practice a priority or trying hot yoga for the first time. And a quick guide to all my posts about yoga.