Let’s face it: sometimes yoga is expensive. When I was living in New York City, I would generally pay $10-20 per class. This is not just a New York price; this is the going rate for yoga classes. If you want a private lesson, yoga can get up to about $150 per hour. Some instructors charge a dollar per minute for an individual session. Here in Quincy, Illinois (in the middle of the corn fields), yoga can still be about the same price.
Some of us are passionate about yoga, but don’t necessarily have the finances to splurge on an expensive education. So, I have come up with some tips to help you get your yoga on a budget:
1. Be a Karmi
When I was in New York, I volunteered as a karmi at Om Factory and Shambala Yoga Studio. Being a karmi means working in exchange for free yoga classes. I checked in yoga students and cleaned yoga mats and the studio. It’s a great way to meet other yoga students and get experience.
2. Volunteer at a Festival
Ask about being a volunteer at a festival or conference in exchange for yoga. There were about twenty to thirty people volunteering at the Wanderlust Oahu festival I attended recently. I asked about volunteering and they let me know you could get a day pass in exchange for being a volunteer. Next year!
3. Yoga Doesn’t Have to Be Designer
You don’t have to wear the latest lululemon yoga wear to practice yoga. You may want the look on the cover of Yoga Journal, but I don’t think this should be the focus or even necessary. Some budget yoga pants can be found at stores like Kohl’s or Old Navy for around $30. Who needs yoga shoes either when we do it barefoot anyways?
4. Get a Yoga Passbook
In larger cities – including New York, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles – you can purchase a yoga passbook for under a hundred dollars. These passbooks give you a bevy of yoga coupons. Click this link for more info.
5. Find Local Yoga Workshops
If you can’t afford to attend the next Yoga Journal conference or Wanderlust festival, go local. You can find some really great local yoga workshops in your area that cost much less than an arm and a leg. I attended the Iowa City Yoga Festival last October just on a day pass and it was a blast. There were some amazing yoga teachers there including Sadie Nardini, since she’s originally from there. I made some great connections, too. MC Yogi will be performing at this festival this year, so you might want to venture to Iowa if you can.
6. Find Specials
Look for specials, promotions or first class free offers. Sometimes yoga studios or gyms will offer specials or first class free promotions. The local Quincy Kroc Center here in Quincy, Illinois, has a scholarship fund available for those who are struggling with the monthly fee. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
7. Trade Your Skills
If you have a skill or can provide a service, find a local yoga teacher willing to trade some yoga classes. You’d be surprised how willing people are to trade out services. As a yoga teacher myself, I actually trade a lot when it makes sense. I don’t know why we don’t do more of this in this world. It’s a great way to exchange.
8. Do What You Love
If you’re a diehard yogi, become a yoga teacher. It’s the best decision I ever made. As a yoga teacher, you learn more about your practice, get to help others with theirs, have a rewarding career, and do more of what you love. I get paid to practice and teach yoga. Now that is a dream job to me.
9. Yoga at Home
Still can’t afford yoga? Try following our Awake & Evolve practice here on Breaking Muscle or pick up a yoga DVD that you can practice at home. I had a Shiva Rea DVD when I was in high school cost me less than $20 at that time. All you need is a DVD player or an Internet connection. Also, Deepak Chopra offers a free 21-day meditation challenge every so often.
10. Set an Intention
I believe one of the most important aspects about furthering your practice is setting an intention to do so. For those of you who don’t connect to that word, try goal setting. You set your intention and you’ll be amazed at what follows. If you believe you can’t afford yoga, you won’t be able to. I have found some very creative ways to afford yoga even in one of the most expensive places to live, so I know where there is a will, there is a way. If you want to further your yoga practice, you will.
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.