Today’s blog post is actually a guest post, courtesy of Victoria Klein, author of the new book 27 Things to Know About Yoga (Good Things to Know) She wants to help people like you and me who like to do yoga but don’t want to pay a lot for it. (I know that my doing yoga poses on my Wii Fit helps to keep me limber but it definitely doesn’t replace doing “real” yoga. But, hey, it’s free!) Anyway, Victoria has some great ideas on how to do budget-friendly yoga. In fact, she has 7 ideas. Here they are (after her introduction):
Sticker-shock alert! One yoga class can range from $10–$18. If you visit your favorite yoga studio three times a week, that’s $120–$216 a month. Financial limitations are known to be one of the top reasons hundreds of thousands of people can’t or don’t practice yoga on a regular basis.
Nothing can stand in your way of practicing yoga & here’s the proof: 7 effective ways to help overcome all those dollar signs. Yoga’s butt-lifting, ab-firming, sanity-saving, soul-lifting benefits can now be yours.
1) Buy class packages: Almost every yoga studio offers their students class passes in which a set of five to twenty classes is paid for at once. Those admissions are credited to your name, and you can use them over a certain amount of time (usually three to six months). Depending on the pass you buy, you can save $2–$7 per class!
Some studios also offer an introductory deal of three classes at a dramatically reduced price for new students. These passes must be redeemed within a very short time frame (often two weeks) but are a fantastic way to try a few different teachers at one studio for a low financial commitment.
2) Community classes: Scan local yoga studio schedules for “community classes,” which are offered at a lower per-class rate, usually occurring once or twice a week.
3) Students, teachers, and seniors: Call yoga studios and ask if they offer discounts for local teachers, students, or senior citizens. Many do! You’ll need to present an ID proving your claim, in turn saving you $2–$5 per class.
4) Pay by donation: A new trend in yoga studios has emerged, with establishments all over the country offering some (or all) of their classes on a donation basis. You simply pay what you can, but the differences end there—all classes are still taught by certified teachers. If you can afford to pay $10–$15 per class then do so, but if you need to cut back one week, you can pay $5 for a while, increasing that amount when your finances improve.
5) Volunteer exchange: Cleaning, organizing, checking students in for classes, answering e-mails—a yoga studio is a business like any other. They need help to keep their place running smoothly, and you may be just what they’re looking for. Ask the manager of your local studio if they offer yoga classes in exchange for volunteer help. Mention any particular talents or formal experience you have (writing, graphic design, accounting … etc.), and your offer will seem all the more tantalizing.
6) Other local outlets: A yoga studio isn’t the only place to take yoga classes . . . but you knew that, right? Have a gym membership? Check the class schedule. There’s a very good chance the gym offers yoga classes that are included in your regular fee.
Have cable or satellite TV? Many providers offer free on-demand channels, with some including yoga classes. Check with your local TV provider for fitness-related programs or channels available.
Look into adult education programs offered by your local school system or nearby colleges. Weekly yoga classes of different levels may be available for a very affordable price, lasting six to eight weeks. Most lululemon stores offer a free weekly sixty-minute yoga class, often on Saturday or Sunday. Check your local library or community center; many offer affordable yoga classes too.
7) At-home helpers: Once you have a solid understanding of alignment, take advantage of all the benefits of practicing yoga at home. Countless DVDs, podcasts, and Web sites offer classes that are just like the ones you adore at the yoga studio. A few to start with: Yoga Today, Yoga Journal TV, My Yoga Online, Gaiam Yoga Club, and Yoga Glo.
8) Embrace Yoga Day: Presented by the Yoga Alliance, Yoga Day USA is a one-day annual event when yoga studios across the country offer their classes or special workshops for free! Also check out Yoga Month (usually September of each year), run by the Yoga Health Foundation & featuring similar benefits & events.
Excerpted from 27 Things to Know About Yoga by Victoria Klein ©2010 by Victoria Klein. Used with permission from Turner Publishing & author Victoria Klein.