5 Budget-Friendly Yoga Tips for a More Affordable Practice

Keep your yoga practice affordable with these budget-friendly yoga tips…

One of the great things about yoga is that it can be done just about anywhere and you don’t need a lot of special equipment. Still, if you’re taking regular classes several times a week, it can add up – especially if you add in the cost of trendy yoga apparel, props, and a high-quality yoga mat. That said, lack of money shouldn’t keep you from enjoying the numerous physical and mental benefits of yoga, and there are plenty of ways to maintain a budget-friendly yoga practice.

If you’re on a tight budget, here are 5 financially savvy tips for enjoying a more affordable yoga practice:

  1. Think small: It’s really important to find a teacher and studio that resonate with you. Let me repeat: that resonate with you. Let go of the idea that you have to follow the crowds and go to a posh, pricey studio with infrared saunas in the locker rooms. With a little research, you can find a small studio that has more affordable classes, where you feel part of a community of like-minded people, and where you can practice in a way that works best not only for your body and breath but your budget as well. Plus, I’ve found that smaller studios are often more likely to offer donation-based or “pay-what-you-can” options as well as senior citizen and student discounts.
  2. Turn it on: It’s no news flash that online yoga classes are plentiful. In addition to making it possible for you to practice from the comfort of your own home and in accordance with your schedule, online classes also tend to be less expensive than studio classes. While they may not be a replacement for the in-person class experience—which provides community and the energy the other students bring to it, along with an instructor who can offer personal adjustments—online yoga can provide supplementary instruction to support your practice… (Be sure to check out our free yoga workouts here every week for a budget-friendly yoga class alternative!)
  3. Take it off: Those sky-high priced yoga pants might make your glutes appear a bit tighter than they really are, but yoga is about truth. So let’s get to it and strip down to what’s real… Remember, all you really need for practice is something comfortable and sufficiently fitted to allow your teacher to help with adjustments by seeing where your body is… Here’s your reminder that it’s not necessary to look like a yoga model in order to gain what you need from the practice. Letting go of the commercial yoga look will not only save you some green but also begin to foster that feeling of appreciation for the beauty of your full Self that comes from within—versus the temporary confidence you may gain from sporting costly threads.
  4. Find your soul-mat: Making it to the mat is the key to developing a practice, of course, but first, you have to have a mat! Some studios may provide them, sometimes for an additional fee, but studio mat rentals can add up quickly, and if you choose a studio that doesn’t include the use of its mats in the cost of the class, you may be better off purchasing your own. The choices of brands, colors, materials, and even shapes of mats are abundant, but you don’t have to invest in the most expensive mat to find good quality; just be sure to choose one that will keep you from slipping in a size that works for you… You may have better luck finding a good deal on a mat online…, but be sure to double-check online retailers’ return policies before ordering so you won’t be stuck with a mat that isn’t right for you. If you’re purchasing from a brick and mortar store or studio, ask to try before you buy. Remember to do a few down dogs, cat/cows, and standing poses on a mat (to ensure it’s not too slippery, squishy, or thin for you) before you commit to owning it. Once you have your own mat, take good care of it: keep it clean (try this DIY mat spray), keep it in a safe place at home, away from clawing kitties, and store it and transport it in a bag that protects it from damage, and don’t leave it baking in the sun in a hot car. If you take care of it, it will last longer…
  5. It pays to ask: If you’ve found a studio that resonates with you and you’ve gotten to know the owner or manager, you might present them with an offer to trade services or with a creative idea for enabling community members who can’t afford  the usual class rates to practice at the studio. Present a well-thought-out proposal that honors the needs of the studio (after all, even a yoga studio has to pay the electric bills). Examples: “If I found X number of students to commit to a series of four classes, would it be worth it to you to offer that class at X price per person?” “Do you have an energy exchange program? I have a degree in marketing—would it benefit the studio to have me offer my services in exchange for complimentary classes?” Demonstrating that you are willing to bring something to the table (aka the studio) will prove your heartfelt intention to do well for everyone. A little work off the mat could get you on the mat in a way that doesn’t just preserve your income but also supports a positive outcome for everyone involved.
Find more budget-friendly yoga tips at YogaInternational.com


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