How To Do Yoga Without Breaking the Bank

During meditation this morning I couldn’t help but notice the sound of several helicopters circling the neighborhood. I thought to myself “there must be something going on!” Then I thought, “Nothing is ever really going on, it’s probably news helicopters doing traffic reports.” After that riveting conversation with myself, I got back to focusing on my breathing and you know, meditating.

I sort of always assume there’s something huge going on. I used to think that every time someone was being pulled over by two cops, it must be because the first cop needed back up and it must be a high speed chase or something equally crazy. It turns out, sometimes they just travel in packs as I’ve had friends get pulled over for two cops just for speeding. Also, San Francisco tends to send multiple cops for all incidences, just as a precaution I think.

It turns out, there were three fires a few blocks away from us this morning, all within a few hours. Thankfully, no one was hurt and I don’t think there was massive damage, but it’s good to know that sometimes my gut is right. My thoughts go out to those that were impacted by the fires and I’m glad that everyone is safe.

So that long story has absolutely nothing to do with what I want to share with you today, but it was just on my mind!

What I DO want to talk to you about is doing yoga affordably. I love yoga and I love doing yoga every day. What I don’t love is paying $15 – $18 drop in fee for yoga every day or shelling out ~$200 a month for a unlimited pass. Doing yoga at home is an obvious solution, but it can be difficult to get started. So, how can you do yoga every day and still save your pennies for a yoga retreat/Lululemon clothing/other yoga luxuries?

Podcasts

There are a ton of yoga podcasts out there. I am partial to Dave Farmar because I love his attitude and his clear instruction (which is helpful when you have no visual) but there are a ton of others out there too. And they’re free!

Yoga Journal Subscription

Yoga Journal isn’t perfect; there have been many discussions in the yoga blog world about some of their more controversial editorial choices. But that aside, it’s still the most comprehensive yoga magazine that’s widely distributed. They offer a full routine and usually one or two shorter routines in every issue. The visuals are helpful to work on alignment.

The Library

I check out a ton of books at the library and some of them have great sequences in them. Once you get the flow down, you can return the book and create a regular practice. The library may even have DVDs. I’ve never checked at my library, but it’s worth a shot.

Donation Based Classes

Many studios offer donation based classes; sometimes it’s because there are newer teachers that need experience, but other times, they offer it to make yoga more widely available. You give what you can, when you can, and get to reap the benefits of instruction and community.

Groupon/Home Run/Living Social/ETC.

There are five million coupon sites out there, and at least once a week, I get an email about a yoga studio promotion. This can be a great way to check out a new studio or a new style and get a great deal.

Look For Free Classes!

In San Francisco, I know Lululemon and Sports Basement (a local sporting goods store) both offer free weekly yoga classes. I’m sure there are others – it’s worth checking out when you need that yoga fix.

If you’re a complete yoga beginner, I recommend going to at least a few classes to get some help on alignment. My goal for 2011 is going to a yoga class once a week because a podcast or a book can’t pull your hips back in Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog pose) or help you go to your edge in Trikonasana (triangle pose). Also, yoga in a class offers a different kind of energy that can be very motivating and inspiring.

I hope this was a helpful resource in terms of finding a way to make yoga affordable for you. If you’re open, yoga will find you!

 

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