As I’ve mentioned before, yoga is an absolute necessity in my life. I rewarded myself with a membership to CorePower when I got my new job in September after I tried it out for a week and loved it. I was in an extremely stressful job and I was suffering from burnout in a major way, and I was taking out my stress and frustrations on the people I love (sorry, Andy). I try to go around 5 times a week and I feel better physically and mentally when I’m going regularly. I am pretty unflappable and adaptable, but yoga makes me even more so. Quick example: Prexy is broken and can’t walk through doors sometimes, and I have been late to work or social engagements on several occasions because she’s shaking in the yard while staring at the door frame. It used to be frustrating and but kind of adorable. Then it got just plain frustrating in the height of stressed-out, burned-out Liz. Now Yoga Liz can stand there alllllllllll day until Prexy summons enough courage to walk through the door and I love her even more.
Also, yoga has made me crazy strong. I was pretty strong before from working in events and hauling boxes and heavy equipment up and down stairs for so many years, but yoga has helped me build muscle like crazy.
But you know what I HATE about yoga? The fact that I pay $109 every month so that I can actually afford to go frequently to classes I love. I have a very reasonably priced gym membership, but there was only one yoga instructor at my gym that I liked, and then she left to open her own studio in a neighboring town. Also, my gym’s yoga schedule is terrible and I can make it to about two classes a week. I feel very fortunate that I was able to free up $109 each month for unlimited yoga classes, enabling me to go sometimes twice a day, but I do wonder if I should try something new and put that money to use somewhere else (I’m looking at you, emergency fund).
How to have a regular yoga practice without breaking the bank
- Practice at home.
This doesn’t do it for me and I never get around to doing it unless I’m actually going to a class. But if you can do a home practice, it’s basically free.
- Find free yoga classes.
Today, I did yoga on the Oval for free. I chatted up a former coworker who does yoga and mentioned that there was a CSU employee who teaches a free class each week on the Oval. I found myself in a meeting with that person, introduced myself, and got the details on the free class. The teacher was trained at CorePower and it was exactly what I am used to, but it was OUTSIDE! Even better.
- Take advantage of introductory offers.
I mentioned above that I got a week of free unlimited yoga before I started my membership. Most studios have an introductory offer available to help you decide if you like their style, space, and teachers. Take some time to explore studios and you could probably hop around and do free or absurdly cheap yoga for a while. Elan Yoga has a 20 days for $20 offer for unlimited yoga. I want to put my membership at CP on hold to do this.
- Work for it.
Lots of studios have working memberships where you clean or do other work around the studio and get free classes in return.
- Recruit other yogis.
Drop my name when you sign up for a free week at CorePower and I get a $5 credit. Thanks in advance. This is a frugalness blog–did you really think you were going to get away without me at least trying for the free money?
- Find teacher training classes and be a guinea pig.
When yoga teachers are doing training, they need to practice. I have been to a couple of studios for free classes as part of the wrap-up of 200 hour teacher training or extensions classes. The teachers are certified, just new and needing to practice on real students.
- Befriend a yoga teacher. My friend Riley has practiced on me by leading a class (basically a private lesson) in my backyard. I have grand plans to get her to teach a SUP (stand up paddleboard) yoga class for me (I’ll provide the paddleboards, utilizing my outdoor industry connections). If you go this route, make sure you are extra nice to them. They are doing you a favor and you’re not a jerk. Don’t take advantage.
- Seek out donation-based classes. Last week, Riley and I went to Yoga at the Gardens on Spring Creek. These classes are generally in exciting locations and the recommended donation is often a lot less than a drop-in price for a class. I was willing to shell out for the class because it was outside and surrounded by beautiful flowers and sculptures, and all the money went to support the Gardens. Bonus: we got free day passes to my gym, so Riley was able to go sit in the sauna with me later that day and will soon be forced to join me at a hip hop class, and we each got a packet of flower seeds.
You don’t need expensive see-through yoga pants made by a terrible company or to spend a lot of money to practice. I am going to try to heed my advice and see if I can save some $$$ while maintaining my practice.