Yoga on the Cheap: Maintaining Your Yoga Practice in Tough Econonmic Times
Posted Jun 16 2009 5:24pm
There's a lot of talk out there about yoga being a practice for the affluent. A month-long unlimited yoga membership to a studio will cost you at least $100. Mats can set you back $100, and yoga pants that make your butt look perky run $85 and up. And don't even think about attending a yoga conference unless you have at least $500 sitting in your rainy day fund.
Of course there are folks who practice yoga wherever they unfurl their $19 yoga mat. They don't have fancy yoga clothes or a studio membership, and yet they have a serious yoga practice that transforms and sustains them. They catch a workshop or class when they can and they read books about India rather than spending the money to travel there.
Which category do you fit into? Many folks are somewhere in between. Regardless of your budget, you can practice yoga. Don't let the media storm about the money spent on yoga scare you. You can practice yoga on any budget. Here are a few pointers:
No, you don't have to buy the Mercedes Benz of yoga mats to practice yoga. Shop around on the internet for competitive pricing. There are plenty of solid yoga mats under $20. You can find low-priced yoga mats at MatsMatsMats and Yoga Accessories.
You can also go online and find some great classes that range from no cost to under $20. Here are some options:
Yoga Today offers free yoga on a daily basis. The classes range in style from Anusara to Ashtanga to Kripalu and Kundalini and run just about an hour.
BeYou.tv offers a wide array of yoga videos for download, with many of them costing under $10. If you're a fan of the DVDs produced by Pranamaya like I am, you'll love BeYou.tv, as they offer many of the Pranamaya productions for download.
iHanuman offers some very cool yoga downloads that can't be found anywhere else, including Erich Shiffmann and Swami Satchidananda.
3 Weeks of Yoga, a multi-media course offered by International YogaYogalayam, is a great primer for anyone who is a yoga beginner or someone who wants to strengthen his/her existing practice. The course is offered on a donation basis, so again, you pay what you can.
Of course there are other resources out there -- these are just a few to restore your faith in the fact that yoga doesn't have to cost a fortune. It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to stretch an arm and a leg.
These days I've met quite a few folks who have fallen and hard times and don't want to scarifice their yoga practice during a time when they need it the most (or folks that want to start a yoga practice because of financial stress). I try to work things out with students suffering from financial hardship, so don't forget to ask your teacher for a little help. You just might find that a request gives birth to a community class that you and others who are dealing with tough financial times can benefit from.