Yoga on a Budget

The practice of yoga is sacred, spiritual and deep - it also has a tendency to require a deep wallet if you want to have a monthly pass at a studio!

I personally used to struggle to come up with the cash for a monthly pass when I was taking yoga classes as a college student.  I used to struggle even after college to pay for monthly passes! I had bills to pay, loans to take care of and rent - paying $100 a month just wasn’t in my budget. I ended up having to cancel my membership with an amazing studio and my practice suffered greatly. Priorities, right?!

Over the last four years, I’ve learned a few things that can make taking yoga classes in a studio more affordable (even FREE in some cases) for those who are struggling. It’s what I like to call the “Yoga Bus Pass."

First things first: do your research online for studios in your area.  Make sure to look at all of the teacher profiles and descriptions of classes at each studio so you can see which classes and which studios best fit your practice.

The next thing you want to look for on their site is if they offer your first class at a discounted rate. Most studios offer your first class free or for $5-10 dollars versus the full payments of $15 (depending where you live, the average price will vary).

Then make a list of all the studios that offer a discounted rate for your first class and choose one class that you want to take at each studio.

After you take your first class for $5, go to another studio take your first class there for another $5, and then go to the next studio, and the next, until you have visited all the studios that were on your list once!

Some things to remember...

  • See if the studios offer a new student special! Some studios offer $30 for 30 days; or $60 for 2 months; or $20 for 20 days, etc. You’ll want these - especially if you are committed to practicing more frequently!

  • See if they offer any military or student discounts.

  • You may get excited when you see these specials, but don’t purchase them just yet! (I promise they aren’t going away.) You’ll want to keep riding that $5 bus pass as long as you can until you’ve been to every studio.

Okay, so now you have used up your $5 bus pass.

Now it’s time to revisit that first studio you went to and use their new student special – you know, that $30 for 30 days. Once you have used that one up, go to the next studio and purchase their special, and continue with all the others you visited.

Not only is this the cheapest way to take yoga classes, you will also be exposed to so many great teachers (rather than being committed to one studio with the same six rotating teachers). Your practice will be beautiful & unique!

Let’s look at how much you’ve saved thus far:

If you find 5 studios in your area that offer your first class for a $5 drop in rate, you are spending $25 for 5 classes (versus spending $75 for 5 classes at a $15 per class rate). You just saved $50.

Now let’s do the math assuming you did the yoga bus pass for five months, using 5 different studios that offer a first time student special for one month.

Let’s say the studios offer you $30 for your first month... $30 x 5 = $150. Now, if you were committing to one studio for 5 months, you’re looking to pay at least $100 for a monthly pass & that, of course, totals $500. Yikes. The yoga bus pass saves you $350. Pretty sweet deal, I’d say.

At this point you may be thinking “Yeah, it saves me money, but only until I run out of new studios to go to!”

But wait, it gets better!

Make a list of your top 3 studios. Many studios (not all) offer a work for trade option. Meaning, you can go and enjoy their classes for FREE! In exchange, you would have to help out with the cleanliness of the studio after the class:  mopping the floor after a flow, cleaning the mats and props, doing laundry and sometimes checking the other students in for the class. Usually it is minimal work and totally worth it to take free classes with teachers that you love!

Got any other tips & tricks for maintaining a yoga practice on a budget? Let us know in the comments below!