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Fitness & Finances: Yoga

August 1, 2012

Regular readers may know that I’m a pretty avid runner.  Last month I added regular yoga to my routine, thanks to a Groupon I bought a couple of months ago.

As everyone has always told me, yoga is so great!  I am really loving it.  It is much harder than I thought, but the combination of stretching and strength training has been a nice complement to my running.  I don’t know that it actually makes me a better runner, but it makes me feel great in a slightly different way.

My month-long deal is almost up, and I’m deciding what to do next.  I’m eligible for a discount that will give me 20 or 22 classes for $220.  (The 20 or 22 depends on if I can get my discount card before the promo ends.)  I also can get two months for $135.  If I’m going to go to about 14 classes in 2 months, the monthly deal would be better!  If I wasn’t going to be out of town several times in the next two months, I think the $135 would be the better deal.  Instead, I was planning on purchasing a 20 (or 22) class pack and continue to attend 2 times a week most weeks.

At 1.5-2 times per a week, this puts my monthly yoga costs $66 to $88…  yikes!   WHY IS YOGA SO EXPENSIVE?!

I can do yoga at home, but it is soooo not the same.  I could go to a donation-based studio (and there are some really good ones around here), but I feel guilty if I don’t donate at least $10 since it isn’t like I can’t afford it.  I just am cheap.  That seems unfair to the teachers.

I wonder if I can trim $80 from my monthly spending to make this happen.  I actually don’t think it would be all that hard if I was sufficiently motivated.  Our spending has been pretty lax lately.  Maybe I need to try a real budget for a month instead of just tracking spending!

Another option is to find a gym that has yoga, although the big selling point of my particular yoga studio is that I can walk there.  I know myself, and if something isn’t pretty convenient, I won’t do it as often.

A final option is going to free classes offered at places like Lululemon.  Has anyone ever gone to these?  How do they compare to studios?

I know some of you do yoga.  Do you guys regularly practice in a studio, or have you been able to make home based yoga effective?  Do you go at your gym?  Or do you just make room in your budget for it?

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25 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2012 6:07 am

    I LOVE YOGA. But I only practice at a studio, I’m never motivated enough to do it at home. I’ve never tried the free classes through Lululemon — they’re always at weird times =\

    • August 1, 2012 7:46 am

      really? The one near me has a class on saturday or sunday morning. that is one of my favorite times for yoga! i suppose I should just try it and see if I like those at all.

  2. August 1, 2012 8:26 am

    I have to just make room in my budget and take advantage of any groupon or living social deals that pop up. Sadly, that is why my practice isn’t always regular. I can’t do it by myself, I never feel like I’m doing it right, and there is something great about having a teacher guide you through it and adjust you when you are doing something wrong!

  3. August 1, 2012 8:34 am

    I have always been told that yoga is dangerous to do without supervision because you might have turned your knee out a little more than you should and it has the potential of messing up your back. I wish yoga would be cheaper too and I know in Chicago the park district sometimes has free yoga at the park on weekends.

    I hope you look into Lululemon yoga classes and let your readers know how you liked it!

    • August 13, 2012 9:54 pm

      I should do this – I’ll try to do it this month, but if not, I’ll put it on my september goals. (where I’ll at least fail publically if I don’t do it!)

  4. August 1, 2012 9:04 am

    I practice at a studio 3 times/week. I have tried using videos at home, but I always work harder with an instructor, and I like learning new poses and having an instructor there to adjust my form. I do not currently belong to a gym, and the $85/month for yoga is less than I used to spend on a gym. I would prefer to spend that money on a local business instead of a huge corporate gym, and the owners and the instructorsare great.

  5. Karin permalink
    August 1, 2012 9:05 am

    I have to go to a studio… no way can I get the same benefit from doing it at home. It’s 90 a month for unlimited classes… which in LA is a really great deal. Not really affordable, but I make room for it. So worth it!

    I’ve never tried the LLL classes, but some of the teachers are teachers at my studio, and are well respected in the yoga community. I’m sure they’re great!

  6. August 1, 2012 9:29 am

    I do yoga on weekends at my gym. We pay $72 for a family membership so assuming my share is $36/mo for 4 classes, it’s not too bad. I don’t always do yoga though. I have tried a few 10 minute yoga DVDs at home and really like those but it’s just to supplement a full class.

  7. SeaRhapsody permalink
    August 1, 2012 9:56 am

    Just read an article about a Yoga Passbook. maybe see if they have one of those for your city. Personally, I only occasionally do yoga so the classes they offer at our gym are enough for me.

  8. August 1, 2012 10:54 am

    I do yoga at a studio about once a week, and am working on building a daily home practice. I used to do videos, but now I prefer to guide myself through my own practice. Ultimately, I believe a home practice is the goal that studio or gym classes should be leading towards – yoga is not just a workout, it is a practice, a way of life, and that’s the sort of thing that has to be personally managed. (Just my opinion, of course!)

    I have taken yoga classes in many gym settings, as well, and have universally hated them. They were missing some key element of yoga that I find in studios instead, and the cost of either joining the gym or paying the drop-in fee was more than local studios I visited.

    My studio’s classes are $10 for a drop in, with multi-class cards at $7 or $8 per class depending on the number of classes you buy at a time. I could save more by buying the 10-class card, but I buy the 5-class card in order to support the studio with a dollar more per class. I can easily afford that.

    The cost – about $40 a month – seems like peanuts to me. For years, I paid $18/class for dance classes that I attended multiple times a week – sometimes as many as four times per week! This was before I started blogging, and I did a lot of things like cleaning the studio and helping the teacher sell costumes to get free classes. I also was able to charge to perform, to offset the cost of the classes. Still, it was way more expensive than my current “health and wellness” spending, so the cost now does bother me at all.

  9. August 1, 2012 5:57 pm

    I save money on yoga by being completely unpicky about the classes. I go to three separate yoga classes: one through work (free), one through the parks service ($5/class, must pay for 8 at a time), and a special discounted Sunday yoga through a local studio ($5, but only on Sundays). The rest of the time, I just practice at home or pop in a DVD. It’s not perfect.

    I would LOVE to get one of those monthly passes, I’m cheap enough that it would motivate me to go every day. Sadly, the closest studios charge $130/month and I need to work my way up to that!

    • August 1, 2012 6:32 pm

      Keep your eye on groupon/living social/etc. It was really helpful to get a jump on it.

      We have classes at work, but they still charge $10/class. I think I’ll try to mix in some cheap/free classes with DVDs, and also the “regular” studio for fun. There is no way I’d pay $130/month (that’s about the going rate here too), but $10/class is probably doable if I keep it under control.

  10. mochiandmacarons permalink
    August 3, 2012 8:45 am

    If I don’t go to a studio, I won’t do it. It’s just that simple. I’m lazy, and I will only work hard at yoga if someone is telling me: Ok, downward dog now. Hold it. HOLD IT… Now Plank, and hold it until you collapse 😛

    I spent $150 for 3 months, which is a damn good summer deal. I’ve been going at least 3 times a week, sometimes 4 (the times are all effed up, right in the middle of my lunch), and I love it so far.

    I feel achey, I feel stretched, limber.. flexible and amazing.

    I have to sign up for classes regularly.

    • belowhermeans permalink
      August 4, 2012 10:21 am

      This is how I am with pilates. I could get DVDs for home, but I wouldn’t touch them.

  11. belowhermeans permalink
    August 4, 2012 10:21 am

    I feel you on all points. There was an article in the NY Times a year or so ago about yoga is supposed to be universally for everyone yet only the wealthy can truly sustain having a serious membership. The study looked at NYC’s obscene studio prices, but still. It’s bad.

  12. Stella Sando permalink
    August 7, 2012 9:39 am

    Give yoga at home a new shot! Try Mark Gonzales’ power yoga videos. It’s awesome for athletes who are interested in cross-training with yoga and he’s getting pretty popular. https://vimeo.com/channels/poweryoga

  13. August 11, 2012 2:44 pm

    I go at my gym, Equinox. The gym is expensive but has great qualified yoga instructors (the instructors all also work or have worked at all the best yoga studios and spas in the city). I pay $150 a month, which is only slightly more than I would pay for a good yoga studio membership, plus I get all the other classes, a full gym, and an amazing spa/locker room experience. That makes it more than worth it for me – since joining Equinox I go to the gym 4-5 times a week EVERY week, as opposed to about 2 times a week when I belonged to 24 hour fitness. I love it.

    • August 13, 2012 10:11 pm

      I”m glad you found a solution that inspires you to go!

      For me, it’s about location/convenience above all else. Also, no time limit on the treadmills! There’s an Equinox on my way home from work (essential!), but it would be annoying to have to drive to yoga on weekends. My current 2x a week yoga will run ~$80/mo. If I join the gym in the winter (due to it getting dark earlier), that is another $30. Cheaper than Equinox, and my yoga studio is like a 2 minute walk from my apartment, my gym is on my way home. overall, that is more optimal by my standard, even if I never use the gym’s yoga classes.

      I went to 24-hr fitness 3 times a week (work days) the first winter I joined, then ran outside on weekends. Last year I ended up running on a track more often, and a friend moved nearby so I had a buddy to run with at night. I probably won’t join this year at all.

      I’m thinking paying $80/mo for yoga might be my decision here – but I’ll at least check out available free classes… that is, if they are also very convenient. 🙂

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