So some of you may know that I did my yoga teach training last fall at Haven Yoga and Wellness in Abbotsford. Yoga has become a way of life for me, a practice that I have incorporated into my daily routine at home as well as at Haven where I am still a student (now a teacher, always a student!) The word “yoga” means “union” – the union of body, soul, and mind – and it is exactly this holistic experience that attracts me. It has simply become an essential part of my life.
I recognize, though, that yoga can be challenging for some budgets. Here are some ideas for those who want to pursue this practice but need to keep costs down:
- Practice at home with a video or online instructor
This is actually how I began my practice. I found a $2 yoga video at my local thrift shop and bought a $10 mat at (evil) Walmart. I have since upgraded to a much better, Halfmoon yoga mat (bought at Winners) but I still use an online yoga class when I travel. I really like Yoga with Adriene, a sweetheart of a girl from Austin, Texas. Not only are these options cost-effective but they offer the most flexibility. You can do it in the privacy of your own home whenever it is most convenient for you. The downside is that you have to be disciplined if you’re going to make this your only practice. It’s too easy to say no to yourself. The other downside is that you don’t have an experienced teacher’s eyes on you, ensuring that you are doing a pose correctly and you could run the risk of injury. These are just things to remember if you choose this option but it is a good way to get started. You can combine a home practice and hit a yoga studio once a month to get advice and ensure that you’re practicing safely.
- Practice at your local rec centre
Typically, yoga classes at your rec centre are less expensive than at a yoga studio – but there’s a reason for that. You will not get the same ambience or access to props that you get at a good studio. Yoga teachers here may not be paid as well as they are in a studio setting either, so you may end up with teachers who have less experience. That said, I attended a class at my local rec centre with the same teacher for nearly a decade and loved the experience. (I quit when the rec centre didn’t renew her contract, even under great protest from all of her students.)
- Take advantage of free classes
June 21st is Global/International Yoga Day and many studios and teachers offer free classes on this day (and other times of year as well) as a way to give back to the community. You can sometimes find free classes at festivals or on summer holiday days (like Canada Day). Haven Yoga and Wellness in Abbotsford is offering a variety of things on Saturday, June 22nd all for free: an early morning hike, several classes and some workshops. Check out their website and sign up!
- Find a studio and explore what they offer
Many studios will offer a deal for first time students. In Abbotsford, Abby Yoga offers beginners to their Iyengar classes, their first class for $10. Haven has a great deal where you pay $35 and take as many classes as you want in a two week period. They also make their studio, with all of its props, available to use for free (without an instructor) at certain times of the week. Parallel Yoga offers first time students a free class and an introductory offer of a month of yoga for $49.These are excellent opportunities to find out what a studio is like, the kinds of amenities they have on hand, and which classes suit you best.
For those of you who practice yoga, what other suggestions do you have for people who are looking to incorporate this practice into their lives?