Whether you are a brand-new yogi or a seasoned practitioner, we all have times when our finances aren’t as healthy as we would like. In an effort to budget, pay bills or save for a holiday or family events, some activities get cut back on. Often, rightly or wrongly, exercise, keep fit and our wellness in general, is considered non-compulsory expenditure and come in last in our priorities.
Luckily, if yoga is your wellness activity of choice, there are lots of ways to participate on the cheap or even completely free.
- At home practice
Firstly, and most obviously, you can practice yoga at home. Once you have your yoga mat and suitable clothing (they don’t even have to match, no one will see!) you are good to go. You can set the scene if you wish with lighting, candles, scents. The disadvantage is that you don’t have a real live person with you to check your form. So be very mindful of this and very conscious of your own safety. A large or full-length mirror is very helpful here.
When I started doing yoga many moons ago, I used VHS videos and later DVDs. It was years before I even went to a class. Now we have YouTube and a whole world of yoga at our fingertips. If you are like me and can spend so long scrolling and trying to decide on what one to do, that you run out of time to practice, then here are three of my personal recommendations.
I would also mention using YouTube as a search engine to find what you want, to fit the time you have e.g. Yoga for sleep 20 minutes for example or yoga abs 30 minutes.
Another really nice idea is to use a book (from the library is a no-cost option) or yoga asana cards. Top of my list for my wellness purchases this month is the 108 asana cards from Yogaru. The 108 Asana cards (pictured) are designed as a sequencing guide, for all levels of experience, to make your practice more accessible at home (or when traveling – great idea!). Each card has alignment cues, levels guide, anatomy coding, and Sanskrit/English asana names. The cards also come with an easy to follow sequencing guide, sample sequences, and an extensive list of asana benefits to help you tailor to your needs. They are 32 euro which is the cost of around 2 studio classes.
- Free classes
Look out for free classes that are usually organized/sponsored by large companies. In Dublin during the summer, Thai restaurant and take away Camile Thai offer free outdoor yoga classes in various parks around the greater Dublin area. I went to this weekly class in St Anne’s Park in Raheny last summer. All year round, Lululemon offers free Sunday morning classes in Brown Thomas, Dublin. With these two options alone, there is really no excuse! Follow these companies on Eventbrite and you will be emailed as events go live. During 2020 I will be keeping an eye out for free classes countrywide and when I find them, I will share them on my Wild Soul Facebook page, so do follow me here.
- Intro offers
Most yoga studios offer discounted or even free introductory offers. My tip here is to download the MINDBODY app. This is a fitness, wellness and beauty app that you can use to book classes and also find classes. It can search by location and let you know what offers are available. I am finding new studios and classes all the time that I didn’t know existed, and because of that I have tried out reformer Pilates and done yoga workshops that I would not have known about.
- Lunchtime classes and multi-class passes
Lunchtime classes tend to be 40-45 minutes long and are generally cheaper than their hour-long counterparts. One that I go to is 11 euro compared to 19 euro for the normal class. With the money you save, you could go for pancakes after, or is that just me! They usually have mat rental included so if you are out and about or on your work lunch break, you don’t have to lug your mat around. Multi-class or monthly passes are another way to save as they prove significantly cheaper than pay as you go or drop-in classes.
- Corporate classes
Yoga classes held in your place of work tend to be subsidized and so are a good inexpensive option. I believe that if your employer is putting an emphasis on corporate wellness by providing these classes, then you should support them if you can. They are obviously conveniently located, and the style and the timetable will be arranged to suit you, the employee. Take advantage! From Summer 2020 I will be available for corporate yoga and I am so looking forward to spreading the yoga glow to workers in Dublin.
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