Why Expensive Yoga Isn’t Always More Relaxing

by Guest Contributor · 12 comments

yoga personal finance

Yoga does much more for you than just provide relaxation and stretching. You improve your posture, flexibility, and strength while increasing your ability to concentrate, focus, and decrease blood pressure.

The benefits of yoga even extend to better self-esteem and improved relationships, so it is easy to see why it is so popular.

The real problem that most people encounter with yoga is the price. A single drop in class can run you $20 or more. Monthly memberships vary in price as well and even triple digit pricing is common in some parts of the country.

Luckily, there are other alternatives, and most of them are going to be less expensive.

1. Check Out the Gym

If you already belong to a gym, start by looking in to the classes offered. Many gyms offer yoga classes, and for an individual who is relatively fit and coordinated, this is a good way to try out yoga without making an additional financial commitment. Take some time to find out if the teacher is experienced and can alter poses in order to meet your specific needs.

2. Call the Community Center

Because yoga has become so popular, you may even find it at the local community center. Classes, even on a drop-in basis, are much less expensive in this environment than they are at an established yoga studio.

3. Check Out and Buy Videos

There are many good yoga videos that you can use. The local library will, no doubt, have a number of such DVDs, and if you find a couple that you like, purchase them.

Websites that offer discounted DVDs make such videos very affordable, usually less than $10, and if doing the same routine gets old, buy a few and rotate through them.

4. Barter for Lessons

Unless they are working for a franchise yoga studio, most of the teachers I know are willing to barter for private lessons. If you have a service you can offer, chances are you can make some sort of arrangement.

5. Try Free Trials or Discounted Classes

Many yoga schools offer a week or two of free classes. This is a good way to try out a school without spending any money. If you don’t attend regularly when you are getting free classes, chances are you won’t when you are paying. If you really like the program, find out how you can get the best deal for your money.

Another option is to ask about discounted classes. Sometimes studios will discount the price of beginner classes. You get the opportunity to see the poses demonstrated at a slower pace, get to ask questions, and learn your limits without the stresses of trying to keep up with a knowledgeable group.

6. Consider a Membership

While the monthly membership may be, say, $150 if you attend on a daily basis, it may very well be cheaper than just paying to drop in every day.

Figure out the per-class price you would pay with a membership, and compare it to what you are paying currently.

Remember to evaluate the contract with regards to what is required to terminate your membership so you don’t end up penalized if you quit after a couple of months.

Yoga can be a lot of fun, and if you learn to work within the system, reasonably priced as well.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • DNN says:

    You need that downtime sometimes to rewire yourself and refresh your mind.

  • RoadOutOfDebt says:

    For a beginner is important to do it supervised, but as you said you don’t need expensive classes or coaches, unless you can afford it.

  • April says:

    If you have a wii the wii fit has a yoga section on it. There are also other wii yoga games out there, though I haven’t tried any other one yet.

  • Ross @ Go Be Rich says:

    It’s funny how much some places charge to teach people about something that is old and ancient enough to have been found inscribed on ancient walls and tablets in near-biblical times.

    Then again, it’s pretty cool to think that something that old has stuck around this long.

    • DNN says:


      What do you expect? Yoga is big business. If someone starts a business and has a storefront for charging for yoga lessons or a group yoga session, people are naturally going to come out and pay. They going to pay because it brings people together. You see the big picture in that now? 🙂

  • Witty Artist says:

    That would be a good idea. 🙂

  • Ben Estate says:

    Then, it must be the time for online instructors to act. And just accept minimal donates for every yoga instructional downloads.

  • Witty Artist says:

    I say it’s nice if you pay for a professional to teach you the basics at first, then you can easily practice at home and you can improve the techniques by using materials from internet, borrowing/buying books. If you really believe this stuff can help you it’s an investment for your own health, otherwise better spend that money on something else.

  • April says:

    Another idea that I didn’t see mentioned are yoga apps. I have a couple for my iPod Touch and probably only spent $5 total. I use them pretty regularly (several times a week). A lot of those you can even customize and design your own routine.

  • B Kelly says:

    I used to go to a gym that had yoga classes and found that it was more cost effective for me.. but in the last year or so, i’ll been going to the one at the office. Granted it doesnt have the shower facilities like the gym, but it’s free cos it’s part of the company’s recreational / sports fun. A few employees came together to lobby our sports club to add this to the list of other conventional sports.. and it’s worked out great for my budget.

  • retirebyforty says:

    I go the yoga at my company gym and we have a great yoga instructor. It’s great for me right now, but if I leave the company, I probably will shell out some $$ to stay with this teacher. Maybe I can barter something. Thanks for the idea.

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