September is National Yoga month and I decided to run a guest post with great information for those you you considering giving yoga a try. I took my first yoga class as a PE requirement in college. A math professor, Dr. Bull, showed me my first downward dog 28 year ago! I mocked, I moaned, I almost failed because of lack of attendance. But somewhere deep inside me, yoga clicked. I’ve been practicing for the better part of the last 20 years, as my schedule and kids allowed. Over the course of the last year, I’ve been faithfully attending two to three classes a week purely for stress management as I deal with my elderly parents and the reality of being in the sandwich generation. I can honestly say that my yoga practice is helping me hold it all together.
See my recommendations for products and gear at the end of the post: Acacia Lifestyle; Gaiam Mats and Accessories; Yogi Teas and Yoga House Pasadena
Thanks to Kendal Perez for this post.
September is National Yoga Month, as designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to promote the benefits of the practice and to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Though Americans spent $5.7 billion on yoga products in 2008, practicing doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.
Follow these tips to find the many benefits of yoga for less — your body and mind will thank you.
Try it for Free
In honor of National Yoga Month, you can get one free week of yoga from over 1,600 participating studios across the country. Hit up MrFreeStuff.com for the promotion and enter your information for a list of nearby studios. A free pass not only lets you check out the space but also determine what kind of yoga you like best.
Do the Math
Most studios offer multiple membership options, including monthly plans, punch passes and individual class prices. Do the math to determine which one is best for you. I save about $20 per month by opting for the monthly plan over the punch-pass plan, but I keep a regular schedule. Others who don’t have the luxury of committing to class twice a week might prefer a pay-as-you-go method.
Rent Before You Buy
Some yoga studios have mats available for rent when you’re just starting out. A brand-name, high-quality mat costs between $50 and $100, so it pays to test out mats and the studio before investing. If you decide to move forward with yoga and want to purchase your own mat, check out these recommendations from Consumer Search.
DVD vs. Studio
I confess: a “Yoga for Dummies” DVD was my first introduction to the practice. Despite the playful brand, I learned the foundational postures from the comfort of my living room. DVDs are certainly the more frugal approach to learning yoga, but I recommend taking a few classes to understand the proper form. Instructors will make adjustments and offer detailed explanations for how positions should feel. This is essential to reducing your risk for injury and getting the most out of your practice.
Subscribe for Savings
If you’re really interested in making yoga part of your daily routine, consider subscribing to Yoga Journal or a similar magazine. In addition to articles offering additional insight into the practice and lifestyle, each issue features an at-home sequence that you can also watch online. Books, DVDs and online tutorials are other affordable additions to your daily practice.
Get Gear for Less
Extra sticky mats and organic cotton pants may be staples in your yoga studio, but they’re certainly not a requirement for practice. Avoid the yoga-specialty stores if you’re on a budget and look for mats, blocks and other accessories at discount retailers. I purchased two yoga blocks for $10 at TJMaxx, for example, after having priced them at Sports Authority for $15 per block.
These days, you can find yoga classes at your local studio, fitness club, online via Web videos and even department stores. According to a recent article in the Dallas Business Journal, JCPenney will offer yoga and pilates classes at the center of select store locations. Regardless of where you choose to go, yoga can be practiced nearly anywhere. While yoga doesn’t require equipment, yogis on-the-go might like no-slip gloves and socks to stay grounded, like those popularized by ToeSox.
Kendal Perez is a frugal fashionista and bargain shopper who helps fellow shopaholics find hassle-free ways to save money. As the marketing coordinator for Kinoli Inc., site manager for a family of money-saving websites, Kendal has the resources to be an extreme couponer but prefers a less complicated approach to staying in-budget. Kendal has been quoted in such media outlets as People StyleWatch, CNN Money, FOX, ABC, NPR and Kiplinger Personal Finance. For savings tips and more information, visit HassleFreeSavings.com.
Lian Recommends other resources for Yoga-related items:
Great Yoga videos for all levels: Acacia Lifestyle featuring Shiva Rea. Love the Shiva Rae Vinyasa Flow series videos. and the specialty video for back pain even if you don’t have back pain! Great clothes and gear too.
Great Yoga Gear and Mats: Gaiam yoga products have been around for years and stand the test fo time. I like the mats. They are super thick- my perefernce– but they are super pretty. Everytime I roll out my mat, I like looking at the colors and the designs! Dorky, yes. But true. Love the padded straps from this company.
Yoga House: My studio of choice here in Pasadena. Love the teachers and the vibe. And, that free tea!
Yogi Tea: I love ending the the day with a cup of tea and Yogi Teas are some of my favorites, especial the Rest & Relax teas.