7 Tips for the Frugal Yogi
On a budget? Check out these tips on living the yogi life without going broke.
No matter how much you love yoga, you have to admit it can get expensive. More often than not, the practice involves more than just a mat. The extra costs can add up, between private and group classes, clothes and props. In order to stick to a stricter budget, it’s important to keep in mind that some of these items are worth the investment, while you may be able to improvise or DIY others.
Follow the suggestions below to maintain a fulfilling yoga practice without breaking the bank.
1. Watch free videos online.
If you are self-motivated, start an at-home practice and choose from a variety of free or low-cost online video services. Not only do online videos save you money, but you also do not have to spend time or gas money driving to and from the gym or studio.
2. Become a Karmi.
Karma yoga is a bartering trend that many yoga studios implement for the right student, in which the student exchanges a service for free yoga classes. If you have a marketable skill – writing, marketing, public relations, graphic design, cleaning and organization, customer service, etc. – a studio might be willing to trade service for service to the benefit of both parties. This is a great option for college students or other yogis with more time than money.
3. Find free or low cost local classes.
There are a variety of free classes offered at local studios, community centers and even retail stores such as Athleta or Lulu Lemon. Many local studios also offer first-time client deals, so you can test out a studio before you commit to a membership. Groupon or Living Social are excellent resources to buy discounted memberships to local studios. Check your local community college to see if they offer a yoga class course.
4. Make your own props.
For many yogis, props are a necessity to enhance and delve deeper into your practice, but many of you probably have items lying around the house that can be used on the mat without the high price tag. You can repurpose old, sturdy hardcover books into yoga blocks. You can turn a belt or scarf into a yoga strap, or a throw pillow can become a meditation pillow or bolster. That same belt can be looped around your mat and used as a carrying strap.
5. DIY yoga mat wipes or spray.
While yoga mat sprays may be convenient for cleaning and refreshing your yoga mat, paying upwards of $10 per bottle may be off-putting to some. You can make your own mat spray by filling a small spray bottle with a cup of water, a quarter-cup of witch hazel and 15 drops each of tea tree and lavender essential oils. If you prefer the convenience of yoga wipes, soak that same mixture in paper towels in a plastic zip lock bag or other sealed container. These recipes cost pennies and will keep your mat free of funky smells.
6. Invest in good yoga pants.
You are probably looking for that $10 pair of yoga pants that fits spectacularly and does not become transparent in downward dog. Chances are that you will never find that pair, so invest in a few pairs of good yoga pants that are made of high-quality materials with excellent stitching. These will last you longer than less expensive pairs of pants, and your mat neighbor will thank you.
7. Buy a good yoga mat.
There is a huge difference between inexpensive and good quality yoga mats in terms of quality and durability. The $10 yoga mat may be an inexpensive purchase at first, but if you have to replace that mat every couple of months, the cost can quickly add up. Choose a high-quality yoga mat that offers a lifetime warranty, which is a one-time cost for a lifetime investment in your practice.