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An Affordable Yoga practice

Updated on July 1, 2016

An (Almost) Free Yoga Practice

Yoga is an ancient discipline that combines meditation, engaged breathing and physical postures to unify the mind and body. When practiced regularly, yoga can have multiple beneficial effects on the quality of a practitioner's life. Some of the benefits of yoga include increased flexibility, a healthier response to stress management, and improved quality of life. But often times, simply establishing a yoga practice can be more challenging than the actual practice itself. High costs of joining a yoga studio and acquiring the necessary equipment can be a barrier to yoga for many people. But the beauty of yoga is found in the multitude of ways it can be approached. Learning through a studio or gym is not the sole means of developing a yoga practice. Flex your expectations of what a yoga practice looks like and try these three tips to start yoga for little to no cost.

Find a Low-Cost Source of Instruction:

While many yoga studios and gyms tend to require a monthly membership payment in addition to enrollment fees, those options are not the only ways to pursue yoga. Utilize an internet search to find a yoga studio or community center in your area that has affordable or free classes. Many major metropolitan areas have yoga classes or community centers that offer free or low-cost yoga instruction. If you don't live near any affordable yoga classes, seek YouTube videos for yoga instruction. YouTuber Yogis like Adriene Mishler of the Yoga with Adriene channel, offer a wide range of videos that target specific aspects of yoga. I personally developed and refined my yoga practice by watching and practicing alongside a series of beginner videos on YouTube.

Using YouTube videos gave me the opportunity to practice in the privacy of my own home and develop confidence in my practice. I was also able to build a firm foundation because I slowly paced myself through my study of beginner videos and I progressed at my own pace. Research the YouTube yoga offerings until you find a channel that meets your needs.

Practice Attire:

Athleisure brands like Lululemon and Adidas are often described as the best combination of trendy and functional clothes that can be worn for yoga, but outfits like that tend to be pretty expensive. Luckily, nobody needs fancy, technologically-engineered, athletic-wear to do yoga. A simple pair of sweats, cotton leggings or shorts should suffice. Yoga clothes should be comfortable and allow for a full range of movement. Fancy workout clothes are not a necessary part of the yoga practice and if you practice yoga at home via YouTube videos, there's no need to try to piece together an attractive outfit.

Yoga Mat Alternatives:

Yoga mats can be very expensive. If you're still new to yoga and unsure of whether or not you will be practicing it long term, utilizing a mat substitute is a good option. Prior to purchasing my yoga mat, I used a thin blanket spread out on top of a firm, carpeted floor. I also used rugs and beach towels. All of these options were perfectly fine for me as a beginner. Mat substitutes are great for the earliest days of your yoga exploration. When you become more familiar with yoga and your needs or preferences, you may want to upgrade to a mat, but there's no rush. Yoga instructor, Adriene Mishler wrote a great article on the benefits and deficits of using yoga mats. After several months of developing my yoga practice, I was sure that I wanted to continue practicing yoga regularly and eventually purchased a mat.

The beauty of this approach to yoga is that it is obligation-free and guilt-free. There's no risk of losing money and there are fewer external circumstances pressuring a practice into existence. Hopefully your exploration of yoga is made easier from these tips. Namaste!

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    • Fawntia profile image

      Fawntia Fowler 13 months ago from San Francisco

      These are great suggestions. If you're a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscriber, you might be able to find yoga videos to stream using those services as well. I've never tried it for yoga, but I have for other types of exercise. Thanks for sharing!