When I first started yoga, I was floored at the cost of classes at studios. Drop in rates seemed outrageous to me. Class cards help bring the prices down, but I still had a hard time swallowing the cost. Then I bought a membership, started practicing nearly every day, and my life forever changed for the better!
If you have ever been shocked at how expensive yoga is, I would like you to try one month of yoga to see if it does not change your life. Most studios have an introductory monthly membership price that is quite affordable. After that, the membership is more pricey, but I advocate that yoga is worth any price!
The health benefits of yoga are undeniable. Yoga can help you:
- Alleviate anxiety and depression
- Lower you blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Lose weight and maintain a healthy weight
- Lower your resting heart rate
- Reduce stress
- Improve your sleep quality
- Alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort
- Improve circulation
- Increase cardiovascular endurance
- Increase your immune system and reduce symptoms of autoimmune disorders
- Release endorphins to help in pain management
- Alleviate back pain and sciatica
- Increase your metabolism
- Correct poor posture
- Increase joint range of motion
- Improve your balance
- Increase your flexibility
- Develop a great sense of body awareness
- Increase your lean muscle mass
- Improve your mood
- Bring about a general sense of well-being
And this is the short list!
What more, the University of Maryland reports that studies have shown yoga to be beneficial in helping to treat dire health conditions such as diabetes, cancer (as adjunct therapy), asthma, arthritis, migraine headaches, carpel tunnel syndrome, and heart disease!
In my opinion, the best part about yoga, the benefit that makes it invaluable, is that some people, myself included, feel like $1,000,000 after a practice! So if you have ever taken a yoga class, and it did not make you feel wonderful, joyful, and empowered, then perhaps that class was not right for you.
There are yoga classes and schools out there that may not work for some people. The goal is to find the right studio that fits with your lifestyle, so that, after you practice, you feel amazing.
For me, the liberation and the euphoria that comes after a yoga practice makes it worth any cost. The health benefits, though great in number, are icing on the cake. It is the overall sense of well-being that has turned me into a yoga junkie and a yoga advocate.
There is nothing worth more to me than that sense of elation after I take a yoga class. I will pay any price for it! If the cost of yoga is holding you back from practicing, please reconsider. Most studios offer community classes that are extremely affordable. I am talking cheaper than a happy hour cocktail here, people! For example, Charm City Yoga, where I teach, train and practice, offers $6 community classes by amazing instructors.
If that does not work for you, try yoga DVDs until you can afford taking yoga classes. If you have cable with ExerciseTV On Demand, you can watch yoga videos at no additional cost. Same applies if you subscribe to the Netflix streaming service. There are also websites out there, like Yoga Today, that offer one free weekly class of yoga, or you can purchase affordable memberships.
Personally, I would prefer everyone practice yoga with a qualified instructor at a reputable yoga studio, because you will have less chance of hurting yourself, and you will get a better yoga experience. However if the choice is between DVD yoga or no yoga, please choose the former. Or if you have a gym membership, most gyms include free yoga classes. That is where I started, and also where I teach. Many great instructors trained at reputable studios teach at gyms in addition to teaching at studios. Ask your teacher at the gym where he or she was trained. You can also ask for referrals to other great teachers at your gym as well.
Another important thing to remember is that practicing yoga one day a week is not going to be as beneficial as three days a week. I recommend a minimum of practicing three days a week to experience the health benefits and the greater sense of well-being. Every class you take does not have to be physically rigorous. There are restorative and gentle yoga classes that are easier on the body. If you are a beginner, I highly recommend taking beginner classes, and/or a beginner series if you can afford it. If you love yoga as I do, you can practice every day, even if you take restorative classes, or just practice the breath work, pranayama, or meditation. (Read this blog post for more information on the many levels of yoga.)
Yoga will change your life. I say this confidently from personal experience. The transformation I have undergone, and regular yoga practitioners will agree, is worth any price. You can make yoga a regular part of your life. If you are still having trouble, ask me. I am here for you. Feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allow me to leave you with this thought: Would you rather pay for the cost of curing a disease or disorder, like high blood pressure or anxiety, or would you rather proactively change your mood, your health, and your life by practicing yoga?