Thursday, November 4, 2010

5 ways to practice yoga and SAVE money

This is my older sister, Kim, who brought me to my first Ashtanga yoga class.  

My older sister, Kim, first introduced me to Ashtanga yoga and the Mysore practice. She’s also my personal finance expert (check out her book, Generation Earn, that just came out!).
Even my baby niece likes it!

My financial situation can be simplified as follows: I’m a student, I have a lot of debt, and I place high value on a consistent yoga practice and healthy food (both expensive!).

One of my biggest criticisms of the yoga industry is the high cost, which prohibits many people from actually practicing yoga. I am convinced there is another way... a way to make it possible for everyone to practice yoga, regardless of how much money one earns.

With the help of my sister’s wisdom, we’ve come up with 5 ways to practice yoga and actually SAVE money. I know there are more so please comment with your ideas!
  1. Practice at home. Invite your yogi friends over to practice and create your own yoga community. Turn up the heat and adjust each other when you need it. Estimated savings: $50-150/month.
  2. Say no to new yoga clothes. Wear your old shorts and tank tops to practice (I always think practice feels better in old clothes anyway). You can practice in anything... you don’t need fancy yoga outfits (no one is looking at you and no one cares!). You can always ask for hand-me-downs (or check out low-cost stores like H&M or Forever 21). Estimated savings: $25-50/month.
  3. Give the gift of yoga. Holiday time is coming up, and instead of spending lots of money on store-bought presents, come up with some creative (and more meaningful) yoga-inspired gifts. Some ideas: Teach a free yoga class to friends or family members that have been wanting to try yoga. Make inspirational yoga-related collages using your old magazines. Frame your drawings or photographs of people. Make your own eye-pillows (Caitlin’s brilliant idea!). Estimated savings: $100-300/year.
  4. Socialize with your yogi friends at home. Instead of going out for expensive brunch/meals/drinks after practice, invite yogi friends over for good old potluck. If everyone contributes a little something (wine/veggie treats), a feast is born! Estimated savings: $50/month.
  5. Make time for your yoga practice. Yoga helps with concentration, anxiety, stress, pain, and more... helping you spend your money and time more wisely and in line with your values. Estimated savings: Priceless!


  1. Good tips! thank you, I will check your sister's book/web page :-)

  2. Good tips! Where I live, there is no ashtanga studio, so I have been doing my own mysore practice at home(and travelling to the occasional workshop by a senior teacher :-)). In fact, there's a yoga studio just across the street where I live, but I rarely go there, except to accompany my girlfriend there for the occasional class (they have an Intro to Ashtanga class, but once you've done mysore, it's just not the same...). In fact, I sometimes think that if everybody were to take up mysore practice, many yoga studios would go out of business!

    I totally hear you about being in med school, and yoga being expensive. When I was in grad school, I taught at the local yoga studio, and got to go to classes there for free, so I was a bit spoiled. But I can definitely see how much I would have been spending on yoga if I had to pay for every single one of those classes.

  3. I am so excited about this book. I am in my 2nd year at chiropractic school, and the worst part about it is the stress of the massive debt! I am also with you about my money 'splurges' being healthy food (I love my CSA) and yoga. I also love that your sister is selling her book at Powell's. I love to support my local Portland businesses!

  4. Wonderful and wise blog post! Thank you!