Being a Yogi on a budget (pronounced boojay)
Updated: Jul 22, 2022
The first thing that I think of when I read my post title is: Yoga doesn't need much, just you and your breath... I say this in my trainings and classes all the time..... and its true!
However even though yoga is a spiritual journey of connection mindfulness and self-love, it can get stupidly expensive, because marketers are playing on all of the lack aspects of your poor ad battered ego.
This is easily identified by our our desire for the latest this that an the other fancy pants, mat(s) hot yoga mats, super grippy mat handstand mat, in the round teaching mat, blocks, wheels, shakti acupressure mats, eye masks, sweat towels... the list is endless. To top it off we are led to believe that these are the keys to belonging, love and connection and that we wont belong unless I have, get or buy all the XYZ's
While some yogis struggle toput on shoes (me) others just need a mat, some comfortable clothing and a creative mind for many of us ... me included we want all the stuff which means the costs of yoga can add up pretty quick.
Oh I badly desired the whole professional kit and kaboodle before I even knew what Ahimsa was! Pretty much because I was still in the loopy loops in my head, no where near my heart and certainly not at the heart of any yoga practice. Just looking at the list now makes my eyes water.
Once you have all the necessary/ unnecessary stuff then start adding on the classes, the memberships, the apps, the courses, the books and the coaching. How do you know what it is that you need? And what can really can be left on the shelf like an elf?
My experience to date is the longer I practice the less I need. So I have put together a few creative suggestions to go on your yoga adventures without going broke:
1. Get online. There is so much stuff online so much stuff by stuff i mean classes ... me included if you check my Instagram, Facebook, YouTube Pinterest The digital landscape is a virtual garden of free content.
Start an at-home practice you don't even have to get dressed up! You can check out my pyjama yoga videos on YouTube where I encourage you to stay in your sleep wear lol
Not only do online videos save you money, but you also do not have to spend your precious time rack up extra anxiety points or spend super expensive petrol money driving to the studio and back.
Look out mini challenges too, there are plenty and they are usually scheduled to keep you motivated and committed to your new or existing practices.
3. Go find free or low cost local classes.
I would never advocate for a yoga teacher teaching for free however you can find a variety of free classes or even classes by donation (where the studio or the location pays the teacher) These can often be found at your local studio, a community centres and even some retail stores such as Lulu Lemon. Many local studios also offer 7 day specials and first timers specials, so you can try before you buy. You could even check your local community college to see if they offer a yoga class course
3. Start a Yoga Club
Unlike fight club where you cant talk about it You could start a yoga club like a book club where you can talk all about it.... Yoga that is. Get your fav 4 people together once a week once a month and swap practice ideas, experiences tips and tricks.
4. DIY your own props
Oh this is a fav subject of mine you will often find me creating props out of all sorts of things lunch boxes books towels pillows a belt t-shirt or towel. Props help us deepen our practice and they show us whats possible. Many of us probably have items lying around the house that can be repurposed that don't have the high price tag. That same belt that keeps up your pants can be looped around your mat and used as a carrying strap!
5. DIY other stuff Ideas yes I have heaps need a solution message me!! Sweat towel think tea towel, there are plenty of good small towels or you can cut up an old towel and get creative. I couldn't find the right yoga tops so I designed my own! Couldn't find deodorant paste so I made it. Google has so many answers to so many yogi questions! While yoga mat sprays are yummy and great for cleaning and refreshing your yoga mat, paying upwards of $10 per bottle is kinda not so great. You can make your own mat spray .
Grab a small spray bottle
Mix white vinegar or witch hazel with water in a 1-to-4 ratio
Add 2 to 4 drops of essential oil into the bottle.
I like lavender tea tree and lemon
Add your favourite oil this scent will also to help create your sacred space!
6. Yoga Gear We all have a Kmart in our lives, the trick is to avoid it lol These are often stocked with sweat shop cheap labour and disposable faux fashion trends... apart from that they will probably not last that long. Check out second hand stores and seconds or sample stock. I have had great success buying on line, like eBay or small maker sites like Etsy (me!!) You are better off having one or two good pairs of tights than one cheap pair that will be see through in your first downward facing dog. 7. Potential Investment, the good yoga mat. Ok I will encourage just this one investment here. If you are just starting out you will find a huge difference between inexpensive and good quality yoga mats in both quality and durability. The Kmart special may be a bargain at 10bucks but if you have to replace that mat every couple of months its probs not... either that or its just not that grippy or comfortable or you don't love it you ain't gonna wan to get on it daily so that $10 should stay in your wallet. I have a few yoga mats for different purposes- I am a teacher and these are the tools of my trade still I find myself sometimes not practicing on a mat at all!
8. Create a special space
This is such a nice thing to do for you!! Go for gold!! The goal is to inspire you to come back to your yoga space and keep practicing, So what ever you budget you can create something beautiful that reflects you, it might be books, incense, shells , candles, a collection of your favourite stones I have a blog on creating your sacred space which you can read here Creating Your Sacred Space
9. Yogi Exchange
Think about your skills and yoga as a bartering system possibly trading your skills for classes! If you have a marketable skill sales, SEO, Digital and Web anything, writing, marketing, PR, graphic design, cleaning, organising, customer service its worth checking in with your studio to see if they might be willing to trade for classes!
10. Find Your Why
This is free but it takes some thinking about, understanding your why and finding what is driving you to practice is super important. The bigger your why the more likely you are to stick to your practice plan.
Mum mums best tip was "If in doubt don't" which is excellent advice that I pt to the test on many a shopping adventure including online shopping. If you don't need it don't buy it :)
Yoga is just a practice that becomes habit that changes your life. Focus on the practices not the stuff.