YOGA: Inner Peace, on the Cheap
Posted by Christy Karr on Mar 29, 2020
If you’re looking to get serious benefits from your exercise routine, yoga checks off so many boxes it would make your head spin. Not only is it great for staying in shape, it’s also excellent for improving everything from your balance to flexibility to concentration. In a world of distractions, yoga centers you in the moment and forces you to think about more than just the next notification on your phone. Plus, you can do it anywhere, anytime for practically nothing.
The Benefits of Yoga
Before we get into how you can do yoga, we’ll address why you should do yoga. One of the main reasons is because it’s been statistically shown to lower levels of stress and anxiety. It’s not just garden-variety conditions either, researchers have seen severely traumatized people respond to the practice as well. It may also reduce chronic pain, fight inflammation, and improve heart health. Unlike repetitive motion exercise (e.g., running, lifting weights, etc.) yoga is gentle on the body and more varied. No wonder it’s practiced by everyone from Jennifer Aniston to Michelle Obama to Jon Bon Jovi.
Look for Local Services
If you look at the surface level of yoga, you might be a little put-off. From the cost of the clothes to the per-class rates at your local studio, you might think that yoga is only for the rich and famous. But if you look at little deeper, there are likely several free opportunities available. For example, libraries may offer complimentary classes or studios may hold special promotional classes where you can try a new type of yoga. Charity events, farmers markets, or yoga stores may also hold yoga for free or for a small donation. You can also check to see if your gym membership includes yoga classes.
Try YouTube Videos
We recommend trying at least a class or two first before you start doing yoga on your own. Some of the stretching and poses can be dangerous if you’ve never tried them before, so it helps to have someone show you the technique before you attempt something you’re not quite ready for.
But once you get the hang of it, you can start searching around for YouTube videos so you can do the routines on your own. (Yoga with Adrienne and Lululemon are both popular channels.) Or if you want to ease your way into it, try meditation yoga or simple stretching exercises on the Yoga for Beginners channel to expose yourself to the practice without endangering yourself.
Volunteer at a Studio
Yoga studios understand that some people simply don’t have the funds to take their classes regularly. Instead of forcing them to go without, they offer the opportunity for clients to volunteer in exchange for classes. This may be anything from checking people in before class to cleaning up the mats at the end of class. It’s a little more communal than doing YouTube videos at home, which can make it more likely that you’ll stick with your fitness routine.
From yoga apps to toning videos, there are a lot of ways to improve your health even if you’re on a budget. We wholeheartedly recommend devoting yourself to it because yoga can help you focus — a crucial component if you’re trying to get your finances back together.