I’ll never forget my first Bikram Yoga class. Does anyone forget their first Bikram Yoga class? The sweat, the heat, the constant yammering on the of the teacher, and how exactly did that lady in the front row get her legs to twist like that in Eagle Pose? I know exactly what I was wearing and where I was in the room and this was almost 9 years ago. Obviously I fell in love.
The only thing I didn’t like was how the teacher insisted that you come back the next day. This was way before 30-day intro specials, 2-week unlimited yoga deals, Groupon, and Living Social and to come back day after day meant I would truly have to invest some serious cash flow into continuing this practice.
At this time I was living the starving artist life. My husband is a choir teacher and I was an actress, meaning that any money I accrued went straight back into this lifestyle. I already was putting every extra cent I made into monologue coachings, headshots, voice lessons, plane tickets to NYC, and so on. I really couldn’t afford the money or the time to truly commit to a yoga practice.
But flash forward a year later and not only was I headed to the studio at least 4 days a week, but my husband was coming with me. When something becomes important to you, you always can find a way. And though paying for yoga classes can be quite expensive, in the long run yoga has saved me more money over the years than anything else. So, for those of you struggling to wrap your mind around the cost of yoga I wanted to discuss how if you take a close look at it all yoga classes can save you serious money.
Medical bills – what medical bills? As the cost of healthcare increases, prevention will be best way to assure a long and enjoyable life. I cannot tell you how many people I know that were able to get off of their medications, prevent surgery, recover from injury quickly, prevent illness, and lead a whole and healthy existence because of their yoga practice. A couple of weeks ago I had a student say to me, “I figure I will be paying for my healthcare one way or another. I would rather pay a yoga studio than a doctor.” Pretty cool right? I’m not saying a career in the medical field is not an honorable one or that you should ditch your doctor’s advice outright, but I do think that you need to be an advocate for your own health and begin to tune into your own body to know when things are working right as opposed to when they feel off. Yoga helps you to do this by creating body intelligence with each session. You will be the first to know when things are not working correctly and then you can seek out the information and individuals, including physicians, to bring everything back to balance.
Staying the same dress size. As I started going through my summer clothes I realized how old some of these clothes are at this point. Since I started my yoga practice I have stayed exactly the same size. Please know that this was not always my life. I’ve had times where I was super skinny and I’ve had times where I carried a ton of weight. I have always been someone that needs to workout and watch what I eat. But now I don’t really think about my weight or size. Each season I buy a couple of things to make me look on trend and the rest are staples I’ve had for years. This not only saves money, but it also saves me a ton of anxiety and stress. And the longer you practice, the less you think of the yoga as a workout, so maintaining your weight is just an added benefit to your moving meditation.
Energy boost. There’s no doubt yoga gives you energy. Put that yoga high to use. The concentration you gain in class while focusing on your postures and breath will translate into increased focus outside of the room. This will help you to be more efficient in your everyday activities, including work and family life. You will become the go-to person for situations that need a calm and focused person to pull through and will lead to opportunities that may increase your bottom line.
Let yoga be your vice. As you come to class and begin to align and detoxify the body you may start to drop those vices that in the end are quite costly. You may start to realize your heart rate is way too high during the 90-minute session because you slurped down that cup of coffee before you came to class. Or you no longer want to battle with the gunk in your lungs built up from years of smoking as you start your Pranayama Breathing. Smoking, coffee, alcohol, sugar, and even fast food become a thing of the past as you realize how good the body is designed to feel as we let these pricey vices drop away from our day-to-day existence.
The natural life is cheaper. I can’t tell you how much I save now that I look for natural alternatives to everyday toiletries. This has directly stemmed from my yoga practice, as I no longer want to keep putting chemicals into my system since I work too hard to get rid of them. Instead of body lotion I use coconut oil, which is naturally absorbed into the body. Instead of teeth whitening strips I use activated charcoal to whiten and brighten my smile. For dark spots and vibrant skin I use castor oil instead of a dark spot corrector. Need to remove dead skin cells? Try a greek yogurt mask. Honestly, the list goes on and on. And the friends that I’ve cultivated through the yoga and I love to talk about new all natural alternatives to chemicals we apply to our body day after day. It’s amazing how much cheaper and more effective these alternatives can be.
So if you get a little fidgety when you see the price of a yoga package or membership please remember that in the long run it can save you a ton of money. You will be a healthier person and cultivate new habits as you learn about the practice and learn about yourself.
I would love to hear from you VFTP readers! How has yoga saved you money since you started practicing?
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