Ways to Save Money

Want to Go to Yoga Class for Free? Try These 6 Options

June 15, 2016
by Jen Hayes
Contributor

A year ago, I was walking past a yoga studio when I saw a flyer in the window advertising one week of unlimited free yoga classes. I had never tried yoga before, so I was a little hesitant, but I certainly wasn’t going to give up the opportunity to try something free!

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the classes, and I wanted to continue taking more after my free trial ended.

But when I saw the studio’s prices, my enthusiasm waned. The classes were $20 each and the monthly packages started at over $100.

I couldn’t afford that, so I searched for free ways to do yoga. Over the past year, I have found several ways to get free yoga classes, and I attend free classes multiple times per week.

How to Find Free Yoga Classes

Doing yoga at home is convenient, but there are numerous benefits to attending an actual class. With a trained instructor present, you can receive specific feedback to ensure that you are using the correct form — which will prevent injuries and allow you to make the most of your yoga practice.

Also, going to a class can be more fun and it’s a great way to meet new people.

Here are six places to find free yoga classes.

1. Churches

Many churches have started offering holy yoga courses. Holy yoga incorporates elements of Christianity into the practice of yoga, emphasizing faith, prayer and building a strong sense of community.

You don’t need to be a member of the church (or even be a religious person) to participate — holy yoga classes are open to the public. I go to holy yoga classes twice per week and love them!

Classes are typically “pay what you can” by donation, and you’re not obligated to donate.

2. Colleges

Some college health and wellness centers offer free yoga classes for students, staff and/or alumni.

Another potential way to get free yoga classes through a university is by participating in research.

The University of Minnesota recently offered 12 weeks of free yoga classes (at a few different locations in Minneapolis) to participants in a study related to how yoga affects stress levels. I didn’t qualify for this particular study, but it’s possible that other similar studies may be available in the future.

Typically, you can find research studies seeking participants on a college’s website. I would recommend looking at the websites for the psychology department or the medical school.

3. Health and Fitness Stores

Many fitness stores, such as Lululemon and PrAna, offer occasional free classes.

Of course, they hope you’ll stick around and buy some yoga pants after you’re done with class, but there’s no obligation to buy anything. I recently attended a class at a PrAna store, and the salespeople were friendly and not at all pushy.

4. Nonprofit-Hosted Events

Some nonprofit groups offer free yoga classes as a way to spread awareness of and generate interest in their causes. These classes typically have suggested donation amounts, but they aren’t going to turn you away if you don’t donate.

If you go to one of these classes, you get to enjoy a free workout and learn about a cause that you might become passionate about.

In the Twin Cities, Minnesota, area, I’ve attended classes given by Gorilla Yogis (proceeds of the donations go to Right to Know) and Story Time (donations go to various educational projects in Malawi, Africa).

5. Facebook Events

Most events these days are advertised on Facebook. Try searching for free yoga classes in your area.

You might find a nonprofit group offering a free event to raise awareness for their cause, an outdoor yoga event or a first-class-free deal at a yoga studio looking to attract more business.

Through Facebook, I found a private yoga instructor (Yoga Prairie) who offers free classes at a variety of locations from time to time.

I’ve attended her events at gardens, arboretums and fitness clothing stores. There are quite a few free yoga events out there — you just need to take the time to look for them!

6. Your Workplace

You don’t necessarily have to work for a yoga studio to get free (or discounted) yoga classes — you might be able to get free yoga classes if you work for a gym or fitness company.

I work at the corporate headquarters of a fitness company, and my husband and I both receive free gym memberships, which include group fitness classes.

Other companies outside of the fitness industry have also started offering free yoga classes as a perk for employees. Employees receive a free benefit, and the company gets healthier, less stressed employees. It’s a win-win.

If your company doesn’t currently offer this perk, you might want to suggest it to your HR team.  Free yoga classes could be a popular addition to a wellness program.

While yoga studios are typically quite expensive, there are many free alternatives. I’ve been able to find ways to attend free yoga classes several days per week. You just need to know where to look!

Your Turn: Have you found free yoga classes in your area?

Jen Hayes is a frugal lifestyle blogger and freelance writer. She is passionate about helping fellow millennials to lead healthier lives — financially, physically and mentally. Jen is currently on a journey toward shedding 50 pounds and $117,000 of student loan debt by 2018.

by Jen Hayes
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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