Monday, January 11, 2010

yoga.. for free!

I've had an on-again off-again relationship with yoga for the last 3 or 4 years, and when I practice regularly I find a big difference in my stress level, as well as flexibility. Having had numerous instructors over the years, I've discovered what works for me as well in a teacher. I like someone who isn't afraid to adjust a pose by sticking a knee in my back or pulling my shoulders down, and I appreciated when they do it without ruining the flow of the class (quiet voice, or not talking at all). I don't like it when a teacher jokes around during the class or uses a sharp voice (I'm not explaining that very well.. what I'm trying to say is I'm there to do yoga, not become best friends with you, or to be barked at like I'm in the army).

Additionally, yoga is EXPENSIVE. The going rate for an hour class seems to be around $15, although if you join a session or get an "unlimited monthly" and actually use it, it drops. However, I have managed to locate enough cheap or free classes around the city that I barely pay for classes anymore. The downside to doing this is that the instructors are rarely the same, so if you're looking for continuity, you're not going to find it this way. However, you never get bored in your practice - because every class is different!

Here's what I've managed to find so far:

Lululemon: Sunday at 10:30am, and occasionally weeknights at 7:30pm; check the weekly schedule for updates
108 Yoga: Karma class Saturday mornings at 9:38am (donation); also, every 3rd Saturday of the month there is a 2 hour intro class for beginners that is free!
Moksha Yoga: Karma class Friday nights 8:30pm (donation, $5 min)
The Yoga Loft: free classes January 23 and 24th

..and I currently have a free pass for one class at Therapeutic Approach Yoga Studio.

There are also some classes at a few local churches:

St. Andrew's United Church: Friday nights 6:30pm (donation)
Fort Massey United Church: Wednesday nights 6:30pm ($5)

The moral of the story, is you don't have to spend a lot of money to be involved in a regular yoga practice. This week I could go to class 6 out of 7 days with all of the classes I've found (for $10! wow!).


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