In these hard economic times, most of us are forced to trim down our spending. From not eating out as frequently and to buying clothing only when its on sale, those of us impacted continue to devise creative ways to keep money in our pockets.
One aspect of lifestyle spending that some are not willing to go without are wellness activities like exercise and yoga. For devoted health enthusiasts, giving up their regular fitness routine is one of the last, if not the last, item they can eliminate from their budget. Exercise in general has been shown to promote physical and mental health and mind-body activities like yoga have been linked to reduced stress levels, which for most of us right now, are flying sky-high.
But you don’t have to renege on your yoga studio membership during these hard times. Here are a couple of things to consider before throwing in the yoga mat so that you can still continue to appreciate the numerous benefits of yoga and not depreciate your bank account.
1) Start an at-home yoga routine: There are enough yoga DVDs on the market today to allow you to test out one every day of the year. Well, maybe that is an exaggeration, but if a recent job cut has forced you to make some financial sacrifices and you’re not willing to part with your sanity-saving yoga routine, consider picking up some yoga DVDs from an online retailer, your local video store or an online video rental provider. Or look into the yoga sessions offered on Wii Fit. You’ll lose the camaraderie and instruction of the studio, but you’ll save money and you’ll gain the satisfaction that comes from building your own home practice.
2) Negotiate your contract: If you have a year-long or month-long membership to your yoga studio and you’re having a hard time paying your dues, talk to the studio owner about lowering your payment by 10 or 20 percent each month. Many business owners are feeling the crunch so they are desperately clinging to maintain their current client base. Negotiating new terms with your yoga membership is a win-win for both you and your beloved studio: the studio keeps you as devoted student and you get to continue to down- dog.
3) Consider a Work-Study program: Talk to your yoga studio owner about working odd jobs around the studio in exchange for a reduced membership. Agree to clean the studio once a week, man the reception desk a few hours a week or create a flier for an upcoming workshop. As you consider a work-study program, think about your talents and areas of expertise and invite your studio to capitalize on your skills as you capitalize on theirs.
These tough economic times challenge us to determine which areas of our lifestyles hold meaning for us and it motivates us to devise creative solutions to keep them.