Years ago, I had a very close friend “pre-pay” for 10 classes and lend me $150 in order to buy a plane ticket to go see my yoga teachers in New York.
Not so long ago, I overdrew my account in order to spend a weekend with one of my favorite teachers at Esalen. Last week, I threw my mat down outside in my tiny backyard and embarked on a home yoga practice because getting to class and paying for it just seemed like too much effort… but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let my yoga practice give me the slip!
My spending and accounting habits aside, I know what it’s like to do anything to get your yoga on. And, for years, I’ve been trying to provide easy ways for people to do just this. Because it’s so important to me, and because I wish that someone had done this for me all those years ago.
When I first started yoga, I was in college. Thank goodness I was taking a class at a gym where they offered a steep student discount so I could afford classes. But, as soon as I graduated, I couldn’t afford my yoga. You know what I did? I became a yoga teacher through a cheap weekend certification simply so I could take classes wherever I taught… for free. Things evolved, and eventually I committed to teaching yoga and got certified through other trainings (a few times over, really, which was an expensive habit!).
In 2005, I started podcasting, which was a free service that offered short classes, lectures and meditations that over a million people have listened to since then. Last year, I launched a re-vamped website that housed a myriad of free and cheap resources for people to utilize to learn about yoga, do their practice and interact. As the cost of living and yoga classes continues to rise, I am trying to do my part to continue to make yoga as accessible as possible. Again, because it’s important to me, and I know how much it benefits those who need it most.
But, let’s be honest, I’ve still gotta pay my bills, too! Somebody has to feed the dog. But, for more than a year, there have been lectures to help yoga teachers theme their classes available on my website for $4 a piece. That’s not bad. For a couple of years, I offered a podcast subscription—$13 for four classes a month. Damn cheaper than your local yoga studio. All in the hopes that people would have no roadblocks on their way to yoga bliss. More recently, I’ve moved all my content over to the amazing YogaDownload.com where you can either stream or download classes for a nominal fee. This summer, I created a course that teaches you how to design your own home practice, which means that you’d never have to pay for yoga again. It’s an amazing reason to dedicate yourself to your practice and never be without your yoga.
Because yoga is meant to be done anywhere, anytime, by people of any means. Want something for free? I’ve got a ridiculously large archive of free podcasts on my website that include meditations, classes, stories, lectures and insights. It’s all there for you. It’s time for guerrilla yoga, people. Because I’ve been there… and now again at the end of the month, I’m still there. And, most of all, I know how important your practice is when you need it. So, here you have it. Take advantage of your iPod and get to downloading! Go guerrilla with your yoga and get it on by any means necessary.
Editor: Kate Bartolotta