Down and out and need to be stretched and inspired? When I was working full time and making close to 6 figures I didn’t think too much about how to get free classes. I just paid full retail price and floated out of my class with my yoga buzz. I also took a few yoga-centered vacations at places like Omega and Kripalu.
The key is to be creative in your mindset and think about what you have of value and what you can offer the studio in exchange for you getting your downdog on.
- Often studios will let you take the first class for free or at a steep discount. Yogaworks lets you take the first took weeks of unlimited classes at one of their studios for $20.
- Barter is back! Some studios will let you do a work exchange for a workshop or teacher training. I know one college student that mopped the floors of her yoga studio a few times a week so she could do the more advanced and pricey teacher trainings. Can you do massage, graphic design, accounting, basic admin work, web site design? Maybe you can trade.
- I monitor via twitalerts terms like yoga philly, yoga philadelphia and almost every week there are deals from studios for a month of classes at 75% off from sites like Living Social, Groupon etc. This strategy works well for major metropolitan areas but not so much for small rural ones. You can sign up for a free account at twilert.com and moniter Twitter for certain keywords ….much better than following your Twitter feed every day (does anyone actually do that?)
- If all else fails, ask. I really wanted to take a yoga teacher training but the $1500 was just out of my budget. I emailed the teacher how much I wanted to take her training. The teacher offered one scholarship to one student each term that did not have the means and I received it for 50% off. Congratulations to me!
- There was a training I really wanted to take and I offered to be the teacher’s assistant. I didn’t need to do that much during the class and I received an awesome core strength teacher training.
- Are you a blogger or do you write reviews on sites like Yelp, Citysearch etc? Ask if there are press passes in exchange for an article or blog and list where you will publish these.
- Offer to post flyers at the cafes, natural food stores, wellness centers, etc that you frequent. Be specific about where you will post these, how often and how many. Can someone offer to do this for me? I’d love for someone that lives near one of the studios that I teach at every week to go flyering once a month.
- If you read the fine print of your health care plan, they might reimburse you fully or partially for fitness classes.
- Can you recruit a small group of friends to come to classes with you? Maybe you are pregnant and know a few other pregnant women that would love to take a Tuesday afternoon prenatal yoga class. Offer to organize the group and see what discount you would get as the organizer.
- When I was “liberated” from a Fortune 500 company a few years ago I got a great severance package. They offered to pay up to $8,000 for educational benefits. That is how I got quite a bit of my yoga teacher training. See if your company offers educational reimbursements for current employees.
- There is an ocean of online yoga videos for free or at a steep disount online. Do a search under videos in Google and be specific about what kind of yoga you want. Do you want a vigorous vinyasa class or a gentle beginner class? Since you can’t watch an hour video for free usually there are many sites that you pay a monthly membership $20 and can do as many classes as you want a month.
- For the studios that are very near you, subscribe to their newsletters. They will mention free workshops, anniversary weeks etc. If they cram up your inbox too much, ask them nicely to only mail once a month otherwise you will need to unsubscribe. (I’ve done this politely and the studio was respectful and put me on a “low flow” option.
- Do you have a birthday coming up? If people ask what you want, let them know you would love to have a monthly pass for yoga classses at the local hot yoga studio that is blocks from your house. I would much rather buy something my friend will enjoy and appreciate instead of a soap-on-a-rope. (Yes, I have bought that for someone before).
What are your ideas and techniques for getting free, trade or discounted yoga classes?