Ballpark Estimate: $10 to $15 per lesson
If you’re looking for an activity that will exercise your mind as well as your body, you may want to consider the practice of yoga. Yoga is a form of exercise that combines stretching, strategic postures, meditation and breathing techniques in order to help a person achieve a more balanced state.
Benefits of Yoga
Many people who make a commitment to participant in regular yoga classes find themselves calmer and more focused. They also experience lower blood pressure and improved heart and respiratory rates, as well as an increased ability to combat stress. As a result, many doctors now recommend that patients invest in the cost of yoga along with more traditional treatments to address a host of health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, depression and anxiety disorder.
Different Types of Classes
If you want to try yoga lessons, in addition to thinking about the yoga class cost, there are also a variety of different styles to consider as well. Most of the yoga classes are based on the same series of postures, but each one has its own unique focus and pace. Here are some of the popular options:
Hatha yoga is one of the most basic yoga categories, and many of the variations fall within this broad heading. The goal of hatha yoga is to achieve a balanced state by uniting opposites. This can be accomplished using a series of poses, which are referred to as “asanas” (postures) and breathing exercises, know as “pranayama.” Hatha yoga can be a good choice for beginners and people with physical limitations, since there is a strong focus on controlling each breath and getting the most out of it without overtaxing the body.
Vinyasa yoga is another broad category that encompasses different yoga types that incorporate breathing synchronized with your movements. This is a graceful style of yoga; you can expect to perform different postures and to use your breath to help you to smoothly transition from one pose to the next one. These classes usually build up to more intense stretching at the end.
Asthnaga yoga requires even more energy and power to be invested in the movements, earning it a reputation as a more athletically based form of yoga practice. This is a good choice for those who are in extremely good physical shape or are looking to challenge themselves. The different postures are linked again by deep breathing exercises, but the effect is more physically challenging than some of the other yoga styles. Asthnaga yoga also stresses the importance of practicing the poses in the same exact order. Many yoga studios offer a variation on this style called power yoga, which has similar pacing but doesn’t strictly follow the pose order.
Ivengar yoga stresses the importance of precision and proper alignment in each pose and movement. People get the most benefits by performing each action to its full potential. Many teachers also encourage the use of yoga blocks and other accessories to help students master each move completely to get the deepest workout.
Yin yoga is also performed more slowly and with more intensity than most of the other yoga style, encouraging the student to get a deeper stretch in the muscles by holding each pose for an extended period.
Kundali yoga is often associated with “new age” practices, engaging the energy points in the body, which are referred to as “chakras” and helping to open them in order to achieve a balanced state. It often incorporates chanting in with the meditation and encourages people to explore how the breath impacts each pose.
Bikram yoga, or hot yoga, is a unique type of yoga because it is performed in a room where the air temperature is kept at about 100 degrees. This enables people to get maximum benefits when they perform a series of strategic poses. The heat loosens the muscles for increased flexibility and also promotes sweating for a deep cleansing effect. Since Bikram yoga can be taxing, this is a good choice for people who are athletically inclined or already in good shape.
Viniyoga is based on a personalized student-teacher relationship. In this model, the teacher works one-on-one with a student to create a yoga program that is tailored made for him or her. This takes into account the person’s age, flexibility, health status and goals for performing yoga and helps them to come up with a plan that meets their needs and provides the most benefit.
Where to Find
When shopping for yoga classes, there are many different settings to explore. For instance, you can check with your local health clubs to find out what type of yoga classes, and yoga prices, they offer. You can also visit The Yoga Journal’s website and use their searchable directory to find a teacher in your area. Another good online resource is YogaFinder, which lets you search for classes in your region. You can also try the Yoga Alliance website, which offers certification for teachers who meet certain criteria and enables you to locate those who have earned this status.
You can also look online or ask neighbors, friends and co-workers for recommendations to yoga studios in your vicinity. In addition, you can check for yoga classes through your town recreation departments, YMCAs and continuing education programs.
Try Before You Buy
When selecting a yoga class, it can be a good idea to ask if you could try one lesson to see if you like it before you commit to an entire session. Some teachers will offer a free trial, while others prorate the class tuition to enable students to pay as they go along. This is a good way to make sure that the teacher’s style is a good fit for your energy level before you commit to a long-term commitment.
What to Bring and Expect
Every yoga class will unfold in a different way, but there are some common elements that you can usually expect to experience in a typical yoga lesson. For instance, you should plan to wear loose clothing, such as stretchy yoga pants and a t-shirt or workout top. You can find these at most stores that sell athletic wear, such as Lululemon Athletica, which specializes in technical yoga apparel, or other sporting goods stores that carry a range of options from casual workout clothing to more specializes yoga wear. You will also be expected to bring a yoga mat, which you can purchase for between $20 and $30 for a basic mat, or up to $50 for a deluxe model at most sporting good stores such as Dicks and Modells, and discount houses like Target and Walmart.
Most yoga classes start with some chanting or meditation, followed by light stretching to warm up the muscles, before moving into a sequence of poses. The yoga class will usually end with more stretching to cool down, followed by a period of final relaxation and meditation.
Cost of Yoga Classes
The cost for yoga classes depends on where you go and the level of expertise that the teacher brings to the lesson. The setting will also factor into the yoga class cost, as will the length of the class, which will generally run between 60 and 90 minutes. Private yoga studios and health clubs are usually more expensive, while yoga classes through local recreation centers and continuing education programs will be on the more affordable end. Bikram yoga classes that require a higher temperature and more maintenance of the classroom will also be more expensive than some of the more basic yoga classes. With these variables in mind, the average yoga class cost is $10 to $15. On the low end of the spectrum, if you commit to a regular class session that spans a month or two and/or consists of multiple yoga classes a week, you may be able to get the cost down to as low as $5 per yoga class, while on the high end, a yoga studio in a high-rent area might cost as much as $25 per yoga class. In addition, if you prefer private yoga classes, this can cost between $50 and $100 per lesson, or even more if the teacher travels to your home.
When looking at the spectrum of yoga costs, the price of yoga classes can cost $5 to $25 for a group lesson, or cost as much $100 for a one-on-one class. The average price of a yoga class is between $10 and $15 per class.
It’s also worth noting that some health clubs and gyms offer yoga classes as part of their membership package at no extra charge.
A Do-It-Yourself Option
If the time and money commitment that yoga practice requires is more than your schedule or wallet allows, you can also try to engage in regular yoga poses at home at your own convenience. If you decide to go this route, it’s a good idea to invest in a basic yoga DVD or book that you can follow to get the most out of your yoga workout. You can find something for $25 or less that should meet your needs at Amazon.com or in most brick and mortar bookstores and discount houses.
No Laughing Matter
If you have a sense of humor and want to incorporate it into your yoga practice, you might want to look into “laughter yoga.” This latest form of yoga simulates laughter to engage participants in laughing along with gentle stretching and exercise. While it may be a lot of fun to partake in such a class, it also brings many serious health and wellness benefits because the laughter spurs the body to release endorphins, which are a “feel good” hormone. That makes this is a good form of yoga that won’t overtax you, but can indeed improve your overall wellbeing. Better yet, you can do a search online to find a laugh yoga club new you and attend the sessions free of charge. To learn more, visit Laughter Yoga International.