A reader wrote in to ask where to find affordable yoga in town. A reasonable question: the going rate in Brooklyn is $16-$20 per class and $135-$175 for a 10-class card—expensive. I’ve grappled with this problem as well, and solved it in various ways: through trial-class discounts, Brooklyn yoga meetups and a few good DVDs.
I especially love Bikram yoga, and a lot of studios—say, Bikram Yoga South Slope—offer a “30-day challenge.” You pay for a month unlimited ($175), you go 30 days straight, then you get the next 30 days free. It can be tough, yes. But the financial incentive is huge.
Bikram South Slope also has a work-study option: you clean the studio (including mats) evenings and weekends for three free classes a week. Williamsburg’s Go Yoga has a work-study program as well. (“Please be mature, reliable, and comfortable handling responsibility. Previous experience with yoga is preferred, but not required.”) You might consider approaching your studio of choice, asking if they have something like this available.
Area Yoga in Carroll Gradens has a sick deal right now: both their 10-class card and one month unlimited are $75. I called to see when this offer might expire. “No expiration date on this.” Shambhala Yoga and Dance Center is surprisingly cheap (as yoga goes)—$115 for a ten-class pass. They also offer “community” pay-what-you-can classes 4-5 times a month, suggested donation $6. Third Root Community Health Center in Ditmas Park offers sliding-scale rates on yoga classes, calculated according to your monthly income.
I once met a woman in the changing room at South Slope who was studio-hopping for cheap introductory rates. She’d come all the way from Harlem to get the first-timers special at Bikram South Slope—$20 for a week of yoga (they also have a $90/month deal for first timers). Yoga Center of Brooklyn offers first-timers a $25/week of unlimited yoga deal. Park Slope’s Yogasana and Windsor Terrace’s Jaya Yoga both offer $10 classes for first-timers.
There are a lot of yoga meetup groups lead by certified teachers, the only difference being they lead classes in people’s homes, and in some cases studio spaces rented or lent to the group. Meetup yoga groups are generally cheaper than studio yoga. Example, the “Vinyasa Community Yoga Classes” meetup group gathers in Dumbo, requested donation $10. To find a yoga meetup group near you, do a simple search—yoga with your zip code.
Yoga deals pop on occasion on craigslist. I did a quick yoga/Brooklyn search in “community” and found $5 rooftop yoga off the Halsey stop on the L, plus a free yoga deal from Martial Arts-USA (759 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor b/w Sterling and St. Johns, 3 blocks north of the Brooklyn Museum, email@example.com): your first class is free, if you refer a friend and they buy a five-class card you get another free class, and if you come to one class a week for four weeks you also get a free class.
I’ve spent months here and there doing yoga at home. There are countless DVDs out there, and I’ve bought more than few used from Amazon for $2-$10 dollars a pop (favorite DVD teachers: Brian Kest and Baron Baptiste). There are also plenty of yoga clips up on youtube. If you have a hard time with getting up and doing it alone, try inviting yoga-loving friends to do it as a group with a DVD. Start a meetup up group of your own—for free.