Health and Beauty

Dharma bummed? Try these pay-what-you-wish yoga

You know your budget is beat.

Yoga is a beloved pastime for many Brooklynites, but making it a habit could quickly break the bank. How are you supposed to clear your mind when you’re thinking of the week of groceries you could’ve bought with that membership you just paid for, or that $20 you dropped on a single class? Luckily, you have plenty of chances to participate in donations-based classes around the borough; you can thank the concepts of karma and dharma for that! The highly trained yogis who run these classes are all motivated by sharing what they love with as many people as possible. Take a look at the studios that have the most opportunities to pay what you wish to be a part of a growing community.

Brooklyn Yoga School
82 Sixth Ave., Park Slope
Type of Yoga: Classical
Suggested Donation: What you can afford
The Brooklyn Yoga School encourages everyone from beginners to the advanced yogi to take part in their classes based around the vinyasa flow. Their classes are offered every day and range from gentle movement or chanting sessions to invigorating advanced sessions. The space has a strong focus on the philosophy behind yoga as well as the physical aspect of it.  All classes include breathing exercises, chanting, meditation and philosophical discussion.

So Hum Studios
Greene Avenue (yes, that is really the only address info listed), Bed-Stuy
Type of Yoga: Hatha
Suggested Donation: $10
So Hum (which means “that I am” in Sanskrit) offers small classes of up to seven people in its studio, or private or group sessions in your home, office or school. Their classes are held on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and reservations are required. Sundays and Wednesdays focus on asanas and creative movement, while Thursdays are reserved for a more intense experience that’s meant to get you sweating. All classes are open level, and the environment is welcoming.

Boutique YOGA Brooklyn
1089 Broadway, Bushwick
Type of Yoga: Hatha and Kundalini
Suggested Donation: What you can afford
On a few evenings a week, Boutique Studios opens its photo studio for yoga classes for the community. Mondays focus on Hatha yoga, a calming and healing session, and Wednesdays are for Kundalini yoga, with a strong focus on breathing techniques and physical exercise. This is a very personable, community-oriented space. There are also musical opportunities, like transcendental drumming on Wednesdays.

Namaste Yoga and Tranquility Center
336 Grand St., Williamsburg
Type of Yoga: Classical
Suggested Donation: What you can afford
Classes here are normally $17, which includes access to their steam room, but there are a few classes per week that are open to drop-ins by donation. These classes are targeted to a wide range of experiences, offering suggestions on how to alter each pose depending on your level. This peaceful studio is the perfect place to unwind.

Hosh Yoga
55 Nassau Ave., Greenpoint
Type of Yoga: Classical
Suggested Donation: What you can afford
Hosh Yoga has a great range of experiences to choose from throughout its schedule. Depending on what day you drop in, you could work on the fundamentals, explore vinyasa sequences, melt away tension or restore your body through heating exercises. There is also guided meditation and prenatal classes.


The best part is: the likelihood that yoga studios will give you ‘tude as you shyly slip a fiver their way is slim to none, unlike other institutions around the city who claim to have suggested donations. But remember: most of these are nonprofit organizations or the personal efforts of people bringing you into their home, so be kind when evaluating what it is you can afford.

If you’re a bit sheepish about others seeing you in plow pose, try following along with podcasts in the comfort of your own home. Yoga Journal has a great series of twenty minute classes that you can mix and match to create a session that works best for you.


  1. YogaTeacher

    don’t forget Launchpad in Crown Heights — , all classes are donation-based, yoga is on the schedule Sundays and Mondays!

Leave a Reply