Why Is Yoga So Expensive?

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

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I'm Tina

Iโ€™m the owner of Carrots โ€˜Nโ€™ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Good morning! ๐Ÿ˜€

How’d you sleep last night? I finally got a good night’s rest. The past few nights, I haven’t been able to shut off my brain, so I’ve been tossing and turning and obsessing/worrying, but last night, I slept well. Thank goodness!

Last Night’s Dinner

Last night’s dinner was another four-ingredient recipe: Broccoli & Cheese Couscous with roasted broccoli, cannellini beans, and crumbled feta.

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I cooked the couscous and roasted broccoli separately, and then just mixed everything together. Delish!

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Mal and I sat down to dinner at 4:50 pm. Hello, early bird special!

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After dinner, I enjoyed two pieces of whole wheat toast with almond butter and peanut butter and chocolate chips on top. Mmm!

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Breakfast

This morning’s breakfast was whole wheat toast with peanut butter and banana slices on top. Nothing fancy, but still delicious, nutritious, and satisfying.

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I also drank a glass of iced coffee with breakfast.

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A few weeks ago, I bought a two-week unlimited pass to a nearby yoga studio. I paid $25 and used it to its full advantage. I attended five sessions in two weeks, so it worked out to $5 per class. Pretty good, right?

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Unfortunately (for me), this offer was only a one-time deal, so I couldn’t buy another one, but I really like the yoga studio and my regular practice is doing me a lot of good. It has helped loosen my tight runner’s legs, increased my core strength, and improved my mood. (I’ve been a lot more pleasant lately!) The studio offered a number of membership options:

  • Drop In Rate: $14
  • 5 Class Pass: $65
  • 10 Class Pass: $125
  • 30 Day Unlimited Pass: $150
  • 6 Month Unlimited Pass: $749

I really wanted to sign up for the 6 Month Unlimited Pass or even the 30 Day Unlimited Pass, but I just couldn’t justify spending the money, especially since I already pay for a gym membership. I realize that I can always practice yoga at home for free, but I just don’t get as good of a workoutโ€โ€ I get distracted, lose interest, and don’t challenge myself as much as I would if I were in a class setting.

I took a quick poll on Twitterย the other day, and it seems that these prices are pretty standard, so I bit the bullet and bought a 10 Class Pass, which works out to $12.50 per class. I probably won’t attend yoga classes as much, but maybe it’ll get me to take my at-home practice a little more seriously. Who knows, maybe I’ll reprioritize my spending so I can afford an Unlimited Pass?

Question of the Day

Why is yoga so expensive? If you take classes, how much do you pay?

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198 Comments

  1. I totally agree! I have NO IDEA why it’s so expensive — except that — there are folks willing to pay!

    If everyone boycotts the price will go down ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s $12 per drop in class here. My YMCA offers it but it even costs extra there! The other group classes are free. I think it’s about $40 for 8 or 12 weeks at the YMCA, which is 1 class per week.

    One time I took a de-stress 2 hour yoga session at the YMCA and that was $20.

  2. As with many here (and you!), I have a similar dilemma. While I haven’t tried yoga yet (I want, no, NEED to!), I keep debating about getting a membership to the climbing gym I go to. It’s also really expensive, and I would have to go at least once a week (or take a bunch of classes) to make it cost-effective. I don’t go that often, but it’s a great workout and I wonder if I would go more if I had the membership…

  3. Yoga classes at studios are SO expensive! I bought a group exercise pass ($65) for the semester for all the classes at my campus gym, and I usually go to a few a week, including yoga once or twice. It’s a great deal, and the teacher/class is awesome, even if it’s not in a real studio. I’ll do yoga at home occasionally as well, but I enjoy classes better. I know when I graduate, I’m not gonna be able to afford a real studio, so I’ll probably try to find a gym that offers group exercise & yoga classes in the fee.

    1. @Erin:

      my thoughts exactly.
      i took this sociology of sports class (soc major here woop woop) a couple terms ago, and we learned/talked about why exercising in general is often expensive, monetarily and/or through the time it consumes (in a capitalist society, time=money).

      i would also say though that a good, real yoga class (none of that hot yoga mess which completely exploits and commodifies the basic philosophy of yoga) with a quality instructor is priceless. my aunt has been practicing and teaching yoga for some 30 years. she’s constantly doing training workshops/retreats to increase her personal practice and thus the practice of her students. she’s even traveled to india many times for workshops/retreats.
      education/experience isn’t cheap sadly

  4. I agree with why are yoga classes so expensive?? I took advantage of deal at local studio in January and want to go back but just do not have the money. I get a much better workout in a studio environment, so maybe one day I will go back.

  5. If anyone reads the comments all the way to here … check out if your studio has a karma yogi program. I work at the studio once a week for 5 hours and get free unlimited yoga in exchange!

  6. Ahhhh, yoga… I’ve just started on my own yoga journey (it’s LIFE changing, isn’t it?!?)–thanks to a Groupon–and I dread when I have to pay ‘regular’ price… which seem to align nearly perfectly to yours. Hurumph.

  7. I used to think yoga was too expensive but no that Im a soon to be instructor it makes sense. Yogas a commodity like anything else and teachers put in time, money, and effort to deliver the goods. I think the price justifies the means and definitely adds value to your practice and the job of instructing yoga.

  8. Could you use yoga DVDs? I started getting into pilates with DVDs instead of going to a time and money expensive studio. I love it! If I had to pick one, I would much rather pay for a gym membership than a yoga studio pass.

  9. $9 per class for 8 classes at my local community centre. I like that I have class at the same time, same day, every week, and the instructor builds on what was taught at the previous class. I also like the community feel, since most attendees are from the local neighbourhood. And, there’s something about the instructor taking attendance that makes me show up to get my money’s worth – the incentive I need on those busy days when I just want to go home and collapse on the sofa. I always feel better after class!

  10. I practice at THE iyengar yoga studio in India (where Iyengar yoga started – the guru is still alive today) and it is 3600 rupees for four months (i go twice a week). 3600 rs = $80!! That works out to $2.50 per class ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I don’t think I’ll ever pay for yoga after trying Jillian Michaels’ video “Yoga Meltdown.” I get it for free OnDemand, and it literally kicks my butt!

  12. I do yoga once a week, I buy a 5 or a 10 class card. I have an el cheapo membership at Planet Fitness ($99 for an entire year) so I don’t mind paying to take classes elsewhere.

    What’s going to make me a sad panda is when my buywithme deal for spinning runs out. I got a 10 class card for $20. I don’t know if I can afford full price spinning AND yoga once a week each.

  13. Ive found that what I want out of my workout changes every couple of months- sometimes im SO into spinning, other times it HAS to be yoga…etc. I’ve given up on these 3 or 6 month passes for anything other than the plain old gym- because I dont get sick of running! If its a specialty class, i do better to pay per session- so I dont commit to something I might abandon for another activity!

  14. Yoga is “so expensive” because yoga instructors go through intense, months–or even years–of training. They learn about every inch of the human body and psyche. That’s what makes them so amazing! I pay $12/class with a 10 pack to my favorite yoga studio. I’m not flush with cash, but given what yoga does for my mind and spirit, I would figure out a way to do it even if it cost more. It is worth every stinking penny for me. If it isn’t worth it to you, you probably haven’t found the right instructor that clicks with you. Namaste.

  15. The roasted broccoli is awesome! My 2 1/2 year said that she liked the “brockey”. Also, your dessert with the chocolate chips is very good! Satisfies the sweet craving and keeps you from wanting to snack!

  16. I am lucky that my husband has always paid for a Y membership and I started going to yoga classes three years ago. Various teachers and classes and finally settled on one teacher who teaches m w f at 7:30 am. I love it so much that I go to every class and am in better shape at 63 than ever in my life. I love yoga and hate exercise. Yoga is just pure joy for me.

  17. My gym offers yoga classes almost on a daily basis, and my membership is only 40 a month. However, I am hesitant to go because I don’t know where to start ๐Ÿ™ I feel that I need a beginner class and have no clue what the class offered at the gym is…. I should probably peek in and figure it out.
    ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re really getting me motivated to get on the yoga ball!

  18. Even the student discounts I can thankfully score are $9 a class at a studio. My school offers occasional free yoga programs for students, but I’m pretty sure they’re open to the public with a small fee (maybe $7?). And I believe Schenley Plaza does outdoor yoga sessions in the summer which are a little cheaper than usual.

    The price isn’t astronomical, and I do think it’s worth it. But as a college student lacking in funds I wouldn’t complain if it were lower >.>

  19. As a owner of a studio I could totally lower my prices if more people came – I usually have only 2 – 6 people in a class – I was able to lower to 98 for a month of unlimited but still I have to make enough to keep the studio running and my bills paid – every single student counts – I would love to lower my prices even more to allow everyone the chance to get quality yoga.

    Make sure to talk to the owner of the studio (if its a independently owned one) Most would be willing to do a partial or full trade for a skill you have or working in the studio.

    Watch out for gym yoga the teachers usually (not always) have less training and too many people in class so they can’t keep an eye on everyone – videos are great but it’s good to go to studio so you know you are doing the pose right and not hurting yourself

    It sucks as a trained teacher to hear that your expertise, knowledge, and real caring are not worth it to a lot of people – I thank the universe for people that realize that a good teacher is worth every penny – I truly appreciate and care about every single person that comes into my class. Try getting that @ the gym ๐Ÿ˜›

  20. $150 a month sounds about right. If you go several times a week I suppose it would be worth it. 4x a week would be around $9 per class. Still, it’s a lot of money. In this economy, sometimes you have to choose between a pricey monthly yoga package or internet & cable.

  21. I am not sure how much people feel yoga classes should be? I am a yoga and Pilates instructor, been practicing for over 20 years. If my prices are too low, I need to get a full time job to cover my bills, food, travel costs, travel time, course costs etc etc, if I do that, I am too knackered at the end of a working day to give anything of quality to a class as a teacher. A good teacher does continuing training and re-training to ensure they give a good, satisfying and SAFE class. They need time to do their own practice – it is only through personal practice, in anything, that a teacher becomes a good and genuine teacher.

    We are not living in an ideal world where living costs are nothing. We all need to pay our bills, feed ourselves, put a roof over our heads, train to be continually improving our expertise, it all costs money, and time. We do live in a society where we need to put a certain cost to our services. Most people in a service industry does, unless they are a charity. I certainly don’t know of any yoga teachers who drive around in the latest Mercedez Benz soft tops, the ones that I know make a living, just. Sure there are some that use it as a cash cow, they let yoga down unfortunately, but that is the minority and usually commercial types. Mostly, teaching is done for the love of it, but we need some remuneration to keep on teaching, and teaching quality stuff. I wouldn’t ask a friend who does plumbing for a living to fix my tank for free, I would pay them, their time, skill and service does me a value and helps me out… Same as I wouldn’t ask a computer person to fix my slow computer for free, I appreciate their service has a price. Same goes for a private maths tutor, they charge what they charge. The same goes for yoga teachers, or any teachers for that matter.

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