Why Is Yoga So Expensive?

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ 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! 😀

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 workout”” 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 Twitter 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 volunteer at my yoga studio to work the desk twice a week. You get free yoga and it’s nice to be a part of a yoga community.

  2. Yoga classes where I attend zumba are $8 per class or $35 unlimited for the month. Please take into consideration that I like in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area of PA and it is severely economically depressed so if it were more expensive, people just wouldn’t go.

  3. I used to go to a free yoga class called Yoga for the People in the West Village in NYC… that’s the great thing about NY, all kinds of free stuff available! I did have to take a 2 hour subway ride to get there though.

    I heard a really good tip for falling asleep when you can’t “shut off” your brain: think in pictures, not words. I think sometimes we tend to keep ourselves awake by thinking out conversations in our heads or planning out what emails to send the next day. But if you just think of images, like memories or something, you brain goes into standby mode more quickly, esp if you’re tired!

  4. First off I love your idea of adding chocolate chips to bread with pb! That looks soo good! I also always eat dinner at 5… and I am 20 years old haha.. I get cranky if it gets too late!

    About Yoga, I do p90x yoga and it is a great workout…I would definitely suggest it!

  5. I agree Tina, it’s strange how much more expensive yoga is than, say, drop-in Zumba or just a gym membership. I think the expense comes partly from the training. I have several group ex certs that each took about 8 hours of training to get and cost between $180-$220. To become a 200 hour RYT (registered yoga teacher) it’s around $2,000 – $3,000. It’s around the same if you want a specialty training like Bikram or Baptiste yoga I didn’t even look at the 500 hour training because… heart attack city!!

    I suspect the expense of yoga training ups the money the instructors receive, which increases the cost for the studio. Also, if a studio is a good studio, they will disinfect and replace the mats and props and their floor will be high-quality wood. All these extras add up to be pretty expensive. If you’re looking to save money and still get a tough class at home, I really like the classes on Yogadownloads.com and I’m starting the Baptiste Yoga Bootcamp which I ordered from Amazon pretty cheap!

  6. How timely of a question. I am in week 5 of a 6 week program that includes yoga, meditation, and strength training. Loving the yoga and meditation but not sure if I can spend the $ for classes! It is $15 for drop in, Monthly 2 sessions per week-$89/month, 3 sessions per week-$119/month and Unlimited-$129/month, 1 Year Unlimited-$1,000. At the most I would do 3 per week. Good to know prices are about the same everywhere.

    So what to do? A friend wants me to help/motivate her to train for a 5K. Her gym is close to my work and offers a variety of classes-Body Pump, etc. that sound interesting but only one yoga class 1x a week. The gym is $40/month+enrollment+once yearly equipment fee. My dream is to take riding lessons and that seems to be $25-30 for an hour and would be once a week. I love horses, animals, and the outdoors. Also with spring and summer near, I’ll be out doing yard work and gardening. Time vs. work vs. $ – what to do?!?!

    Hang in there Tina!

  7. is there a lulu near you? they offer free yoga classes at most stores every weekend that are actually taught by really good instructors.

    I hate how much specialized classes cost. I am stockpiling groupon yoga deals and have about 30 classes stored up that I paid under 5 a piece for. As a pilates instructor, I will say that the course training to be certified is REALLY expensive…which I’m sure factors into the outrageously high class fees.

    And I’m with you. I do not have the focus to do anything at home!

  8. I hear ya, Tina. Yoga classes are expensive, but, you get what you pay for. I currently do the 3-month unlimited for $450. However, I don’t belong to a gym and I attend about 7-8 classes a week (sometimes I do two classes back-to-back). But for me, yoga keeps me sane. I’m not quite sure what I would be/feel like if I didn’t practice, and I’m not quite sure if I want to find out. The teachers at my studio are all amazing and I wish I could give them more. The feeling I get after a hot, sweaty and deep class is priceless. I have given up other things in order to afford my classes because yoga means that much to me. What you are paying at your studio seems to be about average for the Boston area.

    Maybe you could barter? Perhaps you could write some posts about your studio/do some sort of an event in exchange for some free classes?

  9. I pay $188 for 2 months! I agree with you – I don´t challenge myself as much when I practice my yoga at home!

  10. Maybe Yoga instructors are paid more? It seems if there is a class of 20-30 at even $12 a class, the gym is banking.
    I pay around $10-$15 a class, depending on how many I pre-buy. And I agree–if you already pay for a gym membership it can get expensive!

  11. Yeah, mine is about the same price. I bought a Groupon for the studio and just used it this weekend (5 classes to use in 8 weeks), and the 10 class pass is about the same as your. I’m biting the bullet, mostly because I already love the instructor.

  12. Doesn’t your gym offer yoga classes? Mine does….I don’t do yoga though….I find it too slow for my attention span/cardio cravings!

  13. There is something special about taking a yoga class in a proper studio. The feeling of the space. The attention of the instructor. The vibe of the room being filled with folks all with the same purpose. Lovely!

  14. I am not currently taking yoga so I don’t know the prices in my area but I’ve heard they are pretty expensive. I guess you are paying for the experience as well as the practice. Kinda like spa services…SO expensive!!

  15. You know that Lululemon offers free yoga classes at different stores. Mine has it free on sundays. you should check it out!

  16. As a yogini who’s working to open a new yoga studio and become a certified Baptiste yoga instructor, studio classes are set so that the owner can afford the rent and all the nice perks a studio offers – nice floors, yoga props and equipment, ameneties, highly skilled teachers, etc. Plus, taking a yoga teacher training course is not cheap and many yoga teachers are required to continue studying with their senior teachers in order to maintain their certification.

    One of my favorite teachers used to say, “Where else in the city can you get a sauna, facial, spinal adjustment, massage, and a great workout all for 20 bucks?” So true! Yoga does a lot more than just stretch you out – it detoxes the body, so yes, over time your skin clears up, your spinal health improves, your internal organs get a massage, etc. etc. Not to mention the emotional, spiritual, and other wonderful benefits the practice can offer. I think it’s a small price to pay for all of the incredible benefits!

  17. I’m with you on this. I live in Boulder, where any drop-in class is $17. The New York Times published an article sometime last year about how making yoga such an expensive commodity in the States is the opposite of its eastern-thinking roots.

  18. I pay $15 a class but like you am a much more pleasant person when I take it – I’ve done it twice. Much more relaxed.

    I will probably continue – only once a week though.

  19. Ugh, it is so expensive! My studio is $16 per class but I usually buy a 10 class card which brings it down to $14 per class. I don’t belong to a gym since all I do is run anyway (I own a treadmill for the winter months), so I feel it’s somewhat a justified expense (somewhat)!

  20. Do you have On Demand? If you go to the Exercise TV button there are hundreds of free workouts that you can download and watch on TV! This includes yoga, pilates, total body workouts, even dancing! It’s awesome. I use it at least twice a week. If you have trouble finding it, let me know and I’ll give you the exact instructions on how to get to it from the On Demand main page.

  21. I agree with you, even though yoga is worth it, it’s definitely expensive. That’s why when I lived in Boston I belonged to Equinox. It was definitely one of the pricier gyms in Boston (though I got a corp. discount I think rack rate was something like $120) but the yoga classes there were good. I loved the instructors just as much as the ones at the yoga only studio and I like that it was actually cheaper than a 1 month unlimited membership to a yoga studio and I could also to go to other classes and use the machines.

    I’m currently between gyms as I am hoping to move soon so I think I’m to look into a short term solution. I’ve been considering doing the free classes at Lululemon since they pull instructors from local studios anyway. My local Lululemon is especially fun because come summer, they bring the classes outside. 🙂

  22. I finally slept well last night also!
    I do Bikram Yoga which costs a whopping $18 per class! I buy 3 month passes for $300 which makes each class less than $10 – a much better deal. Expensive but so worth it to me

  23. I’m so lucky, my beautiful yoga studio offer $39/mo unlimited classes. I think it went up to $49 at the beginning of the year, but my membership stayed at the $39. (I’m in San Diego). How awesome is that?!

  24. I don’t normally go to classes because it is SO expensive, instead I really like doing yoga at home. Rodney Yee has some fantastic DVD’s, if you haven’t tried it, give it a shot, the Power Yoga is my favorite of his.

  25. I signed up for yogaglo.com – unlimited yoga classes for $18 in the comfort of your own home. It’s that studio feeling minus the studio price 🙂

  26. Yoga is way to expensive! I would love to go to a studio I think it would be a much better experience. My gym offers yoga classes (although I have never been to one) so I just can’t justify the extra cost.

  27. My sister and I pay $25 a month for 4-5 classes of Pilates. Depends on how many Thursdays there are in the month. Twice a week I “try” doing it at home. 🙂 It is harder to make yourself do it on your own! This class is through Kaiser, our HMO. That probably makes a difference.

  28. crap that is expensive! ive never paid for a yoga class before but since my gym membership is only $22 a month, i dont think i could justify it in my mind. $130 marathon? oh yeah, totally justified.

  29. As a yoga and group exercise instructor I second that yoga is TOO EXPENSIVE and thus creates an elitist environment at most yoga studios. Here in Charlottesville we are lucky enough to have the Guerilla Yoga Project, which offers classes for “pay-what-you-can-donation”. I only charge $8 for my classes because I feel that’s what I could afford to pay.

  30. I’m a yoga teacher in Baltimore and these prices are actually a bit cheaper than the studio I teach in which is surprising bc Baltimore is tiny compared to Boston. But you should see if there are any donation based studios or community yoga classes where it’s cheaper. Or you can download some amazing yoga podcasts for free 🙂

  31. They don’t have yoga at the gym where you belong? There are a lot of good health clubs that also offer very good yoga classes! Even BodyFlow or Group Centergy are good yoga hybrid classes that a lot of gyms have. That’s the way to get it for free! I think yoga is expensive because it’s very expensive and time consuming to become a certified (true) yoga instructor. So they deserve the higher pay rate!

  32. Doesn’t that suck?? My gym offers yoga, but you have to pay over and above your monthly dues because they consider it a “specialty class”. I actually questioned them on it, it seemed to me a cash grab because its a popular class. My arguement was they don’t need to buy special equipment, we all take our own mats – they said yoga instructors charge more per hour than “regular” instructors. Hmm…not sure if I buy that, but I sucked it up and bought a $30 monthly pass and I attend 8-10 sessions a month. Doesn’t sound like much, but when you add it on to what I’m ALREADY paying each month, it’s up there. But I DO love my classes!! Namaste!

  33. I do a “trade” at my hot yoga studio where I spend 3 hours per week working for them (data entry, cleaning the studio, helping with their monthly newsletter etc.) and I get free, unlimited yoga! It’s also turned into a part-time job where I occasionally open and close on the weekends for them (and get paid). It’s really nice to be part of the community and totally worth it in my opinion.

    That being said, I know not all yoga studios do that or not everyone has time to do that. Are you signed up for their newsletter? At my studio there are usually sales of some kind every month (like buy 3 months get the 4th one free) and I find those are almost always worth snapping up!

  34. I’m completing my certification and was offered a personal yoga trainer position for a few of the women at the rehab center I’m currently volunteering at. They offered to pay but I can’t take any compensation while training..but I definitely wouldn’t charge them that much anyway. Yoga sessions can be out the wazoo!

  35. Why IS yoga so expensive? I’m currently saving up for a big cross-country move and have had to eliminate all extraneous spending, which meant yoga – but I miss it soo much. I’m like you, I just can’t get a good practice in at home. It would so help with my stress levels if going didn’t cause me more money stress.

  36. I have a free coupon for a yoga class at a nearby studio where one class is $18! That’s more than I pay for my gym membership each month! (I belong to a cheap, but good, gym!) I have always wondered the same thing about it being so expensive…I’m enjoying the feedback from readers! Happy Tuesday!

  37. I try to go at least once a week. Usually on Saturday or Sunday to stretch out from the week’s workout. I go to core yoga and pay around $14 a class. BUT the lululemon store by my house offers complimentary class on Sundays, so I will be attending that from now on!

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