September is National Yoga Month so even if you've never done a sun salutation in your life, now is the perfect time to start. When beginning a yoga practice you need only a few essentials: a guide or instructor, a mat, and cheap yoga clothes (read that as comfortable clothes). A water bottle and towel are also useful, and possibly a yoga block and gloves. With the real work done by your body and mind, you can easily practice yoga for cheap.
Cheap yoga classes.At the start of your cheap yoga journey it's important to have the advice and guidance of an instructor. This person will lead you through the different postures, show you how to improve your form, and make sure you're moving into and out of positions safely. Many yoga centers offer a free class and/or deals for the first week or month. Yoga's surge in popularity means you can also regularly find cheap yoga classes on daily deal sites.
There are free options as well. Simply searching "beginning yoga" on YouTube yields a variety of instructional videos. DVDs and books on the subject abound, so check your library to borrow one free of charge. Even if you're on a tight budget, yoga for cheap remains in the realm of the attainable.
Cheap yoga mats.Yoga mats provide cushion and support while you move between postures and keep your hands and feet from slipping. The mat also creates a personal space where you can focus your mind and energy during your practice. Please read our best cheap yoga mats recommendations.
If you want to spend a little more, a basic Gaiam mat is also a good choice for beginners. These mats are made from latex-free PVC and garner strong reviews by users as well as yoga experts. They're available online or at many athletic shops and drugstores for about $22. More durable eco-friendly mats that boost you out of the cheap yoga sphere are the Kulae tpECOmat ($44) or the Jade Harmony ($70).
Cheap yoga clothes.Although many retailers sell yoga-specific clothing with a high price tag, you don't really need anything special. Cheap yoga clothes should be comfortable and fitted but still allow for movement and not restrict blood flow. Baggy clothing will get in your way in some positions and can prevent instructors from checking your form. Avoid light colors and thin fabrics that become see-through after you're warmed up and sweaty. You may want to check how your cheap yoga clothes feel before beginning a class by doing a few stretches at home.
Accessories.There are several cheap yoga extras you may want to consider. All are readily available from numerous suppliers, but the big names in yoga are Gaiam, Jade, Manduka, and Lululemon.
- A simple carrying strap for your mat costs less than $10. Bags and carrying cases with pockets for water bottles and other extras are more expensive.
- Yoga blocks -- usually 9x6x4 inches -- are made from bamboo, cork, wood, or thick foam and are used as a support during many postures. You can place one under your hand for support when you're not flexible enough to reach the ground or use it to support your neck when lying down to meditate or do abdominal exercises. These cheap yoga extras cost anywhere from $11 (Gaiam basic block) to $30 (Manduka's artisan wood block).
- Yoga gloves aren't as popular as other accessories. Gaiam sells a pair that you can buy from online retailers for $9. Gloves give you a better grip on the mat or let you practice yoga without a mat. If you opt for the latter, consider investing in yoga socks to ward off painful slips and falls.
In short, yoga for cheap can be simple and fun. Whether you're practicing on your own with the help of online videos or books or attending a class, yoga is an individual journey.