Has Yoga Gotten Too Expensive?

Maren Hunsberger
Has Yoga Gotten Too Expensive?

The mat. The cute pants. The strappy top. The water bottle. The props. And the price of all these extras doesn’t even come close to how much a membership, a package, or even just a single class can sometimes cost at a yoga studio. Sometimes the cost can be prohibitive, and creates an exclusive world that can seem impenetrable...has the cost of yoga risen too high? Is it keeping people out?

According to the DOYOUYOGA Global Yoga Survey, to which several thousand people from all over the world replied, yoga prices do keep some people out, but many yogis have found a way around this.

Over 90% of respondents spend less than $50 a month on clothing, props, and accessories, which is heartening. However, there is a disparity between the sexes, with women usually paying more than men for these items.

Why Do Women Spend More on Yoga?

This is most likely related to the elevated pressure women feel to look ‘good’ and keep up with athletic-wear fashion trends. Whenever one gets caught up in the hype of that world, it can be good to take a moment to center, breathe, and remind yourself that yoga is not about what you look like, it’s about what you feel like.

You don’t need the fancy leggings or the top-of-the-line mat to make your yoga practice fulfilling for you, so don’t feel like you have to keep up with the trendy yoga goers. Your practice and what you get out of it is valid no matter what you wear or use!

Do You Spend More Than $50 a Month on Yoga?

Slightly more worrying is that around 25% of both men and women spend more than $50 a month on yoga classes, courses, retreats, and events. $50 may not seem like a lot, but it can make a big difference, especially for those who are just getting started in yoga and aren’t ready to make a big financial investment.

While this can be problematic for some, there are solutions! There are a few community-centered yoga institutions, like Yoga To The People, whose classes are donation-based—people give what they can, as they can, and that means that the community collectively sponsors those who can’t pay much, or at all. This way, everyone has the chance to see what yoga can do for them.

Home Practice as an Alternative to Studios

An even more pervasive solution is: working from home. That is to say, almost half of the DOYOUYOGA survey responders practiced at least some of the time at home, many of them doing so by following yoga content that they found on multimedia platforms like YouTube.

This is such a great example of the democratization of yoga! One downside though is that those who practice at home don’t get to feel the physical presence of their fellow students in the room with them, but many people prefer learning and practicing yoga at home because of the convenience, privacy, and surprise, surprise—because it’s much kinder to the wallet.

There are several take-aways from this research. Yoga is pricey, but it doesn’t always need to be. Check in with yourself, and make sure you’re spending on the things that are actually important to you. We should all always be looking for ways we can make yoga more open and available to everyone, and price shouldn’t have to be a concern for everyone.

There are really exciting, innovative ways that more people are getting into more yoga, and that’s often from the comfort of their own home! We all own our yoga practice in different ways, and the most important thing is that you’re practicing in the way that’s best for your body, your life, and your community.