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Saturday, May 31, 2008

yoga on a budget

with the skyrocketing cost of almost everything these days, i've had to take a serious look at my priorities to figure out which of my needs/wants/vices get subsidized by my shrinking paycheck. and currently, yoga, gas, and food are right there at the top of my list of daily requirements.

as you've probably figured out by now, there's the issue of my yoga addiction. while i suppose i know enough to practice on my own at home, i'm not about to give up live classes with live teachers and live classmates. honestly, not only do i stand to learn more in a group setting, but it's infinitely more fun. since single class prices can range anywhere from $11 at bryan kest's power yoga (or less if you've fallen upon really hard times) to $20 at yogaworks (which somehow isn't posted anywhere on their website), i try to buy a series of classes at the studios i visit more frequently. and try to do as much free yoga as i can. regardless, the money adds up and places a definite crimp on the funds i have left for everything else.

there's also my need to fuel up my car so i can get to work -- 20 miles from home -- to earn that precious paycheck. carpooling, taking the bus, and/or riding a bike aren't viable options right now, only because of my before- and after-work activities (no one's schedule is as crazy as mine), the ridiculous non-rapid transit options here in LA (three buses adding up to a 90-120 minute ride vs. a 30 minute drive), and my not having access to a shower if i've biked to work (eek!). i'm hoping that someday that'll all change.

as for food, i've pretty much accepted the reality that dining at "fancy" restaurants is reserved only for special occasions. and while i can really stretch my dollar at fast-food places, i know i shouldn't be splurging on items from the value menus at mcdonald's, taco bell, and KFC. there used to be a time when i prided myself on being able to spend no more than $5 on a satisfying lunch; sadly, my options are getting fewer and farther between. and brown bag lunches are just so... so... unspontaneous.

there are many other items that are in equal contention for my dwindling buck -- travel, concerts, electronic gizmos. sigh. it seems like it was just yesterday when having fun didn't have to break the bank. oh wait, that WAS yesterday...

anyway, last thursday, i found a way to make my hard-earned cash go just a little bit farther than it normally would. my secret? the westwood art forum, the big blue bus, and diddy riese cookies :)

thanks to the events being offered in conjunction with the shinjo ito exhibit at the westwood art forum, a number of FREE yoga classes are available to me until the end of june, including this past thursday's vinyasa flow class with regina peluso. and unlike the usual "dumbed down" complimentary all-levels yoga classes held at various venues around town, regina's class was surprisingly demanding. and thoroughly enjoyable.

and since i don't believe in paying more for parking than the cost of the yoga class i'm trying to get to, i came up with the perfect solution: riding the big blue bus from santa monica to westwood. for a mere 75 cents each way, i sat back and relaxed while the bus driver took care of fighting the rush hour traffic with all the other harried drivers. and better yet, i didn't have to deal with finding and paying for parking in the village.

for a sweet post-practice treat, it was a short walk from the museum to the most popular dessert destination in UCLA-land: diddy riese cookies! three freshly-baked cookies for only a dollar? and a scoop of dreyer's ice cream sandwiched between any two cookies for only a buck fifty? no wonder there's always a line of hungry students outside their door!

i've reserved my spot for this coming wednesday's 7:30pm anusara class with hillary rubin at the museum, so i'll be back on the bus with my mat. if you see me, tap me on the shoulder and say hi!... maybe even join me after class for some soft and chewy cookies. and since i'd have saved enough money on this yoga adventure, whatever you crave -- within reason, of course -- is on me :)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can learn as much if not more about yoga, yourself and how the two meet by developing a personal practice.

At minimum you will learn to listen to your body, and practice which ever posture you need at that
moment to satisfy your needs.

Perhaps some research into "posture flow" and the 3rd stage of yoga might be helpful. And the best part is you will experience the occasional organized class as a wonderful treat.

Also staying in for practice means you will be helping the environment by reducing carbon emissions.

Riding the bus is certainly a smart move, I congratulate you in your small move away from a mainly material-focused yoga practice.

12:47 PM  

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