You made it! Part 4/4!
Today we’re covering yoga on a budget, and whatever else I forgot in earlier posts.
You may ask: “Kelly, why is yoga as important as life and food and clothing?” Well, since in recovery you have to heal your mind and your body, what better way to do it than by practising something that is good for both your mind and your body?
For me, most of my life was spent performing: looking in a mirror, figuring out what my body looked like while moving. Who cared what I was doing to my body (ahem, pointe shoes), so long as it looked pretty? That, coupled with the obsessive cardio I did as a part of my eating disorder, meant that I had a pretty messed up relationship with my body. Yoga taught me to pay attention to what my body felt like, instead of what it looked like. It’s also the only time in my life when my head shuts off (sometimes) which is something that I think can benefit anyone, especially those with an eating disorder.
Alas, yoga be expensive. (Especially in France, I’m told). Here are some tips I’ve used to maximize the yoga on a minimal budget.
- Lululemon. Most (all?) Lululemon stores offer FREE YOGA CLASSES! I go every Sunday. They get a different teacher from a different area studio to teach for a couple of weeks at a time. I’ve met some of my favorite yoga teachers there.
- Passport to Prana. A Passport to Prana is a $30 card that gets you a free yoga class at each of many studios in major cities in Canada and the United States. I think there are 40+ studios in Toronto alone, which works out to less than $1/class.
- Energy Exchange. Several studios offer an energy exchange program, where you can pay for yoga classes with your time. You can clean studios, work the front desk, help with computer stuff, etc. In Toronto I know Kula, Moksha Danforth, Yoga Sanctuary (take home a communal mat to clean in exchange for a free class), and Sundara Yoga all have Energy Exchange programs. I’m sure there are more.
- Park Yoga. Different teachers and studios will offer park yoga classes in the summer months. Usually these are by donation for charity. There’s nothing like lying in savasana looking at the sky.
- Karma Classes. Most studios offer karma classes, where you can take classes from new teachers, again by donation.
- Share The Love Yoga. Share The Love Yoga is a website that has organized all the free/karma/inexpensive classes in Montreal, New York, and Toronto into a weekly schedule. You can find a class at pretty much any day/time.
There are lots of yoga DVDs and YouTube videos, etc. but use them with caution. It’s really easy to get injured if your form isn’t correct, and it’s important to at least start learning yoga with a teacher.
Okay. On to the “Damn. I should have mentioned that.” section.
- Groups. If you can’t afford private therapy (even with all these amazing tips), try to find group therapy. You can usually find inexpensive or free groups in major cities. In Toronto, check out Sheena’s Place, in Burlington, Danielle’s Place, in London (Ontario), Hope’s Garden. Feel free to add others in the comments.
- Jobs With Perks. When you are well enough to work, try to find a job that gives you a discount on necessities. Clothing stores do that, but you usually have to wear their clothes, and end up spending your entire paycheque in the store. If you can handle the food industry, do. I love my health food discount.
- Campus Services. If you’re in school, check out what eating disorder/mental health services are available. Some schools will even subsidize your off-campus therapy.
- Eating Disorder Charities. Beat down the doors of NEDA, NEDIC, or anyone else who might be able to help.
I hope you found something you can use in these posts. Please feel free to keep sharing your tips and tricks (the healthy kind) in the comments. Thanks, as always, for reading.