Yoga on a budget

Toronto is home to many karma and public yoga organizations
Matt McDermott/Flickr
Matt McDermott/Flickr

Yoga is the perfect de-stressor. It also increases flexibility and range of movement, and can be a fun social activity. The cost of many classes can be quite steep, however, making it difficult for many to practice yoga with professional teachers. Classes, mats, and other yoga gear add up quickly and can become more of an investment than a newcomer may want to make. There are a lot of options in Toronto, however, to go to yoga for free or at little cost — ideal for the student budget.

A number of the city’s yoga studios run what are known as karma classes, wherein you pay what you can to attend. These classes often have a recommended minimum fee, but you can get in with whatever you have in your pocket. You can feel especially good about your downward dog at karma classes as all funds collected from your practice are donated to a charity chosen by the studio or teacher — hence the title.

In the summer, it’s fun to escape the studio and trade hardwood for grass. Outdoor yoga is a great way to get some sun, explore the city’s parks, and exercise with friends. Public classes and sessions are commonly held in parks around Toronto and are often easy on your wallet. Trinity Bellwoods hosts Vinyasa/Flow Yoga sessions every Wednesday from 6-7pm for $10 a class, or $40 for five classes. For an even smaller fee, Toronto’s east end parks have been hosting Park Yoga Toronto — donation-based summer yoga classes which have been offered since 2005. These classes begin on Saturday June 21.

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