3 Ways to Practice Yoga & Not Break the Bank
What? There are affordable ways to practice yoga in Ventura?
Are you wondering where to take a yoga class in Ventura? Check out these options below:
1. Donation-based Classes
If you’re new to yoga, or simply want to find an affordable community class, one of the best ways to get some great bang for your buck is to attend one of the many local ‘donation-based’ classes. Most studios offer a community class once a week, and the minimum donation is normally $5.
*Added bonus: Attending one of these classes at a studio is also a good (& economical) way to find out if you’d want to get a monthly membership.
(Check Below for Links to Studios Offering Community Classes.)
Apart from yoga studios, there’s the Ventura Buddhist Temple that offers community yoga Friday & Saturday mornings (East end, off of Saticoy Rd.) This is an uplifting way to practice with a jolly, maroon dressed monk floating by, and the class is pretty casual, light-hearted and open to all levels; It’s also taught by a super-sweet Irish lady, named Sally.
*Tip: Don’t go hungry! Some mornings you can smell a yummy breakfast cooking in the kitchen.
The Bell Arts Factory, a hub for artists/creatives, off of Ventura Avenue, provides community yoga every morning, Monday - Friday. It’s a big, industrial room, filled with artwork, and the classes tend to be quite intimate.
*Helpful hint: The floor is hard, so you may want to bring some extra padding or a thicker mat.
My favorite donation-classes are the ones outside. :)
Ventura Pop-up Yoga has the best outdoor class at Grant Park, which overlooks the ocean, and on Sunday mornings, Heather teaches a super rhythmic class that offers a bit of yogi philosophy too.
Free! Say What???:
Patagonia clears out their retail space on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm and offers free community yoga, every week. Get there early, it fills up fast! The classes rotate between 2 teachers; Brenda is more fast-paced/deep/energetic and Jay is great for a more ‘gentle’ practice.
2. YouTube Channels - Yoga At Home
So, some may say this is cheating… Not being in a ‘live’ classroom with a yoga teacher. Yet, my mantra is, ‘Work with What You’ve Got!’.
With our super-duper busy schedules, you may only be able to squeeze in 20 minutes on your living room floor (still speaking about yoga here :), so why not take that opportunity to practice at home? There are lots of awesome teachers with YouTube channels now, meaning you’ll have a plethora of choices.
What’s cool about this is that you can choose the length of time you want to practice and what you want to focus on, whether it be core work, flexibility, or breathing techniques. Not to mention, it’s free!
There’s a really quirky, down-to-earth gal, Adriene, who has tons of short videos on her channel, and I would definitely recommend her, along with Lesley Fightmaster. These ladies are ‘muy bueno’, and it’s another great way to learn a few moves, and then practice them on your own.
3. Be Brave & Play (Yup, by Yourself)
One of the coolest things, after you have a few classes under your belt, is to download a few of the yoga moves (physically-speaking), and practice by yourself.
Yes, it may feel a bit goofy at first, surrounded by a prepubescent soccer team at the park, yet allowing your body to move into an asana (asana = yoga pose/posture), and allowing the time to listen to what your body wants to work on that day, is not only healthy, but also quite liberating!
Benefits of Mixing it Up
In practicing yoga for a few years now, I would say my #1 tip for newbies is not to compare yourself with the other yogi twisters out there… well, that also applies to life. Eventually your body may get there, or it may not… Either way, you’ll reap the benefits!
Just remember, observing others - especially a professional yoga instructor - can help you learn proper form/technique, which is vital to strengthening your yoga practice and avoiding injury.
Another great reason to hop around to different classes is to figure out what style(s) of yoga your body likes (there are quite a few!) and to find out which teachers you like best.
... Surprisingly, the first time I took a yoga class, I didn’t like it. In retrospect, like tap dancing at age 8, I didn’t feel like I could flow into all the moves everyone else was doing right away, plus the teacher was… Boring! (And honestly, yoga isn’t for everyone, just like anything else.)
So, words of wisdom here, don’t knock it ‘till you try it at least a couple times! Now, I practice a few times a week and integrate it with other activities - hiking, pseudo-jogging on the beach, walking the dog...
Wrap it Up
If you want to try out yoga in Ventura, whether you are a newbie or maybe new to the area, there are definitely a few thrifty opportunities in our community which may lead to signing up for a membership or simply checking out different options. Yet, I highly recommend getting to a place where you know a few moves to practice anywhere, and not be limited to a classroom or teacher.
Of course, you can mix it up with YouTube videos and random classes here and there, yet it’s pretty amazing to do a sun salutation on the beach, toes in the sand, listening to seagulls and your breath, and knowing that you get to choose your next move.
* Don’t have a mat? Many studios let you borrow or rent one for a few bucks. (Or buy one for under $15, and then you’ll have the privilege to swim in your own personal bacteria pool.)
* Be sure to bring cash for donation-based classes.
* Always carry water with you, and a towel can be helpful too (some classes get sweaty!).
*Community Yoga - Links to Class Schedules:
Extra Donation-Based Classes (not mentioned above)
Know of any other Affordable Community Yoga classes in the area?
Please share with us and leave a comment below. :)