Stuck somewhere between the tasks you failed to complete yesterday and what needs to be accomplished next week, you're distracted by the twinge in your lower back and the tightness in your neck and shoulders. Computer work, kids, and a hectic schedule have all gotten the best of you. Sounds like it's time to take up a new feel-good hobby. How about yoga?

I know what you're thinking. You don't have the time, let alone the money. But, what if there was a way to try out this holistic fad without breaking the budget? If you'd like to access your inner child without forcing your bank account into shavasana, exercise financial mindfulness before you embark on your journey.

New student promotions: True, walking into a yoga class as a newbie is intimidating, but remember yoga is not a competition. Lucky for you, this openhearted community often rolls out the welcome mat with free trial classes. Some studios, such as Corepower Yoga (with locations throughout the West and Midwest) offer a full week for free. Others have trial memberships that include unlimited classes for a set period of time. Try it out. After all, finding a suitable discipline may involve delving into hot yoga classes or restorative meditation practices.

Yoga classes by donation: Restore your wallet's prana by researching classes that accept donation payments. Studios and community centers (such as the local YMCA) may offer classes where you pay only what you can afford. For example, many teachers in training will offer classes as a means of logging teaching hours for certification. Maybe the vinyasa won't flow perfectly or chants might be out of sync, but you'll still leave with soothed muscles and an elevated sense of spirit. Sometimes prominent teachers conduct classes to raise money for a greater cause. Knowing your donation serves both yourself and others provides an added bonus.

Take a corporate class: Companies like YogaSource Boston bring yoga to your workplace. If your company offers yoga as part of their wellness program, take advantage of the benefit. It's free. Best of all, you can sneak it into your lunch break and practice alongside your peers (most of whom will also be new to yoga). Additionally, corporate yoga groups offer discounted products to students, such as mats, props, water bottles and clothing. If your company doesn't offer yoga, start a revolution by suggesting it to your boss. The company will notice increased staff productivity and you'll benefit from a balanced collective mood.

Buy classes in bulk: Almost all studios offer punch-card discounts or bulk pricing on classes. Seek out a studio, such as Kriya Yoga Center in Colorado, that attaches long expiration dates to their punch cards. This way, you can string out your classes by going once a week or once every other week. Supplement the off weeks by doing yoga at home, which leads me into my next topic….

Take yoga online: Find a quiet space in your home, pull out your mat and boot up your computer. Sites like Yoga Journal and Gaiam TV offer free classes consisting of many different yoga styles. The cool thing about online classes is that you can experiment with different disciplines and teachers until you find one you jive with. Also, switching it up prevents boredom. For a list of online yoga sites read Fit Sugar's article or search the web to locate blogs dedicated to yoga teachings.

Daily Yoga Deals: Yes, Groupon and Living Social have both jumped on the yoga bandwagon with a surprising amount of nationwide yoga deals. Some offers, such as this one from Groupon, land you up to 92% off full class prices. Stay grounded with Living Social's Class Pass to Yoga & Pilates Northeast. At $30 for 10 classes, you can't afford not to go.

Will trade for class: Now, if you've decided you want to fully immerse yourself in the yoga culture, start by opening to grace. Earn "karma credits" at your local studio by trading your services for free classes. Use your skills to provide things like graphic design, promotion, accounting services, carpentry or simple cleaning and front desk help. Delight studio owners with your enthusiasm and they'll welcome your trade with open arms. Be yourself and revel in the knowledge that you, too, have something to offer. Before long, you'll find your center without tipping over your penny jar.


his has been a guest post by Christina from Tetonia, ID
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!