Here’s an interesting article in the LA Times about how some people are cutting out yoga classes (which can be really expensive) and gym memberships during these difficult economic times. As prices at the gas station and the grocery store keep going up, up up, people are finding that they have much less disposable income, and one result seems to be that yoga studios are losing quite a bit of business.
Personally, I haven’t seen a huge dip in attendance at my home studio in Westwood, but attendance is definitely down over the past several months. It’s hard for me to say what the cause of that dip is, though, but I’m sure the tightening of wallets has something to do with.
But does giving up your yoga studio membership mean no more yoga? Thankfully, no. People are finding creative, and often free, ways to keep up their practice. Of course, developing a home practice is one way to do this. Free classes or donation-based classes also seem to be on the rise. Some people are just abandoning their yoga studio in favor of the all-in-one gym, which can offer workout facilities, yoga, pilates, maybe even a swimming pool, all under a single roof and for one monthly fee.
At least for me, taking yoga class at my local studio is too important to give up. I include my membership at the yoga studio among my “essential expenses” and would rather cut down in other areas, like going to the movies or eating out, before cutting out yoga. Unfortunately, not everyone can do this, and I hope yoga studios will be able to find creative ways to make classes affordable for people who would otherwise have to cut yoga out entirely.