Sort of Free Fitness Classes

Sorry guys, no hump day inspiration post today.  I just didn’t come across anything that inspired me and I don’t want to force the cheese.

So I’m super bummed I found out about this AFTER I moved out of Los Angeles.  But for those of you living in Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and New York, you are in luck.

The American Health and Fitness Alliance offers a fitness passbook that gives you FREE access to health clubs, spas, and studios all over the mentioned cities, which include yoga, pilates, martial arts, dance, cycling, and even personal training.  New York is the only city that has three different passbooks broken down into more specific categories: fitness, yoga, and pilates.  The passes vary but all get you a minimum of two free visits while some give you a week to a month for free.  Additionally, if you end up getting a year’s prepaid membership to any of the participating health clubs or studios, you get your money back for the passbook.  This means unfortunately, the passbook itself is not free.  The Alliance subsidizes the cost of the passbook “to encourage more people… to experience the benefits of health and exercise.” It costs $85 plus tax and shipping and handling BUT if you like varying your workout and trying out new studios, this is not a bad deal at all.  $85 barely covers the cost of some yoga studio memberships for a month.  $85 is probably cheaper than any year long membership to any fitness or health facility.  Crossing my fingers that they do one for San Francisco, since that is where I’ll be moving.

Review of YogaGlo

So this post is about a couple weeks late from when I promised I would have it.  It’s a weird thing about umemployment.  When I’m busy and have a lot going on, I’m super motivated and don’t mind adding on to my plate.  And now here I am not working and have all the time in the world, yet I don’t feel like doing anything.

YogaGlo

I tried out YogaGlo using their free 15-day trial period.  When signing up, you have to give them your credit card number so if you are looking just to get the free yoga, make sure to cancel prior to the end of 15 days or they will automatically start charging your card $18 per month, which is the cost of membership.  Under your YogaGlo account, they also let you know how many days you have left on your trial.

The site is fairly easy to use and you can start by choosing classes based on various options.  There are over 20 teachers to pick from and some are pretty well known instructors that teach internationally.  There are also 10 different styles of yoga such as ashtanga, meditation, flow, kundalini, etc. so it gives you the option of mixing things up or trying out a new style that you might not have tried before if you had to pay.  Other options include choosing your class based on duration (ranges from 5 minutes to 2 hours) or skill level.

One of the main reasons I wanted to sign up for YogaGlo was because I wanted to take classes from certain instructors whose name I had come across or instructors I had heard so much about.  I took classes from Elena Brower, Kathryn Budig, Jason Crandell, Stephanie Snyder, and Dice Iida-Klein.  This was a great way to experience/preview a class from a well-known instructor without having to drop $20+ per class.  It’s also a great way to see whether or not those instructors are worth $20+ if you had the chance to take their class in person.  There was one instructor that was doing some sort of speed breathing during the flow and it just didn’t jive well with me at all.  I felt like I was in a lamaze class instead of a yoga class and mind you, this was not meant to be a pranayama workshop.

I did many of the intermediate/advanced classes and I would recommend yogis be comfortable with a variety of poses and alignment.  The instructors gave few cues if at all, probably on the assumption you are familiar with the pose.  Some are doing the poses with the students so you can see what’s going on if you are confused.  But many of the classes, they are walking around the room checking on the students or giving adjustments.  Though I didn’t check it out, there is a whole section for beginners.  I will say that if this is your first time ever doing yoga, I would really suggest seeking out a free beginner’s class in your neighborhood under the watchful eye of an instructor in the event you are doing something where you could potentially injure yourself.  Just let the instructor know and set yourself up in the back so you can see what everyone is doing because you will be looking around.  Everyone is looking around when they take their first class.

So with a home practice, there were some challenges that came up for me.

  • Specific with Yogaglo, there were so many options that I ended up spending way too much time picking out a class on my first day and had to cut my yoga class short.  Okay, this isn’t a Yogaglo issue, it’s my issue.  If you are like me and get overwhelmed with choices, you can spend one day doing this and add all the classes that interest you to a queue.
  • Also if you are like me, you probably don’t have a lot of extra space to dedicate to a home practice unless you are living with your parents or someone with a larger space.  The space where I decided to set up my yoga mat left me seeing the toilet everytime I was in downward facing dog – gross.  Midway through, I had to get up and shut the bathroom and bedroom doors to prevent future distractions.  There were some things that were off to the side that needed to be cleared each time to prevent them from getting in the way during the class.
  • Other interruptions were the other websites and applications that were open on my laptop.  For my first class, I had Facebook open and had the “ding” to notify me that there was some activity going on.  My phone was nearby and I responded to a text message while in a forward fold.
  • Knowing you can stop the class at anytime was a bit distracting, especially when I kept thinking about doing it, and then wanting to do it, and then trying to talk myself out of it, etc.  There were a couple of classes that I wasn’t really feeling or was just tired and came so close to just stopping the class…because I could.  I have only walked out of yoga class once and it was more of stumble – I hadn’t eaten much all day and did a seriously hot power yoga class and almost passed out.  But I digress.
  • My boyfriend being home in the space where I practice was weird.  For a hot second, I thought about just doing my class anyway but ended up finding a space just big enough for my mat in the bedroom, closed the door, and did my thing.
  • Sometimes, I just preferred going to the studio.  I’m home most of the day so it’s nice to be able to get out and practice in a space solely dedicated to yoga.
  • A minor annoyance for me is that I have carpet instead of hardwood floors but that’s not something I can change.  I just wanted to complain.

After the first two classes, I had figured out what worked best for me to keep me focused.  So be sure to set yourself up for success with your home practice and make the space and classes work for you.  I really enjoyed many of the classes and worked up a pretty decent sweat with most of them.  If I didn’t have my yoga for trade, I am pretty sure I would get a membership.  I sort of looked at YogaVibes, another membership site with some big name yogis as well, but only did one class and started going back to the studio so I wasted my free trial.  With either one, if you can figure out a space in your home and can truly carve out the time for yourself, this is definitely not a bad option for the price.

Free Online Classes from Yogaworks

yogaworks_online_class

Yogaworks is a large chain with studios located all over California and New York.  I came across a deal where you can get a month of free online Yogaworks classes so I’m sharing!  I’ve only taken a handful of classes at a studio in Los Angeles and this was early in my yoga journey so all I remember was feeling very awkward and constantly looking around to see what everyone was doing.  Like with many other sites that offer deals or free trials, you will have to put in your credit card information and remember to cancel prior to the end of your trial.  To get your free month with Yogaworks, just enter code MBGSOCIAL1.