Wrong? Yoga Studios Now Charging for Mats and Towels

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Back in the day, I remember when yoga mats were provided to all students and no one charged. Actually, at the first studio I went to (way back in the 90s), I received a tank top with my first class pass purchase. I still have that tank top, but see more and more the pushing of "extras" at yoga studios. Last night, I went to a class with a friend I was visiting outside of Boston. As I paid for the class ($17, ouch), the receptionist asked, "Will you be needing water, towel, or a mat?" It reminded me of McDonald's: "Would you like to Supersize that?"

I don't run a studio. It's not for me. So maybe I don't understand the need to charge for everything. The truth is, though, is that studios never used to charge for what I consider a basic need of yoga classes: mats and, sometimes, towels. To me, it seems like paying for a gym pass and then needing to pay extra for each type of equipment that you use. When did yoga studio owners shift to not providing everything needed to do yoga? And why?

It reminds me of Spirit Airlines, who I will be flying with on Friday (to Mexico for two weeks). Spirit is a super-budget airline. This means that they charge $3 for beverages on the plane, make you pay for a new ticket if you miss your flight (or are just checking in late), and-- the kicker-- pay for carry on luggage. In fact, carry on luggage is more expensive then checked luggage.

There's a parallel between the airlines and the studios. No one is forcing me to go to studios that, as I see it, charge for things that should be included. No one is forcing me to fly with an airline that has been fined mondo bucks by the Better Business Bureau for horrific customer service. But I wanted to go with my friend to her home studio and Spirit had the schedule that worked to go to Mexico. So why couldn't they just charge more, and therefore be more upfront about the costs that you end up paying anyway?

After a semi-whine session, a sequence is most certainly in order:

  1. Begin in Balasana (Child's Pose)
  2. Roll your body through to Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
  3. Roll back to Child's, arching your back through Cat Pose on the way
  4. Flow between to poses, rolling forward and back
  5. Table pose
  6. Thread the needle, repeat on other side
  7. Table
  8. Downward Facing Dog Pose
  9. Surya Namaskar A (Sun Salutation A), repeat 4x
  10. Surya Namaskar B (Sun Salutation B), repeat 4x
  11. Vinyasa to Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
  12. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)
  13. Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle)
  14. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)
  15. Parivrtta Virabhadrasana (Revolved Warrior Pose)
  16. Vinyasa to repeat steps 11-15 on other side
  17. Vinyasa to Samasthiti
  18. Prasarita Padottanasana I (Standing Forward Fold)
  19. Prasarita Padottanasana II
  20. Prasarita Padottanasana III Note: See Dharma Mittra link for different between poses
  21. Vinyasa to seated
  22. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold)
  23. Purvottanasana (Reverse Plank Pose)
  24. Vinyasa to seated
  25. Janu Sirsasana (Head to Knee Pose). Repeat other side
  26. Jump back and vinyasa to Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
  27. Inhale and come forward to Plank Pose
  28. Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff)
  29. Slowly lower to stomach
  30. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
  31. Slowly raise to Plank
  32. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
  33. Adho Mukha Svanasana
  34. Jump through to seated
  35. Marichyasana (Marichi's Twist). Repeat other side
  36. Repeat steps 26-29
  37. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
  38. Repeat steps 31-34
  39. Ardha Virasana (Half Hero Pose). Fold forward over outstretched leg, bent knee out at 90 degree angle. Repeat other side
  40. Repeat steps 26-34
  41. Ardha Bhekasana (Half Frog Pose). Repeat other side
  42. Bhekasana (Frog Pose)
  43. Garbasana (Child's Pose)
  44. Cat/cow spine in table
  45. Thread the needle in table for twist and back stretch. Repeat other side.
  46. Utthita Shisonasana (Puppy Pose)
  47. Come onto back, rolling along spine
  48. Supta Matsyendrasana (Reclined Twist). Repeat other side
  49. Savasana