Who needs a Gym to do Yoga?

No Fancy Gym Required

I’m currently in the middle of a move and sadly had to say goodbye to my beloved Gym. If your life is anything like mine right now, crazy, unorganized, and in bad need of Yoga but no Gym in sight, don’t worry, no Gym necessary!

For me, I’m a Yoga Teacher so I’m fortunate enough to be able to conduct a yoga class anywhere. It’s not always quite that simple for the majority of us however.

For those of you who need a little guidance in your Yoga practice, there are often organized (and sometimes free) Yoga classes in local parks. Look for adds Online, or at your Grocery Store and Community Center for gatherings. You could also do exactly what I did when I first started learning Yoga and do a Yoga video right in your own living room!

For those that have a stronger practice and feel comfortable doing Yoga alone, take a moment to look around and you may be able to find a Yoga space in your own back yard. Is there a trickling creek or river anywhere nearby? Or a park with little traffic? Practice your Sun Salutes under the actual Sun at a beach or try Yoga by Moonlight the next time there’s a Full Moon. One of my favorite places to do Yoga is after a nice hike somewhere secluded, finding a flat surface and centering myself at the top of a mountain.

If you find yourself temporarily out a Yoga studio, be creative, you may never need one again.


Yeah, this is me on the verge of passing out. Really. Went for a shortie run and then did this circuit twice. I substituted shoulder flies and bicep curls for the squat jumps and lunge jumps to keep it lower impact since I’ve had a lot of leg pain in the last couple of days. GRRRREAT WORKOUT. Now Imma go eat chicken. And veggies. And every other edible thing in my house.

- J

Question: I can't afford a gym membership. What exercises can I do at home?

Sparkpeople Expert Answer: Here are some resistance training exercises that you can do using just your own body weight:

  1. Pushups- standard, on knees, feet propped up on a chair, leaning on a wall, upper body propped up on a couch, etc. There are even more variations by changing body placement and hand-width.
  2. Crunches- feet on floor, lets bent in air, legs straight in air, bicycle crunch, full sit-ups, oblique crunches, plank.
  3. Lunges- walking lunges, stationary lunges, side lunges, reverse or front lunges.
  4. Squats- feet together, feet shoulder-width, feet wide, back on wall (holding wall sit), holding extra weight (dumbbells, water jugs, etc), one-legged squats (advanced!)
  5. Bridges- lie on your back, legs bent, feet on floor. Lift hips toward ceiling, squeezing glutes the whole time. Challenge yourself by keeping one leg up in the air.
  6. Cardio- climbing your stairs, running/walking/jogging outside, hiking, jumping rope (or just jumping period), kickboxing routines, fitness videos, biking, etc.
As you can see, there are SO many options you can choose from, even with the smallest amount of resources. All of the exercise demos in the Fitness Resource Center are exercises you can do at home.

Investing a little money in a good resistance band, Swiss ball, and/or pair of hand weights will allow you to do a wide variety of exercises from home.

Time Involved: At least 20 minutes, 2-3 days per week

Body Benefit: Strong muscles on a tight budget

One of the many things we gave up as we started our path towards minimalism is gym memberships - in other words, paying for fitness.

There is so much material on fitness these days that the only thing missing, really, is one that you cannot buy or pay for - COMMITMENT.

For a few years now, our family has been running in a nearby park thrice a week. Some days, we run 5km. On good days, we do 7km. We usually finish with cool-down stretches and a few strength exercises (push-ups, sit-ups, squats, bench dips). That’s our fitness sorted, free-of-charge. Plus, we get to do it together, which is an added bonus!

This article on outdoor yoga seems interesting. Let’s give it a crack!
[Excuse the pun ;)]