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Reasons Why I Decided To Not Join An Unlimited Yoga Package At A Yoga Studio For Good And Practice From Home Instead

unlimited yoga packages Yoga

Reasons Why I Decided To Not Join An Unlimited Yoga Package At A Yoga Studio For Good And Practice From Home Instead

It's covid season still happening in Asia right now and the covid cases are still rising to over 1000 cases a day in Hong Kong at the moment. There was a government mandate to close down all the gyms and workout studios in Hong Kong, so my yoga studio membership was forced to suspend and be extended to at least 3 more months even though I only started the expensive 6-months unlimited yoga studio plan. 

At the start of a yoga studio plan, the sales people always try not to reveal to you their full terms and policies on their yoga studio and be very general about their terms and conditions when they did not have enough members at their yoga. However, once they get enough members at their studio after you signed up to their studio, they tend to treat their members very poorly, and their attitude turn 180 degrees, especially when the market reopens back up and there are more enquires for workout classes in the city. I realized a lot of yoga studios have these terms and conditions that are highly unfair for their members and they would always win as their policies only protect themselves but not the end consumers. 

Issues to spot in these unlimited yoga packages:

Long Time-Commitments 

Duration of these long time commitments of these unlimited yoga packages tend to be quite long from 6-months, 1 year to 2 years and more. This limit your travel plans and sometimes key career or study plans if you decide to relocate overseas or to another city or region for instance. They do not tend to allow for suspension for these packages and some studios only allow for a maximum of 2 suspensions in a year. These unlimited yoga packages can even get extended sometimes rather 'indefinitely' under covid and you will further lose control of what you initially signed up for. There is a huge grey area as these yoga studios can use the 'government's gym suspensions' as their 'valid' excuse to not allow you to terminate your plan and continue to extend your plan indefinitely. You will always need to check your credit card to make sure you don't get charged during those unused periods and it will be a huge hassle and risk when you sign up for anything that is charged 'auto-pay'.

Their Tardiness & No Shows Policies

When you sign up for a yoga package, it is natural for anyone to want to take as many classes as possible. But this can become stressful and you will wake up more exhausted, depleted and drained than ever. Most yoga studios allow for the grace period of 5 minutes after the class starts as some members may be rushing in after work during rush hour and rain. However, some unscrupulous yoga studios will refuse member's entry even at 2-3 minutes after class started without clearly stating this rule on their contracts and continue to charge the members and even freeze their account from 7-14 days while still charging their full membership fees. So, this is a very important thing to note about their no show, tardiness and late cancel class policies. So you are basically throwing money down the drain for something you bought but can't use. So, this continues to prove why these unlimited yoga packages are a waste of money and can become very stressful to sign up for the members. Some yoga studios only want to profit and do not really care about their end consumers. A subscription plan is a great way to profit for any business and can also become a scam for fraudsters to take advantage of the innocent consumers.

Why workout from home instead?

You can save a lot of money and at least US$190 a month for six-months or a year straight, and not have to be tied down by their impossibly long subscription plans and packages that you can't seem to get out of. You may want to relocate to another city for work or study over time. But the long contracts may limit your future plans and put your life on hold without you realizing. And, this can become very dangerous after I have been signing up these yoga packages for the past ten years. I realized I missed out a lot of time spending with my family and friends as a result. I felt like I did not invest enough in my career and dedicate enough effort in my study plans. It's weird, this is especially heartfelt when you lose a loved one who will never come back to life. When you workout from home, you spend more time with your family too if you live with your family. So, this is also a great idea.

Early Termination Policies 

Most yoga studios do not allow you to terminate early so they can continue to charge your credit card indefinitely. Unfortunately, they will only allow for suspensions if you are lucky. I feel like the yoga teachers and the sales people only see me as dollar signs and will always want to shake more money off of me like I am a dollar tree to them. Once you sign up for their plans, you cannot quit easily. So, really think twice before you sign up for those unlimited plans. I once consulted my yoga teacher during my yoga teacher training about how many classes I should take in a day, and she said once a day is already enough for herself personally. Now, I realized that what she said was true because there are many areas in our lives that need attention to other than doing yoga all day and living in this hedonistic lifestyle.

Addictive Nature of Yoga when it becomes like a 'drug'

Yoga can be highly addictive and become like a drug. The more you do yoga, the better you feel and you become 'hooked' to it like what a drug can do to your mind and body. When you stop doing yoga, your body will feel stagnant and you feel fat and lazy. Once you stop, it's hard to pick back up to your previously fit body again. There is something about working out with a group of people and sharing energies together. Sometimes, it feels like a competition and sometimes it becomes a fun people watching session. Sometimes, you crave human connection and you may find some of it back from working out as a class but those people are not your real friends. It's a strange gathering of strangers who like to do yoga. But in times of COVID, it's best to practice social distancing and I am very used to spending time alone and actually liking it. 

Establish Discipline and Self-Control

Also, you will force yourself to become more disciplined and really lay down your mat on your floor in your living room. Hopefully, you will be cleaning and throwing things away from your home and save more space for your yoga practice. Spaces in Hong Kong are tiny and we are always forced to make some difficult decisions about what to keep. Life is apparently more short than most would realize, so in the end it may be beneficial for you to have less than live in a cluttered dysfunctional space you cannot work or walk inside.

The government recently allowed masks to be off during the yoga classes and indoor workouts. However, I feel more unsafe than ever to take off my masks when the cases are still rising and that I need to put on my masks as others are removing their masks in case of contracting the virus. 

Lack of hygiene from unclean shared yoga mats

I joined this unlimited yoga package that did not even have professional cleaners inside the studio to wipe down every mat but they still make the members clean their own mats instead. This becomes a huge contamination problem during covid as the yoga mats are not professionally cleaned and I often find a lot of dirt, hair, and white dead skin cells on these mats and it becomes very unpleasant to deal with. Also, the unclean environment together with the masks off policies and the high membership rate just doesn't justify why I should be paying for these overpriced yoga packages.

Cost-saving in Home Workouts & Safer Masks Off Yoga Practice Alone

Therefore, to save more money and have more sanity during this covid period, it may be best to workout from home instead. The perk is that you can save a whole lot of money over time and all these add up quickly in your bank account in 6 months to a year. You get to live a fuller and more enjoyable life with more time to work on other areas of your life, family, and your career. You can also take your masks off rather safely at home if you work out alone in your living room than to share a studio with many mask-less strangers in a room. This will further reduce your risk of contracting the virus when you workout from home alone instead.

Fuller Life and Rebuild Focus on your Life and Relationships

Hopefully, this can help you build better interpersonal relationships with your friends, family, spouses, children and allow you to have more privacy while workout as there should no longer any video cameras recording your every yoga move like in those yoga studios. You get to set your own schedules and have more control over your life instead of allowing these unlimited yoga packages take over your entire life and soul. These are all the valid reasons why to quit signing up for the unlimited yoga packages and fall into that loop-hole of those long 6-month, or annual commitments and their sales tactics so you can regain control over your life and time.

 

Summary:

So, why tie yourself down in these unfair terms and conditions when you can just workout from home instead? There are many online videos you can choose from that are actually free and you can save a lot of time not to have to commute back and forth the studio. You will feel less bad too when you don't use up all the classes and you will have more free time to actually put more effort to tackle what's ahead of you than to be merely working out all day and traveling back and forth your yoga studios all day. It's actually very exhausting.

For the past 10 years, I have been working out from Monday to Sunday under different unlimited yoga packages. However, with covid lockdown and the closure of these gyms and yoga studios, these unlimited yoga contracts become like a source of constant stress and it was no longer serving me or improving my health and wellness. Thus, think twice before you sign up for these expensive unlimited yoga packages. You only need a clean uncluttered space in your living room and a clean mat to practice yoga. Yoga should be free and is already readily available on YouTube.

So, why not try to practice from home instead and save more money for a more secured retirement ahead in times of financial uncertainty especially after COVID?

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