Fitness on a budget: Gyms and studios with sliding-scale rates

Pay what you can or enjoy a discounted membership for your yoga fix.

If you’re bloated and broke, your only exercise doesn’t have to be hoofing it when the G train isn’t running and Uber is surging. Here are a few places you can get your sweat on without sweating the prices.


When Shauny Lamba and Corinne Wainer founded their Williamsburg yoga and barre studio, their goal was to bring yoga to more people.

According to Statistic Brain, nearly half of yoga practitioners make more than $75,000 a year. ShaktiBarre looks to make its classes accessible to a wide demographic by offering a sliding scale for its class packages and memberships.

“What kind of body image injustice would we be perpetuating if we weren’t able to have different rates? Because we would basically be denying an amazing group of women coming together,” Wainer said.

Those who earn $60,000 or less annually can apply for sliding scale rates via the studio’s website, with approval within 24 hours, Wainer said.

Sliding-scale packages include $55 for five classes (versus $105), $100 for 10 classes (versus $190) and $108 auto-renew monthly membership (versus $180).

The feminist wellness studio, which bills itself as an “empowerment hub” for both men and women, will soon reach even more people; ShaktiBarre is breaking ground on a second location in Harlem this summer.

Info: 449 Keap St., Brooklyn, shaktibarre.com


New York City’s YMCA is sort of a twofer for sliding-scale pricing, with an understanding of a community’s income and needs built right in. In addition to financial assistance based on the applicant’s income, the YMCA is priced differently at every location based on the socio-economic makeup of the neighborhood. For example, an adult YMCA member in pricier Park Slope pays $80 a month, while in Flatbush it’s $42.

“New York City’s YMCA is here for all New Yorkers — to empower youth, improve health, and strengthen community,” said Sharon Greenberger, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York. “The Y never turns anyone away due to inability to pay, which ensures we can help even more New Yorkers learn, grow and thrive.”

Info: Multiple locations citywide, ymcanyc.org

Sweet Water Dance & Yoga

This Bronx studio, which has everything from barre to belly dance, soon plans to launch sliding-scale rates for its core class pricing for dance, yoga and boot camp classes.

In the meantime, on Monday nights at 7 p.m., it hosts South Bronx Yoga for an hourlong yoga session with a donation-based, sliding-scale option. The $10 class is pay-what-you-can, with $3 and up suggested.

Info: 876 Gerard Ave., the Bronx, 2nd Fl., sweetwaterdanceandyoga.com

Prema Yoga Brooklyn

You don’t need to show proof of income for the yoga studio’s open-level, saucily-named Candlelight Quickie class. Instead, use your discretion and pay what you can between $10-$20 for the hourlong Monday night session at 8:30 p.m., which is offered on a sliding scale.

The studio also gives discounts on class packages to students and New York City teachers.

Info: 498 Court St., Brooklyn, premayogabrooklyn.com

Kimberly M. Aquilina