As the economic times get tougher, and people start going into overtime at work to make ends meet, the de-stressing value of yoga continues to increase — but unfortunately, so does the price.

That’s why YuMee Chung decided four years ago to start Passport to Prana in Toronto, where people could buy a pass for $30 and have access to yoga classes at studios all across the city for a year.

Now, in the wake of the success of the Toronto initiative, Chung is launching Passport to Prana in Ottawa.

“It’s a strange thing to have a business thriving during this market,” said Chung. “During this recession though, people need yoga more than ever to relax and unwind, and quite frankly, it’s not cheap to take these classes in major metropolitan centres.”

The price of a yoga class usually ranges from $10-$20 a pop, but with the passport, enthusiasts can attend one class at each of the nine participating studios in Ottawa for the price of a $20 card, which is available online or at studios.

“Ottawa is such an up-and-coming yoga city, and I think this is a great opportunity to bring the yoga community together,” said Chung.

“It’s not about competition, it’s about people being able to get a taste of all the different styles and techniques that yoga has to offer.”

Chung, a former securities lawyer, first got involved with yoga in 1997 while she was working as an articling student in Toronto.

“I found that it did so much more than offer me physical fitness or stress relief — it totally changed my mindset.”

Chung worked as a lawyer for six years, but gave up her power suit to become a yoga teacher.

Now, she teaches around the globe, and is working on expanding the number of studios participating in Ottawa, as well as extending the project to Vancouver and Calgary in the fall.