Taking a class at a yoga or Pilates studio is not cheap. I did an informal survey of classes in San Francisco, and came up with an average drop-in rate of $17. If you buy classes in bulk, it's more affordable, but for many, it's still a luxury that's hard to maintain. A friend of mine recently opened up his own studio. Since he can't afford a receptionist yet, he has a steady rotation of friends who work there in return for free classes. Same goes for any friends who have more specialized services to offer. The studio's Twitter account, marketing material, and branding are all done free of charge by friends who, in exchange, get a free monthly membership.
When he first told me that he was doing this, I thought, "How brilliant!" But my friend says that this is nothing new. Bartering is a pretty common practice in private studios — at least the ones he's worked at. I also have a friend who is a member of the "karma yoga" program at her Bikram studio. For every hour of work she donates to the studio, she's given a free class.
Find out how to barter for your own free classes when you read more