What’s better than yoga? Barter yoga!
Many of us don’t realize that many yoga studios offer energy exchange programs. An energy exchange usually involves you trading a few hours of your time for loads of free classes, and the opportunity to befriend your instructors and fellow yogis. It’s a feel-good trade that benefits your practice and the local yoga community.
The best way to find out about an energy exchange program is to ask around your favourite studio. But in case you’re shy, we dug up a list of a few places that offer some sort of energy exchange across Canada.
Bikram Yoga Montreal. If you like to heat up your practice, Bikram Yoga Montreal is a great place for an energy exchange. With 90 minute heated classes, 3 locations and experienced instructors, you really get a bang for your buck. Shifts vary between 2-4.5 hours, once or twice a week. Shorter shifts require more hands-on cleaning, but longer desk shifts mean more checking in yogis all afternoon.
Equilibrium. Focusing on a non-heated Kundalini yoga practice, Equilibrium offers you the opportunity to get involved in their community through a karma yoga energy exchange. 3 hours per week gives you unlimited access to all of their classes. Better yet, they let you buddy up for your shift. Friends make work pass faster!
Enso. Trade 3 hours of your time for free practice with Ensō yoga. Join their team to indulge in hot vinyasa flows, yin, yang and even hot barre classes. All you have to do is commit to helping out around the studio for the same scheduled time each week.
Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Toronto. For each hour you work at Ashtanga you’ll receive a $10 credit to be applied to a $120 staff pass, workshops and retail items. A staff pass gives you one month of unlimited yoga. However, the work here is hard. You’ll be responsible for an afternoon of cleaning the studio and its contents, including the mats and showers. Each shift is once weekly for 3 hours.
IAM Yoga. Similar deal, different studio. If you can commit to at least three months of a weekly shift, you’ll receive unlimited yoga. Skip your shift: no more yoga. IAM Yoga offers a variety of flows focusing on grounding and strength building.
Gyan Hot Yoga. This studio takes the energy exchange system to a new level. Not only can you opt for a 2-4 hour regular shift, but you can barter with the studio. If you think you have a skill that Gyan might like, show it! Gyan Yoga teaches flows practiced by the studio’s three founding fathers. Their classes are both accessible and challenging so there’s an asana for everyone.
Form Body Lab. Amplify your practice at Form Body Lab. Yoga, Pilates, equipment training, physiotherapy, massage therapy, pre and post-natal services: the options are endless at Form Body Lab. Just 4 hours gives you access to an equipment class; 2 hours scores you a mat yoga or Pilates class. All you need to do is help keep their studio sparkling.
Open Door Yoga. Flexibility is key at Open Door Yoga. Choose your schedule and your availability to match with varying energy exchange packages. Cleaning shifts, administrative assistance or handy work can grant you up to 6 months of unlimited yoga. From Hatha, to power, to mom & baby yoga, Open Door Yoga’s doors are open to all practices.
Breathe Yoga & Massage. Shake up your regular practice at Breathe Yoga & Massage. This studio provides its yogis with varying flow intensities, meditation classes, and gentle yoga, alongside massage therapy and fun workshops. This summer even features an 8-week Tai Chi crash course! Tailored energy exchange programs are meant to balance your availability and needs.
Soul Hot Yoga. Test-drive a variety of different yoga styles at Soul Hot Yoga and then sign up for their karma energy exchange program. Soul offers hot, warm and non-heated for hips, backs and families. 3 hours of your time for all of the yoga your Chakras desire. Also check out their Soul Spin karma program!
Karma Yoga Calgary. Karma Yoga literally has a class for everyone. A variety of classes are offered in hot, warm and non-heated temperatures for every level of practice. The shifts are only 4 hours, once a week. In this time you help keep the studio clean, check in practicing yogis and spread joy throughout the space.
If none of the above work for you, why not take the leap and plant the seed with your local yoga studio to consider starting up their own energy exchange program.
Shanti & rati dear yoga friends.