Participants take a class on the National Mall during DC Yoga Week 2010. (Carolina Franco and /DC Community Yoga)

If you want to drop in on a yoga class outside of DC Yoga Week, you’d better be prepared to pay up. At most studios in Washington, you’re looking at a fee of about $18, which can seem staggeringly high for just a sliver of space on a hardwood floor.

One reason for the price: Studios are trying to discourage dabblers. They would rather get paid less and see you more, which is why the fee is often lower with a pass or membership. In general, yoga studio owners and instructors say their prices are fair when you consider what it takes to bring you this moment of bliss.

Real estate. Most studios have one or two practice rooms, but they can’t keep them packed all day. Normally, folks will only attend classes before or after work. Studios need to earn extra dough to make up for lost business during the summer, when regulars are often away on vacation. “Landlords don’t take karma for rent,” says Peg Mulqueen, who teaches at several area studios.

Instructors. Most make $40 to $100 per class, a sizable expense, especially if it’s a smaller group of students footing the bill. Seasoned teachers who’ve spent incredible amounts of time and money building up their expertise are worth every penny, however.

Amenities. Tea and cookies might be free after class, but they’re not free to provide. Same goes for housekeeping chores that make a place attractive and administrative tasks that help check-in go smoothly.