Not many fitness spaces in Melbourne can boast a view. But the big drawcard at UPG Studio on Yarra Street, South Yarra is the majestic outlook over the South Yarra and beyond to the city skyline.
Founded by managing director and head physiotherapist James Nguyen, and designed to complement sister company United Physiotherapy Group, UPG Studio opened late last year.
Nguyen enlisted interior architect Georgia Ezra of Studio Ezra to transform the generic former office space into one that’s more pared back, heavy on neutral textures so as not to pull focus for the hero – the view.
“It has these beautiful back windows that overlook the city,” Ezra says. “You have this beautiful escape on the 11th floor.”
Bright bamboo floorboards line the working part of the studio. They’re soft underfoot and designed to be forgiving on supportive limbs. Pots sourced from Morocco and soft furnishing are matched with commissioned yin and yang-inspired works by Georgia Ezra’s New York-based sister, artist Micaela Ezra. In reception, a mosaic of grey handmade tiles, brass lighting fixtures and whitewashed plywood set the scene as you enter the studio.
You can unwind a few different ways here. Mat and reformer Pilates classes run for 45 minutes, or there are slower-paced, one-hour yin, yang and gentle hatha yoga sessions, which focus on breathing and include meditation. Each class in the tiny studio is so intimate there’s only room for eight students in yoga and mat Pilates classes, and only five on the Allegro 2 reformer machines.
The UPG physiotherapy office adjoins the studio, targeting everything from sporting injuries to desk-work related pain. Amenities include showers and a change room.
A casual yoga or mat Pilates class costs $25, and a reformer Pilates class costs $35. Express classes are available on weekdays, and 10 class packs are $220. There’s also a two-week intro offer for $50.