Geelong's many galleries, parks and waterfronts make it an ideal place to relax and unwind, so it makes sense the local yoga scene is growing. Here are two stellar spots for finding balance and awareness.
Named after the hip-hop trio 213 (Snoop Dogg, Warren G and Nate Dogg), Yoga 213 combines vinyasa and yin yoga practice with tunes from Biggie Smalls, Jay Z and Drake.
This is founder Sammy Veall’s second studio – the first Yoga 213 is in Richmond. Alongside more hectic hip-hop classes there are gentler sessions set to reggae, blues, disco and R’n’B.
“We still play music and we still turn it up louder than any other normal yoga class would,” Veall says.
Yin, a form of Chinese yoga involving only floor poses, focuses on flexibility and meditation. For beginners, Sammy recommends Chill, a slower vinyasa-style class.
Veall took full creative licence when designing the Newtown studio – she painted the soft-pink rendered walls herself, and brought in an abundance of native plants and wooden furniture to create a relaxed vibe. An oversized painting of Biggie Smalls hangs above the front desk. Collages of surfing women on the walls are her creations too.
“I’m glad that I did it,” Veall says. “I’m really proud of it and it really reflects the studio’s vibe.”
Music and interiors aside, Veall’s focus is on mindfulness that’s accessible for everyone.
“What ends up happening is that people come for the music but stay for the yoga.”
Casual classes start at $20. Unlimited classes are $30 per week.
Back in 1910, this heritage-listed building housed ironmonger Scott Hamilton & Co. More recently, it was a bakery, then a toyshop. Now, it’s a yoga studio, run by Sally Ferris and Richard Facer.
Folk Architects is behind the fit-out and worked to incorporate hints to the building’s history into the design.
“[The space] travels from a light-filled, organic, serene entrance to a real earthiness and grounding through deep, dark colours,” says Ferris.
Elements of exposed brick and bluestone are a nod to the bakery, while dark smoke markings from the ironmonger days remain on vaulted ceilings.
Wonder Yoga uses infra-red heating to keep yogis feeling comfortable, and yoga mats, blocks, bolsters and straps are all complimentary. There are up to 57 classes a week for all levels, from vinyasa and yin to barre and Cross Flow, which is a combination of yoga and Pilates.
Ferris recommends the Wonder 101 class for beginners, which is designed to help newcomers feel confident on the mat. Every Wonder 101 class follows the same sequencing, so students can practise until they feel ready to move up.
“My best advice is to just get on the mat,” she says. “It really is a space where a wide variety of people feel that they get to be the best version of themselves.”
Casual classes start at $22, or $19 concession. Unlimited classes are $30 per week.