Being perpetually busy can mean health ends up low on your list of priorities. But new fitness studio Mellöbarre, located on the edge of the CBD, is catering to office workers who find it hard to peel themselves away from their desks for more than 15 or 30 minutes.
Founder Amanda McMillan is also behind Wellineux, a company that runs urban retreats, wellness workshops and mindful leadership sessions for corporates. McMillan often hears three main reasons why workers neglect their health: proximity, time and convenience.
“They’d love to see someone about their nutrition, or sleep, or do a regular class, but there were a number of barriers,” McMillan says. “The idea for Mellöbarre came from all the feedback and frustration from employees about not having that available, and then that becoming a bit of an excuse for people not to take wellbeing seriously.”
Located at Collins Square in Docklands, Mellöbarre works with around 15 different specialists to offer a range of services, from fitness classes to career coaching and nutrition advice. If you’ve only got 15 minutes, try the refocus and reset meditation, otherwise the barre, yoga, mat Pilates, high intensity interval training and dance classes – all 30 or 45 minutes – are perfect for a lunchtime workout. You can also book in for one-on-one or small-group training.
The name Mellöbarre is both a nod to mellowing out and an alternative to the common retreat – the bar. McMillan’s goal is to get people out of their always-on mode.
“This is where stress, overwhelm and burnout come from,” she says. “We’re trying to [encourage] people to take five minutes out … so they’re able to be more productive and perform at their best for longer.”
You can also see a naturopath or masseuse, get career coaching, visit a psychologist or Chinese-medicine specialist, have a sleep consultation and get acupuncture. Wellbeing and nutrition workshops use the reception’s island bench for demonstrations, where you can learn how to use essential oils or make bliss balls. There are also snacks and supplies – such as apples and almond butter, and products from Hunter Lab, Aesop and The Beauty Chef available to purchase.
The space is a spa-like sanctuary with three private consultation rooms, a large studio and a dedicated Pilates room. Overlooking the trees on Collins Street through floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s both bright and inviting, with sheer linen curtains and dark wood floors. The fit-out is completed with planter boxes around the building’s pillars, abstract paintings by artist Lola Donoghue and furniture by Fenton & Fenton.
In the bathrooms there are showers, hairdryers and straighteners. Towel hire is complimentary.
Mellöbarre is open Monday to Friday from 6am to 8pm, and is located at Tower 1, Upper Plaza, 727 Collins Street, Docklands. Monthly memberships start at $161.95 and include 10 classes. Single classes start at $34.95, and other services cost extra.