Jess Dohnt’s story isn’t unusual – in fact, its probably one with which most of us can identify. Eight years ago she was entrenched in the corporate grind. She was stressed, busy, and – in her own words – “not at all flexible”. After moving home from a stint overseas she started going to yoga classes every day and, eventually, it became a more appealing way to live.
After several years of teaching in practices around Melbourne, Dohnt – along with business partners Michael Ramsey and Mark Armstrong – opened Remedy Yoga, a “judgement-free” studio in a former Moonee Ponds bakery.
“It seemed like there were so many barriers that prevented people from doing yoga,” Dohnt says. “We wanted a studio where there was no pretension and no judgment. None of us comes from a dance background, or anything flexible, and we wanted a space that was welcoming to everyone – whether you’re a tradie and you’ve just finished work, or you’re a ballerina.”
Remedy Yoga occupies the top level of the warehouse, which is accessed via an alley that leads off a car park. You’ll reach the studio via a dark stairwell lit only by white and purple neon lights.
“When you get to the top, the studio is this bright, white space that’s just filled with plants,” says Jess. “It’s like a breath of fresh air, and it feels like you’re so far away from the business of life and from Moonee Ponds.
“We found this old warehouse together. It still has remnants of machinery from when it used to be a bakery, and we’ve tried to leave as much of that historical detail from the old building as possible, and to build a yoga studio around it.”
Remedy offers three core classes. Flow is similar to traditional vinyasa and is ideal for those who want a more dynamic, deep workout for “when the mind is really busy and [sitting] still and meditating is impossible.”
The Relax Class is more akin to Yin and involves long, deep stretches; more breathing; and an opportunity to practice mindfulness and meditation.
Yin Yang is a combination of the first two offerings. “This class is for people who want a little bit of Column A and a little bit of Column B,” Dohnt explains.
“The whole approach of Remedy Yoga was really just an organic response to what people were asking for when they came in. It’s exactly what human beings need right now: a place to escape the hectic nature of life. You come up the stairs and there’s no judgment and no pretension. You come in and you just breathe and relax.”
Remedy Yoga is located at 15 Hallkeeper Lane, Moonee Ponds. More information and pricing here remedyyoga.com.au.