In June last year Universal Practice opened its first studio in Richmond, introducing the community to a team of qualified physiotherapists who are also Pilates and yoga instructors.
“Incorporating medicine into health and wellness grounds it in science,” says Sammy Wilson, who founded Universal Practice with her husband, Andrew Prowse. “It’s more of a real-life practice, which encompasses all spheres of health from the East and Western worlds.”
A year on, Universal Practice opened a second, slightly larger studio in Fitzroy. Wilson found many of her Richmond clients lived in the north.
Like Richmond, the Fitzroy studio offers treatments and classes that cover ropes yoga, clinical Pilates, physio and body-mapping meditation. The purpose is to strengthen not only your body but also your mind, recognising that restoring one has a flow-on effect to the other. You may choose to visit the studio to treat an injury, tone up, relieve stress, or to simply find a sense of calm.
Universal Practice also works closely with the communities in which it’s set up, such as a school program called Urban Retreats, which aims to empower teens to make informed decisions about their health, social pressures and better prepare for exams.
“We’ve also received great support from the Hawthorn Football Club,” Wilson adds. “[It’s] great that what we’re doing is being recognised at an elite level.”
The studio is fit out with light timber furniture, bright white walls and an abundance of natural light. Pre-existing features of the building have been restored by de Campo Architects, including the polished concrete floor, exposed trusses and the terrazzo staircase that leads you to the studio from Johnston Street.
Furnishings are also hyper-local: ceramics by Mud Australia on Gertrude Street, raw timber stools by Fitzroy furniture maker Mark Tuckey, and soon, Collingwood florist Loose Leaf will decorate the interior with plants.
“The space is really what carries the energy, and we wanted people to feel good in their physical bodies as well as their surrounds,” Wilson says.
Universal Practice members have access to both the Richmond and Fitzroy studios, which run the same services and classes. Appointments can be booked online or by downloading the Universal Practice app. All services and classes at Universal Practice can be claimed on private health insurance, too.
124 Johnston Street, Fitzroy
Mon to Fri 6am–8pm
(03) 9417 0869