Twenty years ago, you’d have been hard pressed to find an architect-designed yoga studio in Melbourne. Now, though, we’ve noticed the rise of beautiful yoga spaces, where the overall experience in a modern studio is concerned with more than your time on the mat.
We take a look at some of Melbourne’s most beautiful studios, and ask why great design has become so prominent in yoga studios over time.
“We wanted to create a space that allowed clients to go on a journey and have an experience with us that began the moment they stepped over the threshold,” says co-owner Jacqui Alexander of the new Prahran studio.
“These days there is a massive emphasis on design and all things nice,” she says. “People appreciate being in a studio and a space that is well considered from a design point of view.”
And what makes the Humming Puppy experience so unique is all in the hum.
Engineered by one of the world’s leading acoustic engineers, ARUP, the yoga studio emits a combination of sound frequencies during sessions to deepen visitors’ practice and sensory experience.
As for the interior, dark, moody tones, pendant lights, brass detailing and oak floors by architects Karen Abernethy and Louisa Macleod fulfil the day-spa brief, creating a hotel-like ambience throughout the luxurious spaces.
ONE HOT YOGA
One Hot Yoga is quiet and calm. The stone water fountain, painted brick walls, timber benches and polished concrete floors create an aesthetic that is equal parts earthy and urban.
With two neighbouring studios for both One Hot Yoga and One Hot Pilates, Melbourne architect Rob Mills (who also designed the Ocean House in Lorne) explains that the experience draws on, “The philosophy that physical and psychological wellbeing is directly influenced by internal and external space.”
The extra attention to detail can be found throughout the large studio, such as in the opulent bathrooms, where there are organic soaps and an ayurvedic body- and hair-care range created especially for the studio.
Combining yoga, meditation, dynamic fitness and Pilates in the new studio, the Happy Melon philosophy is that the combination of mental and physical practices is the answer to living a happier, healthier life.
Studio manager Sarah Edgar believes great design is becoming an important aspect of the yoga studio because, “People want to see something unexpected, and be excited by a space in which they might spend a lot of time.
“We have seen it for years with other industries such as retail, hospitality and travel – it is now the wellness world’s time.”
Because people associate relaxation with a cosy corner of their home, Edgar says, “We felt it was important for the space to feel more like a home than a fitness studio.”
Marble tiles, mint joinery, handmade light fittings by Anna Charlesworth and artworks by Leila Jeffreys and Gemma Smith complement the interior detail of the building’s original structure. The result is a warm, inviting place to call your yoga home.
More playful than many of its peers, Yoga 213 is a vibrant, bustling brand that incorporates a yoga studio and apparel range. Where vinyasa flows are practiced to hip-hop, the design aesthetic is Californian cool.
Exposed brick walls, repurposed timber benches and a custom neon sign reading “to be happy” reflect the vision of the brand, created by Wild Hen and Yoga 213 owner, Sammy Veall.
On the rising trend of great design in the modern yoga scene in Melbourne, Luke Henley, designer at, and founder of, Wild Hen says, “As yoga becomes more popular, yoga studios are starting to brand and market themselves, due to the greater need to stand out and offer something different.”
Blonde timber dowel detailing, large lanterns and black-framed doors and windows immediately set the tone for a space so tranquil you wouldn’t guess it is above the energy of Flinders Lane. Designed by Hecker Guthrie, Move Yoga opened its black steel-framed doors in late 2014.
The design concept celebrated the simplicity of a pared-back palette, and the honesty of restrained workings of materials, with a nod to the north and a touch of the east. This combination of Japanese architecture and Nordic design sensibility creates a tranquil space in which to practice.
Equipped with all the amenities a working yogi may require, such as showers, hair dryers, hair straighteners and more, Move Yoga meets the level of care modern-day yoga-goers expect, and receive.