Melbourne-based physiotherapy, Pilates and yoga studio Universal Practice has some of the most stunning spaces in town, but with the rapid changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, its owners were forced to halt in-studio classes.

“We’re going to continue with physio because the health minister has called it an essential service,” says Sammy Prowse, who owns Universal Practice along with her partner, Andrew.

“It’s really changing hour by hour at the moment, with everything that’s going on,” Andrew adds.

Now, the pair has launched Universal Practice at Home, a program of pre-recorded sessions ranging from 12 to 30 minutes long.

The classes are led by qualified physiotherapists, and through clear visual demonstrations and guided movements they’ll take you through Pilates, stability, strength and conditioning, ante and post-natal, and over 65s sessions, as well as guided meditations.

New sessions are added weekly, and you can stream them from your smartphone, smart TV or web browser.

There are also specific programs available for athletes and those working from home, as well as a series of five-minute challenges, which are perfect to kick off your lunch break, or to follow a run or walk.

“This is an opportunity to extend what we do every day in the studios to people in the comfort of their home,” Sammy says. “There’s almost never been a better time to invest in your health.”

Although the program is launching amid the pandemic, it’s here for the long-term. “Once everything settles down again, if you go on holiday, have work or a busy week and can’t make a class, or you want to work out with your friends, you can continue to access our programs,” Sammy says.

Along with the launch of online classes, Universal Practice is helping clients who can’t get to its studios (in Melbourne’s Malvern, Fitzroy and Richmond) with 30 and 60-minute physiotherapy telehealth sessions. Sammy says she’s already noticed an increase in running injuries since gyms closed, and online physio can be handy for those replacing gym sessions with outdoor activities.

While the physio can’t get hands-on in these sessions, they can assess your posture, strength and movement, diagnose the source of your pain, and take you through a home rehabilitation program in detail.

“We’ll still talk you through everything,” says Sammy. “It’s just virtual.”

Unlimited access to Universal Practice at Home classes is available for $49 a month, $125 for three months, or $225 for six months.

Telehealth Physiotherapy costs $69 for 30 minutes and $89 for 45 minutes. Private health insurance claims are available.