In Finnish, Yogala means “space for life”, and after six years the Maroubra yogic institution might have just found one. The much-loved studio has moved into a new home, double the size of its old one. It’s filled with natural light, plants and features an all-timber “snug” for treatments and meditation.
“Luxe yoga spaces are usually reserved for places like Surry Hills and Bondi, but I’ve always thought the suburbs should have more access to these kinds of [design-driven] studios,” says Yogala director Tamara Ogilvie on the reason for the new opening.
The studio feels like a breath of fresh air within its Pacific Square shopping centre context, which, Ogilvie says, is vastly different from in its former life as a radiology centre.
To transform the space, she worked with her husband Nicholas Duggan, an architect at Studio Hatch, and enlisted the help of Arthouse Projects to bring it to life. “It’s light-filled and open, and there’s a lot of wood. That’s a material that has the ability to really hold you; it has a lot of warmth and gives you this sense of nature. At the same time, it can be very modern.”
A mix of yoga classes are offered, including yin and flow. Ogilvie says Yogala’s classes are different because of her “practical” approach, not just to yoga but people’s requirements.
“I love yoga and meditation but I don’t have any interest in giving everything up and doing meditation in a cave. Yogala’s difference is that it’s really traditional yoga applied to everyday lives … I have empathy for what people manage on a day-to-day basis – mortgages and kids and career changes. I just want to bring that practical mindset to yoga,” she says.