We’ve all been to that yoga studio. The one where you feel totally out of your league; you realise your active-wear isn’t as on-trend as everyone else’s; or you’re suddenly stretching way above your class.
Whether keen on a no-frills option, stylish surrounds, or you’re a true yogi looking for ways to extend your practice, here’s a start down the path to avoiding future yoga faux pas.
For the curious: Yoga in Daily Life
This international school channels its Rajastan heritage at a not-for-profit Sydney studio in Merrylands.
“What makes our school special is the spiritual lineage,” says centre manager Ana Malec. “You always have a teacher who transfers the knowledge to the next one, so our teaching stays preserved as it has always been.”
Yoga in Daily Life guides emerging yoga teachers through eight progressive levels of training, while offering classes to non-teaching enthusiasts as well. They also offer half-day retreats once a month. “People can spend three hours doing yoga and then mingle, spend time together and have a bit of chai,” says Malec.
The small studio hosts two classes a day in a variety of styles, including yoga nidra, meditation classes and the first four levels of yoga training, with up to 12 people per class. It also hosts classes for retirees, concession-holders and students.
For the experimental: Humming Puppy
Fancy a Hertz audio frequency tailored to your ultimate Zen space? Redfern’s Humming Puppy studio (the first in NSW for the Melbourne-born brand) offers three levels of classes at two separate frequencies – 40 hertz and 7.83 hertz, or the Shuman resonance.
“The idea behind the hum is that the more you’re submersed in these frequencies, the easier it is for you to tap into it when you’re not immersed in it,” says founder Jackie Alexander.
The black, tiered studio hosts 36 mats per session, with all equipment provided. They run 49 classes a week, with high, medium and low intensity variations led by teachers from a variety of lineages and practices. There’s also a full shower space with complimentary hair and body products, as well as a relaxation space with coconut water and Rabbit Hole tea for pre- and post-class hydration.
For the community-focused: Dee Why School of Yoga
The Dee Why School of Yoga has been running for 23 years. Recently handed down to owner Rosemary Scognamiglio from her mentor and yoga teacher, the community-centric studio prides itself on inclusive, affordable yoga practice for all.
The studio is split into two separate rooms, one with carpet and one bamboo-floored, and offers a selection of classes for a variety of demographics. These include HSC yoga for stressed high school students; classes for PTSD victims; and classes for mature-age students. There’s also a hatha yoga class and yoga nidra, both using guided meditation and deep relaxation to focus on the connection to self.
“We believe that yoga is not a one-size-fits-all experience,” says Scognamiglio. “Everybody is unique and everyone’s body is different. We don’t have any akra yoga or anything hanging from the ceiling. It’s very old school yoga.”
All props for the practice are supplied, and the community element sees students bringing Prasad (a Sanskrit word for offering) to the studio to share with others.
For the aesthetically-inclined: One Hot Yoga
One Hot Yoga is the brainchild of a yogi and an architect. Lucinda Mills opened the designer space with husband and architect Rob Mills in Potts Point in March 2016, hoping to marry yoga practice with an aesthetically-pleasing studio.
The timber-rich, bright white-and-gold space features a hydronic heating system to maximise air and water in the space, as well as air replacement hourly.
“There’s a lot of subtly in the design,” says Lucinda. “You’re not necessarily aware of it but it’s important to crafting that calming experience.”
One Hot Yoga runs 10-15 yoga, pilates and reformer classes daily, with a maximum of 40-50 people in each class. The studio also hosts prenatal yoga classes for expecting mothers. There are two temperature variants in to heated studios: 37°C (core body temperature) and 27°C, for a cooler class.
For yoga with a view: The Livingroom
The Livingroom, situated above Barzura Café on Carr Street in Coogee, might have one of the most picturesque views for yoga practice in Sydney. Featuring an unobstructed view of Coogee Beach, it’s the kind of bright room that makes a sun salutation as literal as it is physical.
Founded by Rodney Sen in 2008, the Livingroom studio offers foundational and strength classes, as well as vinyasa and yin yoga. There are also “tween” classes and pre- and post-natal classes available.
18 teachers teach at the studio, guaranteeing a varied and unique yoga practice. The studio also offer mindfulness retreats and free community events in meditation and wellness. Mats are supplied.