Some like it hot and sweaty, some prefer it slow and focused, and some enjoy doing it to a soundtrack of big hip hop beats. But no matter what kind of yoga you vibe with, having a decent space to do it in makes all the difference. Find your yoga happy place and get bendy in style — here's our pick of Melbourne's best yoga studios.
Both yoga studio and holistic centre, this Gertrude Street mainstay has everything you need to get body and mind in tip-top shape. It makes its home in one of the strip's beautiful heritage buildings, with a pair of light, bright studios boasting room aplenty for those downward dogs and sun salutations. Here, you'll find a hefty team of instructors and a swag of class options for every day of the week, running from vinyasa and hatha flow to yin classes and dedicated pre-natal sessions. Up for a challenge, or that little bit of extra zen? Gertrude Street Yoga also hosts a nifty selection of workshops and courses, plus a comprehensive 200-hour teacher training program.
There's one sure-fire way to steer your practice into fun new territory, and it happens at Melbourne's home of hip hop yoga, Yoga213. Here, you'll find a space that's upbeat and full of light, where the atmosphere is homely and a painting of Biggie Smalls presides over the entrance. It's the music that's the driver, with the usual silence and ambient noises swapped for energising beats and sessions that'll leave you grinning. Choose a chilled-out class set to reggae and folk tunes, a soothing yin session, or two styles of hip hop-infused yoga. There's even an uplifting weekly vinyasa class run by donations, with proceeds going Beyond Blue.
Boasting two lofty, light-bathed warehouse studios in the heart of Fitzroy, Power Living is the kind of place that'll have you coming back again and again. Part of a well-established group with venues across Australia, it's got a huge tribe of passionate instructors — and with eight or nine classes running each day, there are options to suit even the busiest yogis. There's a heap of class styles to choose from, and the yoga teacher training programs have serious street cred. This one gets big points for facilities, with showers, change rooms, bike racks, towel and mat hire, and even a retail boutique, where you can stock up on activewear, body products and accessories.
Bringing new meaning to the idea of tuning into your yoga class, Humming Puppy's acoustic engineer-designed yoga space actually hums at a combination of frequencies — the earth's own frequency of 7.83 hertz to help ground your body, and 40 hertz to encourage peak performance gamma brainwaves. Team that with a controlled temperature of 27 degrees, freshly-sanitised Manduka mats provided at each class, and a booking system that lets you nab your favourite spot in advance, and you've got a situation primed for working body, mind and breath. Four classes are offered, running from a mellow mix of slow flow and Yin, to an endurance-building session that'll get those muscles firing.
As the brainchild of artist Kirra Jamison, it's little surprise that Good Vibes Yoga is spilling over with creative energy — ideal, really, when you're on the mat trying to harness your own yogi powers. There's a commitment here to both a healthy body and a healthy planet; from the hypo-allergenic, sustainably-produced cork flooring and the complimentary latex-free Manduka mats, through to the all-natural hair and body products in the change rooms. Even the temperature gets an all-round thumbs up, with hydronic heating kept at a controlled 23 degrees. Traditional classes include Vinyasa for both beginners and beyond, a slow flow class for sharpening focus, and a 75-minute strengthening core and release session.
With its fun fit-out and upbeat energy, this Brunswick yoga studio has totally nailed that home-away-from-home feel. Slow flow is the main focus here, with each session designed to help tap that consciousness, get body and mind in perfect sync, and have you settling nice and deep into the postures. The program of traditional-leaning classes includes vinyasa, yin and conscious flow, with two sessions each week catering especially to newbies. Keep an eye out for specialised courses, workshops and retreats to help step up your yoga game.
When a yoga studio's name is both a nod to Buddhist ideology and the Japanese translation for place of rest and relaxation, you know to expect one very zen space. Yoga is just one of the disciplines on offer at Kaya Health Clubs, though nothing's done by halves — book into one of the traditional classes and find yourself completely immersed in those moves, getting bendy under the expert guidance of specialist teachers that live and breathe yoga. Modern, minimalist interiors make for a serene workout space, and a solid range of class options each week will leave you positively spoilt for choice.
Something of an institution, the Australian Yoga Academy has been awakening minds and bodies since way back in 2000. Offering one of the country's most recognised teacher training programs, it's a favourite for anyone looking to take their practice to the next level, though a broad lineup of class options means there's plenty to suit the more relaxed yogi as well. All classes are conducted at a cosy 26 to 29 degrees to boost circulation and help prevent injuries. Slow things down with some yin, get dynamic with a variety of flow classes or expand your horizons with the studio's top-notch workshop program, exploring the likes of meditation and Chinese medicine.
1B St Edmonds Road, Prahran and 2B Elm Street, Northcote.
Grounded in the belief that a healthy mind is key to a strong, happy body, Happy Melon is your go-to for an all-encompassing wellness experience. The bright, foliage-laden studio is a total stunner, with an energy that'll put you in the perfect headspace for some serious self-improvement. Yoga classes run from a comprehensive fundamentals session, through to a dynamic flow class and even a pre-natal practice. And, if you're looking to focus even more on what's inside that head, there's also an assortment of weekly meditation classes, mindfulness coaching and eight-week mindfulness courses.
Keen to get a little hot and heavy? A steamy session of Bikram yoga, pulling a series of poses in a 35- to 42-degree room, helps to open up those muscles like nothing else — and has a whole host of great benefits. This Johnston Street gem has been guiding students through the high-intensity practice for over a decade, today running more than 30 classes across each week. Beginners are welcomed with open arms at each session, and there's even a women's-only Sunday class for any gals who'd rather give it a go in a room full of likeminded ladies.