Urban Yoga offers an encouraging atmosphere
Sydney is currently booming with new and exciting ways to get fit and Instagram the evidence. In a competitive market of fitness, there are no limits to the things you can do to raise your heartbeat. These days, swinging from the roof in a fabric cocoon is just one way you can hashtag your way to health, so standing out is half the battle. Urban Yoga have managed to deliver something different in a saturated market for flexible people.
I’ve been practicing yoga halfheartedly in a sweaty gym room for over a year now, so call me a professional. But like many a yogi who has been ‘round the tracks, I know of all the variables that can make or break a practice. It can come down to the teacher, the style or even just the environment. Yoga promotes switching off your mind and engaging with oneself but sometimes I find it hard to be at one with myself when I am feeling self-conscious. The main deterrent for women trying a new exercise experience is the fear of feeling like a complete douchebag. It happens. You want to feel comfortable and Urban Yoga gives you that kind of acceptance from the get go.
For my first class I climbed the stairs from the busy streets of Surry Hills to a serene and comfortable candlelit environment. I’m greeted with a calming, almost day spa themed atmosphere where the instructor herself, Shell greets welcomes me. With me being weird at almost all times, I blurted out “HI, I’M NEW!” to which I was warmly checked into the class and shown around. One would not know they are perched above a Chemist Warehouse. The decor is completely modern with beautiful bathroom/shower facilities and secure locker rooms. Shell explains all there is to know about getting started. Where do my shoes go? What mat can I have and you want me to do what with that strap? It’s all very easy.
When you enter the yoga studio itself, it feels like the audio visual scene in She’s All That. There’s a giant screen stretching across the wall of the room facing the mats flashing otherworldly images of nature. The room itself is dark and warm and once you’ve got all required props, you can lay still and take in the optics with a great soundtrack. One thing I, myself have struggled with in yoga is engagement. Some one-hour classes have felt like the best part of my adult life in length and I’ve walked out of more than I’d like to mention. But even in this slower paced Urban Stretch class inspired by Yin practice, my mind barely left the room. Whilst enduring five minute long stretches that promote flexibility, I drifted away with an incredible audio experience of relaxing and modern music. Shell whispered inspiring mantras and spoke about giving back to yourself. This is the principle of yoga, to initiate peace with yourself and promote strength and wellness without feeling weird about it.
Whether it was the calming nature of the sound and vision or the brief massage I got at the end of the relaxation time, I’m entirely sold on this place. If you’re looking for a class that is engaging, welcoming and inspiring, I highly recommend this studio. Urban Yoga promotes a friendly and encouraging atmosphere for all yogis new and accomplished. I guarantee you’ll feel comfortable and clear minded throughout the class and long after.
Try out your first by heading to http://www.urbanyoga.yoga/
Words by Samantha Dickson.