I am well aware that sadly I have only scratched the surface in terms of the huge variety of studios on offer in Sydney but here are my thoughts about a few of them:
Image courtesy of BodyMindLife
This place is very special to me as it is where I did my Yoga Teacher Training. I love the teachers here – Kat Clayton, Noelle Connolly, and Susanna Topp are 3 of the best I have ever come across. Their sequencing, the variety of classes and the attention to detail makes this a very clever and impressive studio. I think their experience is phenomenal and I love that they teach in a very classic yoga way – no fancy gismos or gadgets. I have very much missed my two hour morning practice since finishing the course!
Image courtesy of Humming Puppy
Thier new studio has opened up in Redfern after the success of their studio in Melbourne. The studio itself is incredible – black changing rooms, huge white walls, large windows – all very modern, crisp and clean. The studio space itself has a humming sound played throughout the class and as the explain on their website:
‘Our yoga space…is injected with a combination of frequencies to enhance and deepen your experience. 7.83hz otherwise known as the Schumann Resonance is actually the frequency of the earth itself and helps to ‘ground’ you through your practice.’
I took a ‘Unified Hum’ class which was perfect in terms of not being too vigorous and not too slow. I really enjoyed Courtney Rose‘s message at the end of the class which was basicallly: reach for everything you want in life right now…. However, I’m not totally sold on the use of a microphone in a room with only 36 students – but perhaps it’s just because I am not used to it. However, I liked the studio a lot and if I was staying here longer I would definitely try one of their more fast paced classes.
Image courtesy of Urban Yoga
Again another stunning studio with a beautifully light and spacious lounge area, exquisite changing rooms and an impressive studio space. They explain on their website:
‘Urban Yoga drops in unapologetic tunes from the likes of Chet Faker, Fleetwood Mac and a host of featured artists to create yoga with a pulse. Urban Yoga uses jaw dropping visuals on a super-sized screen.’
The screen was super impressive and very cool – it definitely creates a powerful atmosphere however unfortunately you don’t get to watch the screen that much when you are moving through the flows. One of the things I was really impressed with was the assisting. I have never been assisted so many times in a class and the assistant stayed with you throughout the entire pose which really helped me deepen the posture with each breath.
This Is Yoga
Image courtesy of This Is Yoga
This is a smaller yoga studio in Clovelly where I have been staying. A really lovely simple space with fantastic teachers. Back to the classic style that I love! Their classes are pretty strong – I like the fact that in each class I feel really challenged and there is normally a pose I haven’t done before that we get to play with a little. Two things I really like about this place:
- They teach you a sequence and then let you flow in your own time with your own breath which feels very liberating.
- They have a sense of humour – nothing is taken too seriously, they make you smile.
Another couple of places I loved and would very much recommend – Creature Yoga in Byron Bay and Yoke Yoga in Melbourne.
Next time I’m here I hope to discover a lot more…..
The reason why it has taken me so long to get this blog post out is because I have been busy writing A LOT of essays to hand in for my yoga teacher training! One of the essays asked us to discuss the Yamas and Niyamas – the moral and ethical codes that a yogi tries to adhere to.
We were asked to pick one Yamas and one Niyamas as to discuss out of:
- Ahimsa: non-violence
- Satya: truthfulness
- Asteya: non-stealing
- Brahmacharya: non-excess
- Aparigraha: non-possessiveness, non-greed.
- Saucha: purity
- Santosha: contentment
- Tapas: self-discipline, training your senses
- Svadhyaya: self-study, inner exploration
- Ishvara Pranidhana: surrender
The Yamas I chose was Ahimsa – non-violence. When I first heard about Ahimsa I thought that this would be an easy thing to follow – but the more I read about this Yamas the more it resonated with me and the more of an understanding of what ahimsa truly means. Ahimsa doesn’t have to mean non-violence in terms of physically towards other people, it can simply mean – be kind to yourself.
How many times do we ask ourselves – ‘am I a failure?’ ‘Am I good enough?’ One doctor who has been helping me with my insomnia asked me to imagine the younger version of myself aged 6 sitting next to me in school uniform, legs unable to reach the floor, swinging back and forth, big smile on her face. He then said to me, “All these things you believe about yourself, would you be able to say them to that little girl?” It made me realise how cruel and disabling my thoughts had slowly become. Violent thoughts towards ourselves become such regular patterns of behavior and I think Ahimsa is really important in combating this.
During my research into Ahimsa I came across Patanjali’s way of combating negative thoughts:
Firstly: cultivate positive thoughts.
Secondly: stop identifying with your thoughts.
I thought it was really interesting that through CBT and mindfulness I had already been trying to practice this in my life over the last 6 months. I realised that so many of the modern ideas in terms of CBT and mindfulness are embedded in the various yoga teachings…. I was already practicing yoga and didn’t know it!
The Niyamas I chose was Santosha – contentment. I am not sure whether I have felt truly content in my life for a while….until I started yoga and quit my job. I knew I needed to work out what I was going to do in terms of work, and the future but I started to try not give myself expectations to live up to. I think that expectations are the root of a lot of anxiety. At the time that I decided to go into health and fitness I had no expectations – I had never ever imagined this life for me so it became an exciting prospect, instead of a constant fear and panic of ‘is this life going to live up to my expectations?’ ‘Am I going to be good enough to make it?’
Santosha helps me worry less about what will happen and feel happy about what is happening right now. That doesn’t mean to say that I can’t or shouldn’t think about what’s going to happen, but I think practicing Santosha helps me make better, healthier, happier decisions for the future.
I came across a quote that I by Nischala Joy Devi: “Smile, it changes everything. Practicing smiling is like planting the seed of a mighty redwood. The body receives the smile, and contentment grows. Before you know it, you’re smiling all the time.”