An overview of the Melbourne CBD Yoga and meditation scene.
Yoga in Melbourne is BIG! Currently there are about 20 Yoga studios and 235 different Yoga classes are offered within 3km of the central business district. This huge amount of offer and interest in Yoga is partly due to the big amount of stress our society can put on each and every one of us. It’s nice to have an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life every now and then and meditation is an ultimate way of doing that. It doesn’t only makes us feel more relaxed and focused, but it can also help you reach certain goals in life much faster and be more in control of your own body and mind and live a fuller life. Do you also want to start practicing Yoga? Or are you already in a Melbourne meditation centre or want more info on that meditation retreat you heard about? After reading this article it should be clear what the options are for yoga and mindfulness meditation in Melbourne CBD.
What styles of Yoga are there on offer?
Many schools in Melbourne, if not all, offer Hatha Yoga. Hatha yoga became popular throughout the world in the 20th century. Especially it’s postures or asanas became widely spread as physical exercises. Hatha Yoga is now formally termed under the big name “yoga”. It is seen as a perfect step in to Yoga for beginners since it is a solid grounding in postures which can increase strength and flexibility.
Bikram Yoga is a style of Yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury, out of the tradition hatha yoga techniques and was made popular in the 70’s. All classes run for 90 minutes and always use the same series of 26 postures and two breathing techniques. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a heated room up to 40°C with a humidity of around 40%. That’s why the very popular style ‘Hot Yoga’ is often associated with Bikram Yoga, although the term is now also used for many other yoga styles that use heat to increase flexibility in poses. All official Bikram classes are given by certified Bikram teachers, who have completed 9 weeks of training endorsed by Bikram himself. This includes a standardised dialogue during the classes, but every teacher can have his own delivery and teaching style.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is usually just reffered to as Ashtanga Yoga. It was popularised by K. Pattabhi Jois and it is often promoted as a modern-day form of the classical Indian Yoga. Asthanga is Sanskrit for eight-limbed and it’s named after the eight limbs of Yoga mentioned in the “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali”. It combines an ancient series of postures with a flowing breath and movement system, which increases strength, endurance and flexibility while also clearing the body of any toxins and emotional blocks a person may have. A lot of schools in Melbourne offer Ashtanga Yoga and some of them are even dedicated to this style of Yoga.
Pregnancy Yoga melbourne
Many Yoga centres in and around Melbourne CBD offer pregnancy yoga classes. Practicing Yoga during pregnancy can be very beneficial for mother and baby during prenatal and postnatal stage. It’s energy increasing, works relaxing, improves sleeping, strengthens muscles, gives support to the spine and reduces back aches or cramps in the body. Constipation, bloating and swelling are also reduced and it improves the circulation of blood flow to the pelvis which also tones and strengthens the muscles which support reproductive organs. Besides all these physical advantages it also develops a very strong connection with you and your baby. In the postnatal period Yoga can ensure for a nice transition into motherhood and will help the mother and baby to relax and stimulate the bonding. It has the same physical and emotional advantages as during the prenatal period but offcourse the physical difference to your body is obvious.
Many Yoga centres in Melbourne offer Yin Yoga. Yin Yoga is a style of Yoga which originates in the United States and was first taught by martial arts expert and Taoist Yogateacher Paulie Zink in the late 1970s. It is a slow paced type of yoga so poses are held for longer periods of time. It’s not unusual for a pose to be held for five minutes or even longer. Yin Yoga doesn’t apply a lot of stress on the connective tissues and therefore increases circulation in the joints and improves your flexibility. The poses are designed to improve the flow of gi, which is the subtle energy that runs through the meridian pathways of the body, according to Chinese medicine. This should improve organ health and immunity and is very beneficial for your emotional well-being. The Yin style of yoga is more meditative than other styles and cultivates awareness of one’s inner silence, while bringing ligh to the interconnecting quality. It is not intended to be a copmlete practice in itself, but should be seen as a compliment to the more active forms Yoga has to offer.
The best Yoga classes, meditation centres and retreats in Melbourne CBD
Since people are very different and preferences change from person to person, there is no such thing as the best Yoga school. It is very important to try out different Yoga centres so you can find the one that suits most to your own liking. Here is a small list of popular Yoga schools categorised by area in Melbourne.
Body flow yoga creates ease and lightness in being through detailed, nurturing and fun teaching of authentic yoga. We care for our students well being in our fun and accessible classes. We are inspired by your development and welcome you to join our friendly community and beautiful studio environments. They have higly qualified and experienced in the art of yoga, both practicing and teaching. The focus is on how to move well and how to develop structural stability to support space and flow in body, mind and spirit.
Whether you’re brand new to Yoga are have been into it for a longer period of time, Ohana Yoga offers something for everyone. They offer classes in different styles of Yoga such as: Kundalini Yoga, Yin Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Feldenkrais, Yoga Nidra and Tibetan Singing bowl meditation. When the season is right they can also offer beach yoga and they can organize workshops or team building activities for corporate events. Each year they hold yoga retreats in Hawai and Fiji for people who want to escape Australia for a while. At the centre you can get practitioners such as: Remedial Massage, Feldenkrais, Psychology, Speech Therapy, Maya Abdominal Therapy, Acupuncture, Reiki and Lomi Lomi massage. This Yoga centre has recently been reviewed and ranked as one of the top ten yoga studios in Melbourne.
Bikram Yoga Fitzroy
The owners of this Yoga school travelled overseas in 2005 to get training to become certified Bikram Yoga teachers. They started the school in 2007 and have owned, ran and teached in this studio to this day. They say Bikram Yoga has a profound positive effect on their health and well-being, as well as the lives of their students. The age range and health states of those students represent a remarkably wide range. They base their belief in the Bikram practice upn the logical, predictable and repetitive nature of their classes. This ensures that confusion or distraction in your mind is minimised. They work systematically from gentle postures to more complex so that your body can warm up, open and prepare for each successive posture. All exercises are done in a heat and humidity controlled room so that your physical, mental and emotional potential of change can be maximised to achieve greater peace, happiness and health.
Yoga St Kilda
Soul Train Yoga
In a typical soul train yoga class you can experience the different techniques of the yoga process. a contemplation meditation is the start of each class, which is followed by some breathing techniques. The majority of the time is focused on asana, the physical yoga postures. There is a deep relaxation period to end each yoga session at Soul Train.
St Kilda Iyengar Yoga School
Iyengar Located in Acland Street, St Kilda,, this school offers Iyengar Yoga Classe, beginner courses and wokshops for all skill levels. Next to that they can also offer Yoga retreats and teacher training. The retreat centre is called Yoga Gurukul and is located in Northern NSW. The owner, Simon also teaches around Australia, including Byron Bay, Tweed Coast, Gold Coast and Brisbane.