Kula Yoga are a brand new, "diverse and progressive yoga and wellness studio" on Camberwell Road in Hawthorn East (easily accessible by bike, train, tram and bus and there's parking right out front). I was lucky enough to attend Kula's Open Day.
Let me preface my story with: I am no yogi master. If anything, I'm closer to Yogi Bear, and if you've read any of my other reviews, you'll know I'm really all about eating:
I began my morning hoping I'd applied just enough makeup to look like I wasn't wearing any. I packed a towel and drink bottle (Kula Yoga prefers you bring the reusable kind) and headed on my way. Maybe I should have ironed my tracksuit pants.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by Kula's founder Kacey and a few other staff members (who couldn't have been friendlier) and given a short form to fill out.
At this point I began sussing out my competition considered my fellow class-mates. They generally fell into two categories: younger people who were gorgeous, fit and well-dressed, and older people who were gorgeous, fit and well-dressed. Really wish I'd ironed my trackies.
Lots of space was available to store belongings (at own risk). Bathrooms were clean and modern.
Attendees were then led up the stairs into a large studio. This girl brought her own mat! I was clearly amongst experts.
Shhh... no talking inside (others may be meditating).
Wish I'd painted my toenails.
Kula offer HOT, FLOW and LIGHT yoga classes. Each are 60 minutes in duration. I tried the FLOW class.
Here I am waiting for class to begin. The room was spacious and sun-lit. You can see the FIR heating panels in the ceiling.
Officially, "Flow is an energetic and rejuvenating class which will elevate your heart rate as you create internal heat" (the room is heated to 28 degrees).
Unofficially, I remember something about a canine ('downward facing dog'), planking ('low plank' and 'high plank') and a flower ('lotus'), but mostly the class seemed to be about tuning into your body (synchronising breath with movement) and being present in the moment. It was harder than I thought it would be, but very rewarding. Our instructor Jenny was enthusiastic and passionate.
I'd imagined that yoga would be like becoming one of those twistable party balloons, but it was more about finding strength in muscles I hadn't really used before.
It did not matter that I was unfit, uncoordinated or dressed like a dag. We were encouraged to work at our own pace.
After class, free herbal tea was on offer.
According to Kula, the benefits of yoga include:
lowering stress levels by improving concentration and focus
reducing pain by increasing strength and mobility
combating fatigue by boosting energy levels
lessening sickness by building the immune system
improving heath by eliminating toxins and waste
Having tried it for myself, I can appreciate how yoga could improve a person's strength, flexibility and stability, but mostly I just found it to be fun and invigorating.
Kula's studios, like the staff, were gorgeous both inside and out. It doesn't matter if you're young or old, or if you've been doing yoga for years or you're a complete beginner, Kula Yoga is definitely worth paying a visit. They've got some great opening specials right now.