Seeking Sun Salutes or The Hundred: Yoga and Pilates in Perth


Over the last decade, yoga and Pilates have becoming increasingly popular as a form of exercise and personal enrichment. Here in Perth, there are numerous studios offering a wide range of styles that run the gamete from traditional to more modern or fusion.

If you are new to either yoga or Pilates (especially Pilates), you’ll want to sign up for an introductory session to ensure you’re using proper alignment as well as correct breathing techniques. An introductory class will also help protect you from many of the common injuries new practitioners acquire due to poor technique or pushing further than they should. 

Before you decide on a studio, you need to decide if you want to pursue yoga or Pilates. While there is a lot of positioning overlap between the two, their focus and execution are quite different. I actually quite enjoy both Pilates and yoga because they challenge me in very different ways and I always feel good after either class, so if you can, try both.



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Pigeon variation
Flickr/lululemon athletica



Pilates is very much focused on your core (which includes both your front and back) and strengthening all those little stabilising muscles which in turn give you power and extension.  It was designed in the early 1900s and is most often associated with dancers, but it can (and was originally intended) to benefit anyone. You can do reformer classes that use the Pilates machines to support and challenge you in new ways, or you can partake in mat classes that might utilise a few props (like a resistance band), but mostly rely on just your body for the work out.  If you have the time and resources, both are excellent and complement each other well so you see the changes faster.


Yoga, on the other hand, has been around for centuries, however as time has progressed more and more styles have appeared. Even though they all originate from the same thing, they are very different in practice and everyone has an opinion on what style is best. I’m no exception, but what seems like the best to me, might not be your cup of tea.  If possible try out lots of different styles and instructors, talk to friends who know you well, and do some research on the studios so you get a feel for the atmospheres. One good resource in Perth for trying out instructors and styles is lululemon athletica. Both their Perth City and Cottesloe store locations offer complimentary yoga (and sometimes Pilates) classes with rotating instructors. It won’t help you in terms of testing out the atmosphere, but it can give you a good idea of what studios/instructors to start looking into.

Now that you’ve thought about what you might be looking for, below is a list of just some of the many yoga and Pilates studios in the Perth area. A great place to look up yoga studios and/or instructors is findyoga.com.au. They don’t have every new class or studio that exists, but they do have one of the most comprehensive listings I’ve seen. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any website that regularly compiles and updates the Pilates studio information.

Most studios have a combination of pre-bought session and drop in classes; be sure to check the attendance policy for the class you’re eyeing before showing up at the studio. You can normally find out online or just give the studio a call.

Yoga

8 Limbs Yoga: Located in Leederville, this studio combines the anatomical precision of vinyasa yoga with the eight limbed principals of Ashtanga. Most of their classes are set up as courses to ensure that everyone has the same foundation to their practice. They also offer pre and postnatal classes and kids classes.

The Yoga Space: This studio is located in West Perth. Their main focus is Ashtanga (including Mysore, which has students move through the sequences at their own pace with individualized adjustments). They also have Vinyasa, Yin yoga, prenatal, postnatal, kids, restorative and meditation classes.

Bikram Yoga Perth: Those who love to sweat can enjoy their Bikram classes both north and south of the river with studios located in North Perth and Myaree. Bikram is a series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises done in a 38°C room for 90 minutes. Most people either love it or hate it. Try it for a few weeks to let your body adjust and find out which you are. Don’t forget to drink your water.

Twisting Peacock Yoga: Located in Osborne Park, this studio specialized in more fusion based yoga with rocket yoga (Ashtanga based but without the sequence restrictions), power yoga (also Ashtanga based but practiced with a moderately heated 30°C room) and hot yoga (like Bikram in room temperature, but 50 postures instead of 26).

Greenwood Yoga Academy: This studio is located in Wangara and focuses on Hatha yoga classes for the general populace as well as specialty restorative, over 55s, mediation and pregnancy classes. Hatha classes are a nice way to introduce yourself to the general postures of yoga before deciding on a particular style.

Fremantle Yoga Centre: For those wanting to practice Hatha yoga on the south side of the river, this studio is located conveniently in Fremantle and offers many classes throughout the day with a Hatha/Iyengar focus, as well as pregnancy, kids, therapy and mums and bubs classes.

Flow Yoga: Focusing on Vinyasa yoga, this Osborne Park studio has classes for total newbies, beginners, intermediate and advanced practitioners. They have both courses and drop in classes to fit your schedule and offer corporate yoga as well.

Stuart Watkins: Stuart doesn’t have a particular studio he works in, preferring instead to work with individuals in their home or holding small classes out in nature (don’t forget your sunscreen if you attend one of his morning classes on the beach). His style of yoga is a blend of Vinyasa and Akhanda yoga. He also specializes in holistic life coaching and wellness consulting.


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Pilates classes
Photo Credit: Flickr/familymwr



Pilates


The Perth Pilates Studio: This top quality studio offers both Pilates mat and reformer classes in North Perth as well as specialty classes like power plate, Xtend Barre, pregnancy/mums N bubs, yogalates (yoga and Pilates fusion) and Yin yoga.

LIVe Pilates: They have locations in South Perth, Applecross, Mt. Pleasant, North Fremantle, Atwell, Maylands and Hillarys and offer Pilates mat, reformer and physio Pilates classes as well as BoxFit and stretching classes from friendly, well qualified instructors.

Pilates Fitness Institute of WA:  This studio has four convenient locations in the CBD, Myaree, Burswood and Canning Vale. Their classes range from mat, reformer, pregnancy and post natal to classes specifically geared towards athletes. They also have corporate classes the can bring to the work place and spin classes.

Pure Moves: Located conveniently along the Stirling Highway in Cottesloe, this studio offers Pilates mat and reformer classes as well as power plate classes and both Vinyasa inspired and Yin yoga classes. They have both class pass cards and monthly memberships depending on how much Pilates you want to do.

Performance Pilates and Physiotherapy: This versatile studio is located in West Perth and offers the typical range of mat and reformer Pilates classes as well as specific stretching classes, pregnancy and beyond, gold class (for offsetting effects of aging), express Pilates classes and Feldenkrais (I have a friend who does this and swears it will totally change how you move through life physically for the better).

Do you have a favourite yoga or Pilates studio in Perth? Share it with us below!

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