“Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.” B.K.S. Iyengar
This quote from one of the foremost leaders in yoga teaching, B.K.S. Iyengar truly gets to the essence of what yoga as a practice can really mean to a student.
Of course, there are so many physical health benefits to be gained from it. You can work on your flexibility, feeling more elastic with every flow and bend.
You'll also notice that your endurance is increasing, and you'll learn to hold more difficult poses for longer periods of time with each class.
But besides this, it is the mental health benefits that keep students returning to the mat for years, and this is what teacher Iyengar meant when he said "it transforms the person who sees."
By repeating movement and concentrating on the feel of our body during a flow, we learn to become more aware. We can then apply that awareness in our everyday life.
While this can have effects as small as helping us notice when we've been sitting too long and need to move around, this study can also help us be aware of more significant things, like fostering a better body image.
So many students want to join a group in Australia but aren't quite sure where to start. The first thing you need to ask yourself is what you want from your hours of class...
Finding the yoga lessons that are right for you
Whichever city you live in, finding courses, events and retreats to join probably won't be a problem. It's even possible to apply for courses that train teachers, which provide a certificate and even international recognition.
Really, the difficult thing will be finding the course that works best for your needs, with a studio or teacher you can trust.
When you start looking, make a quick checklist so you know exactly what you're looking for. Some important questions could be:
- How much am I willing to spend? You could come up with a minimum and maximum.
- Is my level catered to?
- Are they registered with any international organisations like the Yoga Alliance?
- How many people are in each course?
- What hours of class do they offer?
You should also consider whether you want to join a group or do individual lessons. While a course in a group can be a lot of fun, there are some benefits to workshops with private teachers that can't be ignored.
You'll have the possibility of matching the training style to your specific goals for your life and body. You can focus more on meditation study if you're after mindfulness, or movement if you want to train.
There are plenty of teachers online, but it's a good idea to check if they have some sort of certificate or diploma, or are registered with an international body like the Yoga Alliance.
If you prefer lessons in a studio, we've come up with a handy list of the best options in each city in Australia...
Yoga Classes Near Me in:
If you're looking for training in yoga in the Sydney area, then you're in luck. Whether you're right on the bay, or in the outer suburbs, you're likely to be able to find a great option nearby, as well as free and paid events happening across the city.
Here are some of the best-known studios in Sydney:
- Zen Sessions, Sydney CBD: This studio is smack bang in the centre of the city, and offers sessions with a beautiful view of the bay. Unlike many other studios, you don't need to be a member to attend a training session. Simply book online for the workshop you're interested in!
- BodyMindLife: One of the great things about this yoga chain is that, whether you're in Byron Bay or Surry Hills, you can trust in the quality of the training and teacher. They even provide training to become a Pilates or Yoga teacher yourself, at an academy that is fully registered with the Yoga Alliance.
- W1LL: This more unorthodox space is designed to help students immerse themselves totally in the experience. There's more music and sweat in these sessions, with the aim being to totally retreat from the outside world and focus on the present moment.
Similar to Sydney, people searching for a yoga course in Melbourne are really spoiled for choice. From Northcote to Elwood, you can find a yoga centre offering lessons to students of any level. Here are some of the best:
- Jessica Dewar Yoga: This space in the east of Melbourne is interesting in that they do things a little differently. Instead of becoming a member and paying a monthly fee, students actually pay what they feel. By doing this, the owner hopes to make yoga training more accessible to every student, no matter their budget.
- Light Space Yoga: Putting just as much focus on the quality of the space as well as the quality of the teachers, this group of three studios aims to make students feel lighter and more relaxed, as they walk into the space and retreat from the outside world. A literal 'Light Space' if you will!
- MOVE Yoga: For those in Melbourne's city centre, MOVE is a little oasis in the middle of the CBD chaos. As well as normal lessons, there's a 6 Week Yoga Challenge event, which includes unlimited yoga training, coaching sessions a diet plan and more. They also provide a teacher training program. It's 200 hours, registered with the international Yoga Alliance and at the end, you'll have your very own certificate.
For all those in Australia's 3rd biggest city, it's easy to find a great yoga space. Yoga training in Brisbane has never been so easy to come across, with an explosion of new centres across the city in recent years. Let's check out the best on offer:
- Bend and Fly Yoga: This space offers yoga courses with a bit of difference: they happen in mid-air! These specialists in aerial yoga provide a safe space for students of any level to practice and improve their aerial skills. They also have day and week-long workshops both online and in-person.
- Raw Power Yoga: Known as one of the best studios in Brisbane, Raw Power is close to the city centre, and caters to everyone from sports teams to beginner level yogis. They are open every day of the year and aim to create a sense of community through teaching workshops and special events.
- Bodhi Yoga: One of the best things about this space is the number of sessions they offer. With a minimum of 3 happening every day to a max of around 5 or 6 a day, you're sure to be able to carve out a couple of hours in your busy schedule to be able to fit in their 50-75 minute sessions.
Not to be outdone by the bigger cities, there are also plenty of great options for yoga sessions in Perth. These beautiful retreats are sure to have you feeling relaxed and peaceful:
- Rooftop Yoga: If you're interested in yoga with a little bit of a view, you should definitely check out this rooftop. It's only open for a limited time during the year, so take advantage of the fresh air and sunny Perth mornings in this little oasis.
- Kookaburra Yoga: Speaking of getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you can't do better than a space in the middle of natural bushland. You can go for traditional yoga sessions, or try one of their incredible retreats.
- Clear Mind Studio: If you like your yoga with a few little extras, try this little piece of calm. While you can go for some lessons, you can also try some other methods of finding some rest and relaxation, like flotation therapy, sauna, massages and more. It will truly be a fully immersive mindfulness experience!
Finding yoga sessions across the Adelaide city centre is easy, as it's another city with a budding yoga community, just waiting to welcome the newest yogi to the fold. Check out these studios as a start:
- Eclipse Hot Yoga: Hot Yoga is a great way to sweat it out, without having to do any really high-intensity training. This space actually offers unheated, warm and hot lessons that you can choose from, allowing every member to see what type of workout suits them best.
- Australian School of Meditation and Yoga: We shouldn't forget that while yoga is mostly seen now as a great workout, it's more traditionally intended as a form of meditation. This school focuses on the study of meditation. They help students to apply their practice and feel relaxed, mindful and peaceful.
- Kanti Yoga: There are so many different styles of yoga to try, and most studios only provide two or three. This is certainly not the case with Kanti, which offers 10 different types of classes, as well as a class specifically designed for teen students, and another- Frontline Yoga- which is for frontline workers who experience PTSD and anxiety.
And if you're from our nation's capital, try our guide to yoga courses in Canberra...