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Flow Athletic

Sport and fitness Paddington
Flow Athletic

Time Out says

A fitness studio and gym in Paddington which specialises in fitness classes from spin classes to Bike-Asana.

Bike-Asana review

Time Out tests the latest fitness combination: yoga-cycling...

In a sun-filled room that overlooks the greenery around Victoria Barracks, eight people balance on their hands and feet, thrusting their butts upward in unison. We’re catching our breath after the sweaty first half of the Bike-Asana – half-spin, half-yoga – class at Flow Athletic in Paddington. It’s a combo that aims to provide a ‘rounded’ cardio and stretchy workout all in one.

The class starts in a dark spin room, a waft of aromatherapy oils lingering in the air and inspirational messages stencilled across the walls. Ali, our instructor, sits on an elevated platform in front of a mirror (where we can observe ourselves in all our splotchy, sweaty glory) and guides the class through a 30-minute spin session where the ethos is ‘encouragement without judgement’.

At the halfway mark in the hour-long class, we walk – a little unsteadily – across to the yoga room and regulate our breathing with simple yoga poses, stretching out our tired muscles. Ali’s voice is slow and soothing, and there is a beautiful, leafy view through the wall-to-ceiling windows.

In the final pose, lying on our backs with palms to the sky, we have a moment of yoga-induced wisdom – an epiphany: from now on we’re swapping cheesy crepes for quinoa and pomegranate seeds. Though the health-kick optimism wanes, what we learnt from Bike-Asana is that life’s better with a bit of balance.

With its slick fit-out, the exercise space makes us feel clean and classy (even as we sweat rivers). Bike-Asana is a fun, relaxed workout experience that challenges the body and soothes the mind, leaving us pooped but completely refreshed.

All-bloke yoga class review

Our man Sam Egan learns to go with the flow at an all-male stretch fest.

Like many urban dwelling men, Sydney’s ever-growing smorgasbord of drink, food and fun is generally quick to suppress any fleeting notions I might have of getting healthy. And I'm getting fed up. Don’t get me wrong, I love the good times, but that little ‘you should really do some exercise’ voice has started to make the pale ales taste a little stale.

It’s a hard cycle to break, but with winter in full swing (along with its undesirable associates: pastiness and skinny-fat), there’s no time like now to give your body and mind the love they deserve. The solution lies, of all places, on Oxford Street. Flow Athletic have started ‘Yoga for Men’, an all-male class specially designed to help us lads relieve tension and gain mobility.

“I feel like men miss out on opportunities to relax and get the physical and mental benefits of yoga,” says instructor Kate Kendall. “Many men just don’t feel comfortable going to a class and putting themselves in 'foreign' shapes next to women.” Damn straight – I know I look much better upright in jeans than I do downward-dogging, sweating through chocolate-stained tracky daks. But with the fear of female judgement eradicated, a few Time Out bros decided it was time to get physical.

Flow Athletic is a peacefully futuristic place, kind of like Minority Report if Tom Cruise’s role was played by Enya. We grab our complimentary mats and enter a dimly lit room lined with gym-kitted blokes lying flat, stretching their groins. Reassuringly, their ages, physiques and fashion choices cover the full spectrum.

The class begins as Kendall gently explains the key positions and correct posture. Gradually, we move into some challenging (and compromising) positions. Each phase comes with the offer of: “Now if you’re feeling comfortable, here’s a way to enhance the stretch”. My initial male instinct is to ‘defeat’ yoga and I attempt every possible extension regardless of pain, fear and neck jerking. Problem is, as I learned, yoga is fucking hard and can’t be beaten with force. Kendall is quick to quell any over eagerness and ensures that all positions are achieved properly.

After nearly an hour of stretching, proning, planking, dogging, twisting, and a lot of sweating, my body was exhausted. But surprisingly (and yes I am really writing this), my mind was crystal clear. I felt calm and satisfied. In the least creepy way possible, it was not unlike a post-sex euphoria.

I enjoyed my first yoga experience much more than I anticipated. It was more “shit this is hard” than the “ommmmmm” I was expecting, but we did get a little “namaste” at the end. And the unexpected intensity seemed to take me somewhere tranquil in the end.



Address: Level 1
134 Oxford Street
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 5.30am-9pm, Fri 5.30am-5pm, Sat 7am-6pm, Sun 8am-6pm
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