Urban Yoga

Things to do, Classes and workshops Surry Hills
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Urban Yoga marries all the perks of a fancy gym with a workout that feels more like a club night than a traditional yoga class

Urban Yoga is a new studio on the corner of Crown and Cleveland that’s throwing out the rulebook when it comes to Ashtanga yoga practice. There’s no chanting, no meditation and no Sanskrit (poses are referenced by their English names). Classes are set to music, and there’s a screen projecting videos of vivid landscapes, wild animals, sunsets and glittering beaches. It’s more like stepping into an aerobics class than an ashram, which is perhaps the appeal.

Time Out road-tested the studio’s signature class Urban Yoga, which is designed for all levels of yogic ability. As we step into the light-filled reception area, we’re immediately impressed. It’s a chilled contrast to the busy streets outside and it smells of peppermint, thanks to bottles of complimentary herbal teas on offer. It’s a plush environment with all the freebies of a fancy gym; there’s a hairdryer, straighteners, spare hair ties and Aesop soap in the beautifully marbled showers. Lockers are plentiful (and free), and mats are provided.

Inside the studio, it's dark and the screen flickers with images of the ocean, rainforests and Sydney in summer. Our instructor has a Madonna mic, which she uses to guide us through the Vinyassa flow. It’s fast and demands a fair bit of prior knowledge, so we’d suggest opting for the six-week Urban Base class if you’re new to yoga or it's been a while.

As we move through warriors, mountains and cat-cows they play songs by Chet Faker, The xx and Michael Jackson. At one point we pulse to MJ while holding a pose. The playlist and images are there to keep things interesting; there’s a lot less focus on the breath and you’re encouraged to deepen poses as far as you feel comfortable.

If you’d prefer something more intrapersonal, they’ve got an Urban Stretch class that’s low intensity and restorative, more Yin. One of the great things about all the classes is that you can pay as you go – and $1 from every booking is donated to the Human Kind Project. At the moment, your first class is $20 or a series of six is $120.

For us, Urban Yoga is somewhere we’d go to shake up our usual fitness schedule, and that’s because you don’t receive a lot of one-to-one attention in a class of 40. Though there are support instructors ready to correct alignment and jump in to lead if necessary, the whole experience is similar to a gym class – it’s fun and social. In fact, next time we plan to bring a friend, throwing in dinner and drinks in the nearby bars like Vasco and Gardel’s. We recommend you do the same.

By: Emma Joyce


Venue name: Urban Yoga
Address: Level 1
401-409 Cleveland Street
Surry Hills
Opening hours: Daily 7.30am-9pm
Price: $20

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