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Nude yoga anyone? Perth’s top five alternative yoga places

Penny Thomas, Staff reporter

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As the health and fitness industry grows, new forms of yoga are surfacing that challenge yoga goers, creating niche markets within an industry that is exploding with popularity.

Yoga as a form of exercise has grown and developed over hundreds of years, but the somewhat conventional ancient meditation practice seems a far stretch from the alternative yoga options available these days. 

We check out where to go for, let’s say, a different yoga experience in Perth. 

Nude Yoga

Just as the title suggests, this form of yoga is done without any clothes, so leave all your inhibitions at the door.

When Rosie Rees instructs nude yoga at The Twisting Peacock, she wants the class to think positively about the human body — all through the art of nude yoga.

“I use yoga as a bridge to help women overcome body image issues, self-doubt, fears and shame.

“There is always a nervous, anxious energy at the beginning of the class as women don’t fully know what to expect; being naked and vulnerable, even for the most confident of women, can be very challenging.

“I address this by speaking into why I hold these workshops and how powerful this work is for women, especially in relation to dropping down the barriers, insecurities and masculine masks we hold up to “protect” us.

“By stripping back the layers of clothes, it’s symbolic of peeling back the layers of fear, shame and guilt.” Rosie Rees speaking about nude yoga.

You don’t have to be a skilled yogi to attend one of Rosie’s classes — you just have to be open to the idea of being naked in a foreign environment.

My good friend Bronte has been multiple times and describes her experience as comfortable and sensual.

“It’s funny because I have a lot of body weight issues, but at the same time I wasn’t scared or nervous by this idea. It was such a supportive and honest environment. I think everyone should at least try nude yoga, maybe even in the comfort of your own bedroom.” Bronte talking about her experience at nude yoga.

Air Yoga

Air yoga is very Cirque du Soleil-esque: you climb into silk hammocks that hang from the ceiling and begin to use every muscle in your body.

As you can imagine, beginning to twist and turn and eventually hang upside down in yoga positions can be challenging, but eventually you build a trust in the silks holding you up and your eagerness to learn the next move grows.

AirSpace is the home of air yoga in Perth, with studios in Leederville and Whitfords. The classes include ground based stretches and strengthening positions, inversions (going upside down) and a relaxation period at the end.

Air Yoga is designed to build flexibility with the silks assisting in building resistance, allowing you to feel a deeper stretch. Although air yoga sounds extremely advanced it can be done by just about anyone.

Classes usually include 12-15 people of differing abilities, and the instructors at AirSpace have experience in the circus industry and physiotherapy, making sure you are in safe hands.

My first class at Airspace in Leederville

Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga 

Also known as SUP yoga, this form of yoga is undertaken out on the water, either at the beach or on the river.

Paddle boarding has become a popular form of exercise itself, but it didn’t take long before someone decided that practising yoga on a paddle board could become something big.

SUP yoga allows yogis to feel the water under their feet whilst practising yoga, and it challenges your core muscles and helps to improve overall balance.

The paddle boards are anchored into sand below and instructors will find areas to teach that have as little wind as possible.

Tess Barretto runs Be Yoga in Perth and instructs SUP yoga classes. If this interests you, it is worth looking at her Instagram to get an idea of what SUP yoga has to offer.

Sound yoga

Sound yoga works hand in hand with sound energies, and is also known as Nada yoga.

This form is slower than the alternative yoga methods mentioned earlier, and you have to concentrate on external and internal sounds to eventually calm your mind.

If you have ever done yoga before you will understand how relaxing Shavasana is, otherwise known as corpse pose, where you lay down essentially like a corpse and simply unwind — this pose is half the reason I attend yoga classes.

Sound yoga links noises with feelings, although it can be challenging to stay focused on a particular sound. This incarnation is extremely relaxing, so much so that there is the slight possibility of dozing off completely.

If this sounds like something you could be interested in, listen to this, to get an idea of the noises used in sound yoga.

The Kookaburra Creek Yoga Centre offers classes in the Perth hills area. More information about classes can be found here.

Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga is an extension of Hatha yoga, except you are in a really really hot room.

If exercising in extreme heats sounds uncomfortable to you, then you may need to warm up to the idea of Bikram yoga because there are many benefits to this practise.

Jennifer Anniston, Demi Moore and Madonna are among the many celebrities who love to sweat whilst doing yoga.

Your muscles and connective tissue have more flexibility and elasticity when the heat is turned up, minimising the chances of  injuries. You essentially sweat out toxins whilst enduring the normal benefits of yoga, and leave feeling detoxified.

You have to ensure you are hydrated before and after class, as you will lose a lot of water due to perspiration. Bikram yoga classes seem like the Les Milles of the fitness industry as they are not for the faint hearted.

If you sweat enough during regular exercise, I would steer clear of Bikram yoga.

Classes run for about 90 minutes, and unfortunately, even if you really want to leave, you cannot. The instructors want the rooms to maintain the steamy temperature, so if you really hate the experience you have to sit back and relax.

For a list of places in Perth that offer Bikram yoga click here.

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Nude yoga anyone? Perth’s top five alternative yoga places