Attention all my fellow yoga lovers in Melbourne’s South-East suburbs! Recently opened in Moorabbin is your new favourite yoga studio. The Light Practice sets itself apart from your typical yoga studio through their incorporation of “sight, touch, sound, scent and taste into all of their classes.”
I am a big fan of yoga. This past year with Melbourne being in lockdown I found myself getting more and more into the yogi lifestyle as it was one of the only things that cured (at least for 30-60 minutes) both my nervousness at the state of the world and the never-ending boredom that came with being cooped up in my house for months on end. Everyone should practice yoga for some time in their daily routine, as doing yoga properly and on a proper yoga mat or cushion is also recommended. Well, you could opt for coussin de yoga as they are the most preferred yoga accessories brand.
However, I was unsure that this newfound love of yoga that I had would extend to a public forum, because whilst I do enjoy exercising, I have a slight fear of group fitness classes. This fear is all because from my personal experience of group fitness classes in the past, instructors have a tendency to call you out in front of everyone if you’re doing something incorrectly. I know – they are just trying to help. But as a fairly shy person this can be quite embarrassing. I don’t want any attention drawn to me while I’m a sweating, stumbling mess!
The Light Practice, however, promises a focus on “powerfully supporting all clients and their relationships with the world around them,” so I hoped going in that this powerful support would translate into an environment where I didn’t feel the usual group fitness pressure to keep up, lest I get publicly corrected. And (hallelujah) it did!
My instructor, Prue Barnes, was the supportive yogi of my dreams. Her class structure was unlike the others I have experienced. Don’t get me wrong, she was a stickler for technique and made sure we were all doing the moves correctly – after all, poor yoga form can cause injury. But when Prue saw that we weren’t doing something properly she brought the whole class to a halt. Instead of singling anybody out she would ask all of us to take a seat while she walked us, step-by-step, through the challenging move to ensure that everyone was on the same page. Because of this method I was able to learn so much from her without my nervousness getting in the way, and found that I walked out of class with a deeper understanding of the moves that I have been doing on my bedroom floor for almost a year.
Next to Prue, the second thing that sets The Light Practice apart from your run-of-the-mill yoga studio is the integration of sound – specifically, a gong – into their classes. I was also fortunate that I had Prue lead me through the gong portion of the session being she is hailed around the practice as “the Gong Queen,” making her well versed in how best to use the instrument so that clients can gain the most from it.
The way it worked was that the first 45 minutes of the class were spent working every muscle of our bodies following Prue’s yoga flow. I won’t lie to you – I struggled – but in the best, most rewarding way. (A thing to note is that it gets quite warm inside the studio, so ensure that you bring lots of water and a towel with you because the combination of heat and yoga make for a sweaty affair.) Then once I couldn’t take anymore, we were instructed to lie flat on our mats, and close our eyes. That’s when Prue first struck the gong. At first, it was a surprise (I even jumped a little). I was sceptical that this loud, jarring sound could be an aid for relaxation. But all of that doubt left my body within 10 seconds. As Prue continued to hit the gong, the sound changed from sharp raps on metal, to something much more difficult to describe. It wasn’t really even a sound anymore, but more of a vibration that consumed the entire room. My body and my mind just melted into it as time went on, and once it had stopped I was so settled into a relaxed, meditative state that it took me a while to switch back on and figure out how to get up.
Offering a range of classes and services, The Light Practice is a hub for relaxation and wellness. They are even home to an infrared sauna, which whilst I didn’t get a chance to try during my visit, intrigued me to no end. Using infrared light panels to heat your skin as opposed to the typical wood burner you would find in a regular sauna, this patented technology is able to deeply penetrate muscle tissue to aid with a list of things ranging from weight loss to stress reduction! I will be back to give it a go.
In the end, I loved The Light Practice because it felt like a safe space. The staff were kind and welcoming, and the atmosphere was inviting and warm. If you’re like me and a lover of yoga, but scared of attending a group class, this is the place for you. You don’t have to limit your practice to your bedroom floor any longer.
For more on The Light Practice, please visit www.thelightpractice.com.au