Nestled on the top storey of a shop house on Bridge Road, Richmond lies Rise Yoga. As you walk up the stairs leading to the studio, you are greeted with feel-good affirmations that are stencilled onto the steps in gold; ‘Inhale, Exhale’, we are reminded. You are enough.
Melbourne is currently bursting at its seams with yoga studios, as the general population have become increasingly influenced by the growing ‘health and wellness’ trend that sees every second person on the streets clad head-to-toe in stylish active wear, sipping on green smoothies in glass bottles that could themselves win design awards. The yoga industry is often associated with the typical bikini-wearing, headstand-posing girl, and social media crowded with thousands of Instagram accounts showcasing the like.
Rise Yoga, however, invites you in to feel good about yourself. Yoga isn’t only about being able to get into a tricky inversion, or even about touching your toes. When you look at a photo of a seasoned yogi in an impossible-looking pose, more often than not (unless they are secretly talented contortionists), you will be able to do them if you try. This opens up the question: Is there something else in another area in your life that seems impossible, that you haven’t given yourself the chance to try?
Founder Rosie McCaughey wants to foster a place where people can nurture themselves, and appreciate their bodies. ‘I want people to look in the mirror and realise how beautiful they are, and love and appreciate themselves’, she says. To her, yoga is much more than a purely physical practice. It is something we can all use to keep ourselves in check, and go back to the basics: connecting with oneself. Rise Yoga strongly supports positive body image and works closely with The Butterfly Foundation, regularly raising funds and donating to the important cause.
The studio offers a variety of yoga classes- hot yoga, power flow, yoga sculpt, yin, meditation, post natal and even teacher training for those passionate aspiring yoga teachers. Infrared heating panels are used in hot yoga and power flow classes, where the room is heated to 37 degrees and 28 degrees respectively. This form of heating, just like an infrared sauna, heats your body’s surface rather than the air, aiding with detoxification and promoting blood flow.
I have been to a couple of yin and hot yoga classes at Rise and thoroughly enjoy both. The teachers at Rise are passionate about sharing a genuine and rewarding yoga experience- one that goes way beyond the physical, and makes feel good from the inside out. ‘Yin is good for your hormones and your adrenal glands, and hot yoga is complementary to it’, says Rosie. This year saw the success of the Rock Your Body event with Disco Yoga; an event that raised awareness and money for The Butterfly Foundation, and the two-year-old studio also ran its first retreat. Rosie has a couple of great plans for Rise in the works, and I can't wait to see what lies ahead.
‘I want to create a feeling like a warm, friendly and accepting hug’, says Rosie of the Rise Yoga studio. I certainly felt those vibes during our conversation.
Head down to the studio to work up a sweat while practicing some self-love.