I have arrived in Noosa; a gloriously chilledseaside town nestled on the East Coast of Australia in Queensland, just a couple of hours North of Brisbane. I have dedicated the next few days here to yoga, hiking the national park and relaxing on the beach – an alright week then. I’m all for trying new things so have decided that the first class I do should be something a little different, and definitely something I have never tried before. This decision leads me to Santushti Yoga Studio and Marie’s small morning class.
A sleepy stroll along the coastline under the forgiving shade of the swaying trees, their rhythmic hello a consequence of the light morning breeze, takes me to Hastings Street. Later a bustling street of (ever so slightly over-priced) shops and cute little cafes, but for now it yawns lazily into the morning and prepares itself for the warm day ahead. The studio itself is hidden within a slightly ramshackle building, through an inconspicuous sliding door and up the rickety stairs above an artistic reggae coffee shop. The contrast between the shady hues of the poster-covered interior downstairs, and the white simplicity and lightness upstairs, is somewhat surprising but the juxtaposition of different art forms is comforting in a weird way and I immediately feel relaxed. And then I meet Marie, who welcomes you with a smile that stretches out of her eyes like the rays of sun filtering through the soft white curtains surrounding the rooftop yoga studio.
And so begins the class: it is a mixture of barre, pilates, yoga and meditation, finished off with a light head massage whilst the dozy sent of essential oils floats through the air above my nose. The class has been designed by Marie herself; drawing inspiration from her ballet background but not in the least too much for those of us who haven’t attempted any ballet positions since we were approximately 6 years old and wearing a sparkly tutu. The class starts with some focused breathing and then hops straight into 25 minutes of barre and the most specific work-out my legs have had in a long time. This consists of squatting and stretching in various ballet positions in rounds of ten, the intensity increasing as the time goes on. We stretch out and then move down to the floor for some core-strengthening pilates moves followed by more yoga-based stretching. The class slows and we sink into the restorative meditation as the mid-morning breeze cools our bodies.
You know it has been a good class when you feel simultaneously entirely relaxed and wonderfully energised at the end of it. Marie’s obviously extensive knowledge of ballet, yoga, pilates, meditation and also essential oils and massage, makes the class suitable and enjoyable for all ages and abilities and I did not look at the clock once or even wonder what the time was. A very good sign. And the good times continue as I sit outside the cafe next door, sipping a delicious “banana and clean green” smoothie, sinking further into my morning bliss.
For more Noosa fun, click here