Here are the best yoga classes in Byron Bay

In a town with more downward dogs than dog parks, how do you know which yoga class is the best? Try them all!

Try out yoga in Australia's home of wellness, Byron Bay.
  • Peta Murray
  • May 2019

If you’re heading to the northern NSW beach town of Byron Bay, you better be ready to get bendy. There’s a yoga class on every corner (well, just about) so it can be hard to know which one will be right for you. Here, our writer stretches out to find her favourites…

Do things differently at Zen Aerial

Most of the Zen Aerial Yoga opens in new window class is spent nearly a metre above the floor and, after signing a waiver for injury or death, I’m having second thoughts. Navigating the twisting silk cocoon is like flailing inside a giant pillowcase but our instructor Josie soon has us swinging from the rafters (literally), flying through the air Tinkerbell-style and hanging upside down like bats. With vigilant instructors to prevent falls and sweets to combat light-headedness, it’s more fun than the playground. Yoga with jellybeans… what’s not to love?

Zen Aerial Yoga provides a graceful full body workout
Zen Aerial Yoga provides a graceful full body workout.

Mix it up at Barre Yogalates

Dawn and dance are not my forte so a 6.30am Yogalates opens in new window class with a ballet chaser is enough to get my tutu in a twist. Fortunately, teacher Bec lulls us into this unique fusion of yoga and pilates with gentle breathing exercises before pulling out the plié squats. “You’ll feel it,” Bec warns and she’s not kidding. While I won’t be kicking my morning cappuccino to the kerb anytime soon, Yogalates might just be the next best jump-start to the day.

Meowga attracts animal lovers

Who needs downward dogs when you can share your mat with a cat? The Rainbow Centre’s opens in new window special yin stretch class charity events (check their website for upcoming dates) work deep in the body’s connective tissue, while rescue kittens work the room. If you end up smitten with a kitten, the centre can organise adoption. Kittens come vaccinated, micro-chipped and ready to play.

Vinyasa will suit all-rounders

The most “vanilla” of the yoga family, vinyasa – a fast-paced flow of postures facilitating strength and flexibility – is also the most dynamic. Byron offers various versions of vinyasa but no-one serves up a sun salutation quite like Creature Yoga opens in new window, where fitness fuses with philosophy and fun. There are no gimmicks here but any class that gets me giggling through core crunches will definitely have me returning for round two.

Sweat it out at Bikram Yoga

On an already humid summer day, exercising in a room heated to 38°C seems the ultimate crazy so it’s with trepidation that I enter the “hot yoga” studio. As I fear, this place is steamier than a Szechuan sizzle plate but if you can handle the heat and are ready to sweat (yep, even the small stuff) there are gains for your pain. Not just an intensive detox, Bikram opens in new window yoga also burns fat fast.

Like it slow and easy? Try Purna

If Byron and Mumbai had a love child, it would be called Purna opens in new window. Since the 1980s, former Hare Krishna John Ogilvie has been teaching and practising this ashram-inspired style of yoga, which focuses firmly on alignment. While I admit to finding the class a little slow going, simple instructions and mindful moves make Purna ideal for beginners or anyone with an injury or joint sensitivity and, at AUD $5 a session, it’s Byron’s best value 90 minutes on the mat.

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