WE SPEAK TO THE TEAM AT THE POPULAR BYRON STUDIO
Tell us about Bende Yoga & Pilates.
Bende has been moving and shaking on Bundjalung country in Byron Bay since 2017, offering a suite of classes across two beautiful studios, including Barre and Reformer and mat Pilates. Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to expand into a brand-new space in the bustling Habitat precinct dedicated entirely to yin and vinyasa yoga. And so, Bende Yoga & Pilates was born.
What was the inspiration for Bende Yoga & Pilates?
Bende was born out of a desire to create an inclusive, safe space for our community to come together. To get out of their heads and back into their bodies – no matter their fitness levels or experience. It’s for anyone who wants to tone their body and attend to their wellbeing and peace of mind at the same time – all in a relaxed, beautiful setting.
What do you hope to offer the community that comes to you?
Variety in class styles, teachers and sequences (we believe this is key to keep the mind engaged and body progressing). We also offer modifications for all, whether first-timers or advanced students, so our students get the most out of each class.
What is the community like so far?
Community is everything to us, and at Bende, ours is truly amazing. From those members who have been with us from the very beginning to new friends who have just started practicing yoga with us. We get such a kick out of seeing our members learn, grow and keep coming back for more (even after witnessing the burn of Pilates Hundreds).
What types of classes do you offer and what is the most popular style of class currently?
The benefit of having three studio spaces means there’s endless opportunities to move. Sculpt is one of our most-loved Pilates classes and utilises props like sliders and ankle weights for serious head-to-toe toning. Our signature Vinyasa classes are also popular, focusing on fluidity and form. Something we offer which not many others do is meditation and breathwork. You have the option to take a yoga class and stay for a 20-minute meditation or skip the movement and jump right into mindfulness.
You can book a class here
What are rituals and how do people access this offering?
Our rituals include Sound Bath healing, full and new moon manifestation, women’s circles and technical workshops such as ‘Pathways to Handstands,’ for example. We also hold daily breathwork and meditation classes to enhance the mind–body connection.
Has there been an increase in people requesting rituals for healing recently? If so, what do you attribute this to?
Totally. Human connection was something we all craved during the pandemic. To be able to sit side-by-side with like-minded souls seems like a bit of a luxury now, but it’s so necessary – especially after such a tumultuous few year. Also, thanks to social media and platforms like Goop, inner-work and energy healing with simple elements such as sound and breathwork are becoming a lot more mainstream, and more of us are seeing the undeniable benefits of these practices.
What is your point of difference in your practice / studio offering?
The aim is that every single person that walks into our studio feels like the most important and special person there. We also have that bonus of not just specialising in yoga – our mat memberships include unlimited access to Barre and Pilates, and we also offer Reformer Pilates classes.
What is it about yoga that makes you feel so good?
The linking of breath to movement is key. You lose the breath, you lose the practice. The breath should always precede the movement.
What has yoga taught you?
Yoga has taught me so many things. To be patient and to be comfortable with discomfort. That everything is sensation, and it won’t last forever.
When people are looking to start yoga, what would you recommend, they keep in mind?
Be patient with yourself. Yoga is not stretching! You do not need to be flexible to start yoga – you will become flexible in body and mind. If you didn’t enjoy a particular class, try another. There are so many different styles and teachers. Keep looking until you find yours.
What is your favourite pose?
Oh, that is a very tough question! I call them ‘desert island’ poses. If you could only do one on a desert island, what would it be? For me, it’s a toss-up between low crescent lunge and downward facing dog.
Annabel from Bende wears our Peached Tess Top & Peached Spin Shorts in Denim
What is important to you when choosing your outfit for yoga?
Nothing too hot, nothing too cold. I prefer high-waisted styles, but they can’t dig in too much, and no ankle-biters. I love layers and warm socks for savasana.
What fabrics etc do you like wearing?
Organic cotton, bamboo, elastane. My go-to is anything sustainable.
How do you #SPORTMYSTYLE?
In winter, I throw on a puffer jacket or a big, long jumper to rug up in, as well as cute sneakers or Doc Martens. In summer, a cute linen shirt over leggings and slide on Birks.