Fivemore Jnr and avid foodie suggested we try a wholefoods café she had heard good things about…and ‘oh, it’s attached to a ‘hot’ yoga studio, so we may as well try that while we’re are there, right’? She’d done the research, I just turned up on the day.
MindBodyLife, incorporating Egg of the Universe, is located on Darling Street not far from one of the busiest roads in Sydney, however you would hardly know it from the minute you enter the shop front of this charming establishment. The next thing you notice is how healthy and nice everyone who works here is! Some yoga studios can be a little intimidating when you first rock up and whilst we are not novices to yoga the ‘hot’ yoga we were about to try was a first for both of us. The very patient gentleman behind the counter answered all our questions, was incredibly helpful and when we couldn’t decide whether to join the class as ‘drop ins’ or to buy a series, suggested we try the class first and decide later. Nice!
You go through the courtyard and up some stairs to the studio which is clean and utilitarian. The studio is large and we entered a room with at least 20 people ready to start. The room in hot yoga is only heated to around 30 degrees whereas with bikram it will be as high as 37. We joined an Open class and were told that the classes all take place in a non-competitive environment…I’d heard that before! But in this case it was right. Donald, our instructor gave instructions in a clear, strong and mesmerising voice, but remember this is a big, open class, so if you’re looking for individual adjustment, this is not the class for you…best to start off with an Essentials class if you a little unsure of the difference between your ‘Child’s’ or ‘Happy Baby’ poses.
The class is challenging enough that, combined with the heat, I get slightly ‘wobbly’ on my feet a couple of times. I didn’t feel at all embarrassed by ‘opting out’ a couple of times during the Vinyasa sequences. The warmth of the room definitely aids and abets your ability to stretch. It’s hot, but not too hot, and reminded me a bit of the temperature of my Bali yoga at Desa Seni which took place in an open air studio.
Post class, Egg of the Universe obligingly offers bottles of water with fresh mint and cinnamon bark to rehydrate. We opt to sit in the peaceful, sun dappled courtyard and peruse a menu with a range of organic teas and coffees, cleansers, juices and smoothies, and breakfast and lunch whole food selections such as Poached Fruit & Granola, with activated grains and probiotic coconut yoghurt; Breakfast Tartine, with avocado, organic egg, tomato and pesto; Bio Dynamic Slow-Cooked Lamb from Moorlands; or Organic Chicken Broth with Seaweed, Shitake & Unpasteurised Miso.
It’s a clearly a menu made by people who care and have a genuine passion for making special things. It aims to ‘feed everyone’ whether they are vegans, omnivores, or have a need for gluten free or dairy free diets. They promote the celebration of food and sharing it through community nights, feast events, workshops and cooking classes. This extends to ensuring that the café’s suppliers are local, artisanal and have a similar commitment to producing high quality, sustainably produced ingredients.
We choose a Perfect Circle Salad, a selection of raw and fermented salads, cashew cream, activated nut pesto, tahini and EOTU raw crackers - a virtuous, but none the less delicious choice for a would by yogi; and the Smoked Ocean Trout & Wild Sprouts, served with steamed buckwheat sprouts, poached Rock Chick egg, preserved lemon, wild herbs and Pepe Saya crème fraiche. Our meals were picturesque and perfectly proportioned. Leaving us not too hungry and not too full. They were accompanied by Probiotic Water Kefir and a shot of Kombucha.
It’s unsurprising that a venue has been created combining yoga practice and food, after all once you start practising yoga it creates a mindfulness that extends to other things you do, how you move and what you put into your body.
All in all a perfectly lovely balanced Saturday afternoon and one that will be repeated. Remember the guy who suggested we wait to pay for the class until after we’d tried it? He really didn’t have to ‘sell’ us at all, we’re hooked and have bought a season pass!