Set within beautifully designed studios in Sydney and Melbourne, Humming Puppy yoga incorporates a pairing of soft, reverberating frequencies to really deepen your yoga experience. We took a class to see what it's all about.
Yoga is all about creating good vibes – Humming Puppy has gone one step further, by adding soft reverberations to its studios.
Founded by partners in both business and life Jackie Alexander and Chris Koch, practicing yoga at Humming Puppy doesn’t involve sharing the yoga mat with a canine companion. It is, however, a luxurious yoga experience unlike most.
The concept was created with the idea of reinforcing the sense of retreat in a yoga class - and deepening the restorative, relaxing experience in every visit. For Jackie, this involved turning her focus to the experiences around the edge of the class, from the look of the studio to the sounds and vibrations you'll feel during a visit.
"We wanted to create a really sacred space for people to completely switch off," explains Jackie. "We wanted to look at how we could make a beginner feel welcome, and how we would make them want to come back."
The 'hum' you'll hear in each studio is a combination of two undulating frequencies, specifically 7.83hz and 40hz. Designed by sound engineer Mitch Allen from OneTwoStudios, the natural-sounding hum is a recording of one of Humming Puppy's Himalayan singing bowls, later detuned to resonate at 40hz. Another element of the recording was then detuned to 7.83hz.
To avoid the stress of squabbling for your favourite spot in the studio, Humming Puppy allows you to book your place in the room ahead of time. All equipment is provided and set up in your place when you arrive - you'll find a matt, block, straps, face towels, and a big, soft cushion to rest on in trickier poses. Instructors wipe mats down thoroughly after class, so you're free to leave without the hassle.
Attention to detail is paramount too - to elevate the whole experience. Both Sydney and Melbourne studios have been sensitively pieced together by interior designer, Karen Abernethy.
After extensive research into the potential of incorporating a sort of sonic element into the yoga studio, Jackie and Chris found that these two low humming sounds could help to create a sense of focus and groundedness in practice.
According to the couple's research, 40hz is associated with 'Gamma' brainwave activity and is integral to achieve states of peak performance. Elite athletes, top-notch musicians and high achievers in all fields typically produce far more gamma waves than average.
7.83hz, also known as the Schumann Resonance, is the frequency of the earth, and should help you to really 'ground' you in your yoga practice.
The Sydney studio is hidden away behind a discreet door, in a warehouse loft sandwiched between a tea room and a bike shop. As I climb a set of stairs to reception, I'm instantly hit with the studio's subtle signature gardenia fragrance, and a stunning coloured glass feature behind the main desk. It feels more like the foyer of a design hotel or a luxury day spa, than a sweaty yoga studio.
Before class, I'm invited to lounge on a plush blue velvet sofa, and sip on complimentary chilled coconut water, or fresh-brewed herbal tea. Everything is serene, quiet, and beautiful - without being uninviting. Already the busy day I've had feels very, very far away.
As I climb the stairs to the third-floor studio, I notice the temperature rise - a comfortably warm 27 degrees. In the studio the hum cuts through the air - it's an unoffensive low bass sound, sort of like the reverberation you might feel when standing near a speaker at a concert.
Unlike other studios, the space is noticeably darkened - windows are blacked out and lighting is soft and low. My equipment is set up in my pre-reserved spot, and mats are spaced so I'm able to freely sun salute without sideswiping my neighbour. The 60-minute 'Unified' class is gentle, and no-one is singled out for not spreading their fingers wide or softening out their elbows during 'downward facing dog' (this is a mistake I commonly make).
Jackie and Chris have really smoothed over the rough edges of the yoga experience - the strangeness, fuss, awkwardness, and self-consciousness - meaning you can really zone out and get into your practice. I found the hum to be an added element of relaxation - whether it will actually help to enhance my performance in the crow pose is yet to be seen.
Melbourne: 2/22 Cecil Pl, Prahran VIC 3181
Sydney: Levels 1 & 2, 146 Abercrombie Street, Redfern NSW 2016
New York: Opening soon
Classes run from 60 - 90 minutes
Mellow - slow
Unified - medium
Dynamic - fast
Drop in: $35 per class
10 class pass: $300
Membership: $50 per week
What to wear:
Regular yoga get-up - whatever you feel comfortable bending and stretching in.