Let's get physical: W1LL is yoga for the 21st-century

W1LL yoga promises a heightened sensory experience, incorporating visuals and music to move to. With virtual guides to take you through your sun salutes too, this is a totally modern approach to an ancient discipline.

How do you catapult yoga into the 21st century? For fitness entrepreneur and founder of W1LL studio, Jacinta McDonell, the answer was to enhance the experience with technology.

While we might not typically want to pair up such a soulful, purist sport with screens and everything else in our virtual world—the result is surprisingly powerful. 

Operating out of two studios in Sydney, the W1LL yoga concept features special sound design and music to deepen each twist and bend and stunning visuals to transport you from the hustle and bustle. There's also an online platform, W1LL.co, which features virtual instructors you can call upon whenever and where ever at a time and location that's most convenient (and relaxing) to you.

"In late 2014 the concept for W1LL started to take form and I recruited people to play with music and choreography," explains Jacinta. "With a clear vision of how I wanted the class to feel and how I wanted to move, it became a long and tiring process, with the first class taking 8 months to create."

We decided to drop in for a class and see what it's all about. 

Fitness Philosophy

"This is not the quiet, deeply contemplative yoga of yesterday," says Jacinta. "This is today’s yoga, designed for today’s people."

In her own words, Jacinta has taken "a modern approach to an ancient practice". Each yoga and meditation class is paired with music from an in-house DJ and immersive visuals. Jacinta worked closely with a DJ to produce new, modern music based on the moves and choreography in her classes. 

"There’s no hard to decipher pose names – just easy to understand and simple to follow routines. There’s no listening to the person next to you inhaling or exhaling – just the rhythm of the music to inspire you. With a range of classes to suit every music lover, W1LL is yoga for the 21st century."

 

The promise

"The immersive experience through sound, visuals and music engages all of the senses so you become less distracted by what is happening around you and you can completely engage in your work out so you can give it your all and consequently feel the benefits within your body," Jacinta says. 

 

The verdict

The W1LL studios have been made to be like a sanctuary—the spacious lounge and reception area is flooded with natural light. Designed by Studio 1 Interiors, it's a total escape from busy Cleveland Street, with plush couches and complimentary tea to sip before and after your class. 

The walls of the studio, however, a painted black. Yoga matts and blocks are provided, and with you can opt to be adjusted by the class instructor, or navigate the class without assistance. At the front of the class, a large screen projects immersive visuals taken from the natural environment: wide beaches at sunset, rainforest pools, and mountains covered in cloud. We took a 'Base' class, and the music was soothing and encouraging too. This is strong, almost rhythmic vinyasa yoga and you will break a sweat! 

As well as the visuals up front, two screens at the side of the class show the W1LL virtual instructor. We didn't need to crane our necks to find the real instructor up front and could follow along from most angles—a big improvement on most busy yoga classes. 

Where:
St Leonards: Shop 2/657 Pacific Hwy

Duration:
Classes run for 45-minutes. 

Class styles:
For beginners: Stretch and Soul
For yogis: Flow and Base
Meditation classes are also on offer. 

Price:
Casual Drop-In Class: $30
First Timer 3 weeks intro unlimited pack: $70
10 Classes $240

What to wear:
Your regular yoga get-up is best!

Contact:
(02) 9310 3271
w1ll.co

 
 

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