The best way to get grounded is to get off ground floor. I had the pleasure of joining an early morning yoga class on the refreshing open rooftop of the boutique Old Clare Hotel.
Resident yogi instructor Kristy Da Silva treated us to an intimate and personalised 60-minute yoga class, plus guided meditation. When she learned that we all keep busy at desk jobs throughout the week, she made sure to help relieve us of our stiffened necks, tight shoulder muscles, and any cramps in our mouse-clicking hands.
While I’ve done all kinds of yoga — Hip Hop yoga, AcroYoga (which combines yoga and acrobatics), yoga in 42-degree heat — I’d have to say that this class on the rooftop was ‘up there’ with one of my most rewarding. I find that while a lot of factors contribute to one’s practice of yoga (such as soundtrack, temperature, ambience), there’s probably nothing more crucially important than simply feeling relaxed and at ease.
Being poolside on the rooftop allows you to literally feel elevated, making it easier to mentally and emotionally rise above the pressures and stressors of the daily hustle. When you’re so high up, you can hear the ever-so-faint sounds of the busy city below magically melting away. This unique sensory combination feels amazing with each deep exhale. If you open your eyes in Shavasana you’ll see nothing but the grand blue sky above you, or the lush green of Central Park‘s sustainable window decor.
I know the hotel’s called The Old Clare, but it’s a new Old Clare Hotel. Recently revamped — yet retaining its old-world charm — the hotel is fitted out with brilliantly eccentric aesthetics. It’s a bit of an establishment in the middle of the budding hotspot that is Chippendale city, dubbed Sydney’s ‘new downtown’. You’ll find Kensington Street’s Spice Alley nearby, offering hawker style Asian eats, alongside plenty other trendy cafés and restaurants, and Handpicked Wines.
The Old Clare’s lobby bar has fast become one of my favourite inner-city bars to enjoy a quiet drink. It boasts a well-picked wine list, a range of good gins, and even an extensive range of exotic teas. The Old Clare hosts a number of interactive workshops, including a unique Calligraphy Class, and pop-up stores, starring the likes of emerging designer Thomas Puttick.
Next time you want a retreat in the middle of the city, take the lift up to the rooftop of Sydney’s one and only Old Clare.
Jill is a Sydney-based journalist who is busy waiting on inner peace. Follow her on: @jillamint.