If like me you prefer to stay fit and strong by doing anything BUT cardio (kill me now), then yoga, pilates and barre are your happy place. Studio Combined is a beautiful new boutique studio in the heart of Darlinghurst offering just that: all the most effective ways to sculpt, tone & destress in a calming designer space that feels more like a high-end spa than a gym. 

Flooded with natural light from a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows, the neutral-toned studio is soothing and inviting. The intimate atmosphere extends to class sizes which are kept small (less than 10 people) and personalised. Sessions here feel more like bespoke private lessons.

All classes are 45 minutes to an hour long. The growing timetable offers a mix of Yoga (dynamic Vinyasa, Sun Flow, Power Yoga, restorative Yin, and pre- and post-natal specialities), Barre Attack (a Pilates, Ballet & Cardio combo) and classic mat Pilates.


The gorgeous interior by Gray & Co

What was it like?
Pilates mat classes are just as effective as reformer when done regularly and with good form. I worked up a light sweat and left feeling energised and relaxed. Thanks to the strategic use of balls, ankle weights & stretch bands, my muscles felt like they’d run a marathon. Studio owner, founder & head trainer Lottie Maynard says, “My mission is to challenge the entire body, ensuring the class leave feeling lengthened and aligned, whilst burning glutes and toning abs.” Mission accomplished, Lottie!

Barre here is not a classic ballet workout, but focused more on fast-paced sequences to get your heart-rate up. Hidden amongst some killer toning moves, I ended up doing much-hated cardio without even realising it. It left me satisfyingly sore for days and I had trouble walking up & down stairs (#winning).

Sun Flow yoga is a powerful vinyasa class that actually had me sweating buckets more than Barre (who even knew that was possible?). An energising flow that builds strength, my body was positively humming after this – a great way to start the day.

Yin yoga is the ultimate wind down after a stressful day or week. With the lights down low, allow yourself to be guided through breath work and slow poses to melt away stress and tension. Almost better than sleep, after class I felt deeply peaceful, refreshed and almost sedated I was so relaxed.

The verdict:
Studio Combined is the perfect one-stop-shop for yoga, pilates & barre fans looking for intimate affordable classes in a luxe boutique setting. The vibe is warm and inclusive, with instructors tailoring moves for all fitness levels. Classes are not over-booked and you don’t have to wait for weeks to get into one at a convenient time. They’ve also mastered the fine art of temperature control with air-con – I was never once too hot or too cold, despite all the classes having very different paces and levels of intensity.

Who: Studio Combined 
Where: Level 1, Suite 1.01, 318 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010 (inside the Combined Clinics Australia offices)
Prices: There is currently a limited introductory offer for new customers: $35 for two weeks unlimited Yoga, Barre and Pilates classes. (*T&C’s apply). Individual classes and discount packs can be purchased and booked online here.

(Photos: Brandon Matthew. Wardrobe: Nimble Activewear)

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