This week the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium held its first morning yoga class in front of their Great Barrier Reef exhibit — a ceiling to floor glass wall showcasing hundreds of species of tropical fish, sharks, and coral.

As we walk into the aquarium I’m instantly struck by its enormity, and its beauty. There are sawfish, reef sharks, angel fish, blue tangs and banded humbugs mingling together amongst the coral. The curious fish move slowly towards the glass wall to check out who’s invading their turf this early in the morning, a couple of hours before SEA LIFE opens. Watching the colourful sea-creatures glide through the blue water is mesmerising; the aquarium seems to go on forever and it creates a serenity which is the perfect backdrop for a yoga class. 

This is Australia’s first ‘yoga under the sea’ event and the excitement is evident as girls take photos of their friends performing balance poses in front of the aquarium wall, before finding a place on one of the mats lining the adjacent floor.

The yoga classes are run by Sasha Hawley, founder of Yoga by the Sea. She describes the class style as yin/yang, which is suitable to both beginners and advanced students.

Starting at 7am we spend an hour on the mats, under Sasha’s instruction, moving from basic stretches to Sun Salutations, then working up to more difficult poses before indulging in Savasana — the final ten-minute relaxation period.

The class includes take-away muffins and hot drinks; I make my way to work feeling energised and ready for the day ahead.

Image: Lisa Robinson