Universal Practice opens, a clinical Pilates and Yoga studio by health professionals. Founded by Sammy Wilson, a physiotherapist for over seven years, and also a trained clinical Pilates and yoga instructor, she saw a gap in the wellness space for studios with a more clinical approach. Each of the classes at Universal Practice has a maximum of 16 people and classes include Ropes Yoga, Yoga Asana, Reformer Pilates, Clinical Pilates, Meditation Classes as well as one- on-one classes and Physiotherapy appointments. The yoga room has a “yoga wall” where people have the opportunity to modify and vary the poses, gaining access to alignment that may be otherwise unobtainable and focusing on specific body parts. We chatted with Sammy to get to know a bit about Universal Practice.
Your background is with elite sports as a physiotherapist and you have travelled widely spending time outdoors. How have you used that experience in starting up Universal Practice?
My background in elite sports has meant that I have had to be really precise when delivering treatment and exercise prescription as athletes are looking to shave milliseconds off their time, or find a detail and accuracy that a generalised exercise program or treatment approach won’t differentiate. Sports science and sports medicine are ever evolving so you are forced to be continuously learning and relearning the most up to date, best practice treatment.
This exposure really encouraged me to break down the health and wellness model and explore Pilates and yoga both as a practice and as a philosophy, identifying what the exercises and poses are specifically enhancing.
My travel has only broadened my approach. It’s inspiring to see how the rest of the world moves, the pace of each city, and the cultures that dictate healthy lifestyle, choice and activity.
Each civilisation has traits that I have learned from; from the purity of the Buddhist Monasteries in Ladakh (Himalayas), the daily rituals and graciousness towards life of Japanese Zen Masters, then the ambition, drive, and fearlessness off the streets of New York City. all of which I equally respect and absorbed, and pieced together to build Universal Practice – an innovative holistic wellness space that resonates with the individual, supported by the science and knowledge of clinical professionals.
What made you want to start your own business?
I felt inspired by the notion that there was more out there than the 9-5. I love my profession, but I felt I had more to offer than what existed within the four treatment walls. I wanted to turn up to a place of work, that really resonated with my core being. And therefore would allow me to reach my true potential.
I love people, and I love helping people be the best version of themselves they can. I also wanted to become a leader, and offer a place for other professionals to work, where they felt respected and established. A place that was big picture, where the sky is the limit, giving professionals a real chance to reach their own creative, intellectual and personal potential, whilst being supported on their own unique life and career pathways.
How is Universal Practice different from other yoga and pilates studios? (perhaps refer to the different services on offer including treatments)
The unique fusion of a mind, body clinical wellness space is what sets us apart. Universal Practice allows for clinically justified, individualised management of health and wellness. Because of the broad variety of services and skill set of our therapists we accommodate for everybody, during each phase of their life. We have classes and treatments for clients with injury, during pregnancy, competing in elite sport and those with general health and wellness goals.
Our small classes allow for a considered service, where your therapist will understand your body and underlying capacity, and treat or deliver a class accordingly. This means you can be assured you are always safe, creating positive change and ever moving forwards. Because all our team are physiotherapists or other clinical professionals, our services are rebatable on your private health insurance.
We’re in the depths of winter! What are your top tips to keep healthy and fit during the cold days?
Keeping strong through winter is so important, to help our immune system, ease mechanical tensions and keep us feeling energetic and happy.
To maintain physical fitness I love going to yoga in a warm room to open up and really stretch into areas of my body that I don’t seem to access as often. Pilates (or a well designed home strength/gym work out) including abdominal work, glute strength and upper body conditioning is vital. To keep strong through our bones and muscles enables us to continue leading the active, carefree and spontaneous lifestyle we all desire. 2 sessions a week is maintenance, 3 sessions a week for progression.
Winter running (if your body and lifestyle allows) encorporates a rush of endorphins, general strength, cardio vascular fitness and vitality. If running isn’t for you find an activity you enjoy doing outdoors – gardening, organised sport, bike-ridding and bush walking.
I try to embrace the cooler fresh air, and enjoy the vivid, vibrant feeling that only winter can create. Studies show there is a strong correlation between time spend in nature and an overall sense of wellness. Whether it be rugging up in a massive jacket and walking to a coffee shop or home from dinner, or getting up into the mountains for a ski – just to be in the outdoors is goodness.