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General Studio Info

What should I wear?

Wear whatever you're most comfortable working out in! It's a private studio - just me one-on-one with my client or in our small group classes with other lovely members so you can be sure to be welcomed and feel comfortable. Yoga and stretch classes are run barefoot but fitness classes are done in shoes. For any intitial PT sessions it's helpful to wear something that allows your trainer to see your posture.

What do I need to bring?

A gym towel and water are handy, but don't worry if you forget, we've got your back! We have a small stock of extra. Otherwise just bring your lovely self and a sense of curiosity to lean into what your body needs in this moment.

Why Haven?

You come to Haven for more than just fitness and yoga. You come for the genuinely caring, supportive, welcoming and private space to move your body free of judgement or stigma, and to be surrounded by an awesome community of like-minded woman. You want freedom from the messages that keep you trapped in a perpetual struggle with your body and food and you're open to educating yourself around body positivity. You're likely tired of yo-yo dieting or overthinking your body or food choices and letting that dictate your life, you're tired of never feeling not good enough. At Haven we don’t capitalise on body insecurities, we don't show 'body transformation' images, we won't sell you supplements protein shakes or meals plans and you will NEVER get the message that your body isn't OK, or that it needs to be smaller. But we will often and gently encourage you to: * Replace self criticism, comparison, ego and diet-mentality with self-compassion and body trust. * Be attentive to your body - move with intuition and self-compassion. * Challenge the messages you receive everywhere about how bodies, health and fitness are meant to look, and choose your OWN beauty & health ideals. * Respect and honour your body. It’s pretty clever and if you listen closely enough, you’ll realise it can guide you towards what fuel and movement it needs - not Dr Oz, not your mother, not Fitspo profiles nor us! YOUR body.

What happens if I'm running late?

Classes - We appreciate you arriving a few minutes before the class start time, but we appreciate things can happen and will do our best to accomodate you if 2-3 minutes late. We can't guarantee late entry which can be distracting for other Havenites especially in our yoga room and please note that the studio door may be locked for safety during classes. PT - We appreciate things happen and likely your trainer can accommodate you if you're running 10-15 minutes late with a shorter session. Please liaise directly with your trainer.

Do I need to book classes?

Yes! Our class sizes are intimate, so spaces are limited. Book ahead via the app or web login to get your preferred classes and be sure to cancel within the 2 our booking window if you can't make it so you can reuse your class credits!

How big are your class sizes?

We're a lovely intimate studio and you'll regularly find yourself in the company of 2-5 other members, though find most classes accommodate up to 8-10 max, with the exception of some yoga classes which can accommodate up to 15.

Is there parking?

Our street Carlton Cresent - on the Haven side there is a 2hr limit however on the train tracks side there is no time limit. The IGA carpark offers 2 hour parking and is behind Haven (through the park) on Hardie Ave Please note that there's a construction site next door so sometimes there are trucks in and out and some delays in parking. We recommend parking further up Carlton Cresent past the park/towards Ashfield direction, on the train track side - so give yourself a little extra time just in case! Please park considerately and note that our driveway entrance must remain a clearway for fellow neighbours deliveries and as a thoroughfare. Thank you!

What are the membership / class booking terms & conditions?

Read everything you need to know here :-)

Can I bring kids?

Safety is important to us and our space is a little different to the old place. Children are invited when appropriate and at the trainers discretion - and only upon prior direct discussion with your trainer. Mums will be required to keep their wee ones strictly in the designated area and away from the gym floor, to guarantee they'll take full responsibility for their child’s safely and sign a disclaimer. Give me a shout if you wish to discuss.

Learn about our approach

Concepts & Terminology

Ultimately, Haven is about finding peace in body, mind & movement. I love sharing concepts I’ve learnt on my own journey that I’ve found really valuable in having a more peaceful relationship with my body, and this is what Haven is built on. So here’s my own take of some of the terms and concepts you’ll hear around the studio!

What is Health At Every Size (HAES)?

HAES is a weight-neutral approach to health. HAES practitioners advocate that a focus on healthy behaviours, rather than a focus on reducing body size, is the most useful way to support people of all sizes to take care of their health.
HAES is an evidence-based paradigm for personal health and healthcare where, realising that “health” is complicated, multi-dimensional, not a barometer of worthiness, not an obligation, and not entirely within our control, the focus is on giving people information and options and respecting their decisions about healthy behaviours, and creating environments that are conducive to health, rather than on manipulating body size as a path to health. Health At Every Size is also a wonderful book by Dr Linda Bacon which breaks down weight science, dispells myths around weight and suggest ways to approach health from a compassionate angle. You can read more about HAES here. I choose HAES as my personal and professional approach to health because it is scientific, compassionate and feels best to me, and helps me offer the most integrity to my clients.

What Health At Every Size ISN'T

I often come across some confusion about what's at the heart of HAES. The acronym HAES stands for Health At Every Size - not to be confused with 'healthy at every size' - HAES doesn't say that all bodies are healthy, rather that all bodies have the right to seek healthful behaviours and treatments if they wish, free of stigma. It's in no way 'letting go of yourself' or having 'an excuse to overeat' or having 'an excuse to stay fat'. It's about recognising that health is much more than just diet and exercise, that weight is less in our control than we're taught by diet culture, that intentional weightloss is extremely harmful in most cases and it's about seeking health in ways that are helpful and nourishing for the individual, irrelevant of whatever weight they may be.

What is body positivity?

At Haven we help women work towards body positivity, something that I myself am constantly working on day-to-day, and something that can be really, really, really challenging given that we're all swimming in this society that so strongly values the thin ideal (which isn’t achieveable, healthy or realistic to maintain for many unless it happens to be their natural body type). Body Positivity is ultimately about accepting and honouring the interesting diversity of bodies that make up our world and challenging the ‘thin is better’ narrative. Body Positivity is about accepting the body you have as well as the changes in shape, size, and ability it may undergo due to nature, age, or your own personal choices throughout your lifetime. Body positivity means you don’t define your value according to what you look like, and you appreciate what your body can do, rather than allowing it’s size and shape dictate how you participate in your life and your feelings of self worth.

What is intuitive eating?

Intuitive Eating is an approach developed to help people find peace in their relationship with food, often healing from the side effects of chronic dieting. An intuitive eater is defined as a person who “makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma, honours hunger, respects fullness and enjoys the pleasure of eating.” Check out The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. It’s also a great book and members are welcome to borrow a copy from the studio!

What is self compassion?

I discovered self-compassion about 3 years ago and since is something I practice daily. Each day provides plenty of opportuntities to soften my inner critic with compassionate thoughts! The thing I love about it is the science behind it, and that you can offer it to yourself, at any time. Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies, self-doubt or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings. Know that perfectionism doesn’t exist - we’re human, right?! Just like we would offer kindness and soothing to a loved one experiencing these thngs, you can gift this to yourself rather than beat yourself up. Learn about the 3 elements to self compassion and listen to Dr Kristen Neff's TED talks and meditations here.

What is diet culture?

Diet culture is the culture that surrounds us that values thinness over body diversity and equates thinness with health and morality. Diet culture oppresses those that don't meet this. It's the culture that keeps many of us trapped in a war with food and our bodies. It's the voice that silently counts macros or turns down the birthday cake or feels tremendous guilt for missing a workout - and it's all wrapped up in a giant big fear of fat. We're absorbing society's messages everywhere that thin equals attractive and healthy, and fat does not. We're led to believe that fat is the culprit of many diseases and that intentional weight loss is the answer, and we don't often stop to question this, or to examine the 'research'. We are so, so, so terrified of fat in our culture, that kids as young as 8 years old are dieting. Shocking, isn't it? Besides diets not actually working, dieting robs us of connection with our body's wisdom and has serious impacts on fully participating in life. One of may favourite podcasters, Christy Harrison of Food Psych, has a great way of explaining this here: ' Diet Culture is a Life Thief'. For many, dieting is an eating disorder waiting to happen, or at the very least disordered behaviour or some level of unhealthy preoccupation with food and body. Any way of eating, whether that be the latest food fad (eg Paleo Pete or intermittent fasting), counting macros or simply a 'healthy meal plan' is a diet if it is done for the purpose of weight control. If it is to control your body size, it's a diet. The most painful thing is, that dieting ultimately leads to the very thing it claims to solve...weight gain. Chronic dieting, weight cycling and weight stigma have been proven to have worse health outcomes than being 'overweight'. Body Positive Australia define diet culture as: “Diet culture encompasses all the messages that tell us that we’re not good enough in the bodies we have, and we’d be more worthwhile and valuable if our bodies were different. Our culture is SO embedded with body- and weight-centric messages that they’re sometimes imperceptible. Diet culture is deeply ingrained in our everyday existence and prevents us from living our most full and meaningful lives. To break away from diet culture, we need first to expose it, then find alternative ways to feel connected to ourselves, each other, and the world in a way that moves away from defining our worth according to our body shape, weight or appearance.”

What is a self-compassionate, intuitive approach to movement?

Our self-compassionate, intuitive approach to movement means treating your body with care, checking in with yourself as you approach movement to recognise how your body is feeling and what it is that you need to nurture both your physical and mental health, rather than an approach which follows a rigid plan and expects adherence no matter what. Rather than pushing your boundaries because that's what you've been told it takes to shrink your body, because you think of exercise as punishment for what you've eaten and you have to ‘feel the burn’ to get any benefit, because your ego tells you to, or because it’s means you deserve your “naughty” foods, our approach asks you to take a moment to pause and asking yourself ‘how do I feel today, what do I need to nourish my body, mind and soul today?” Sometimes you’ll be energetic and charged and want to explore your body’s boundaries in a hard workout that offers stress relief, and sometimes your body will call for an easy pace or something completely different - this answer fluctuates daily and is flexible. The answer should marry both body & mind to help cultivate a connection between the two rather than let either take the driver’s seat.

But I'm worried that I won't push myself, that I'll 'let myself go'

At Haven we encourage you to be inquisitive and notice what feels best for you at that time. We want you to find your authentic energy levels. We’ll work with you to help you read your body's signal's and recognise what you need from a holistic perspective that encompasses both body and mind. Sometimes you’ll be energetic and charged and we'll encourage you to explore your body’s boundaries in a stronger session and sometimes your body will call for an easy pace or something completely different - this answer fluctuates daily and is flexible. The only thing you’re really letting go of is the pain and struggle of trying to manipulate your body size - which is largely dictated by genes, not to mention a whole bunch of other things - into something that might not be natural (or even possible!) for you. We have less control over our bodies than the multimillion dollar fitness and diet industries lead us to believe. Bodies are always, constantly changing. Rather than wasting valuable mental real estate worrying about something out of your control, we support you in improving your eating behaviours, having fun with movement you enjoy and managing your stress – all things that will help improve your health – and drawing the focus back to intrinsic inspiration that lasts.