First published on 14 Sep 2011. Updated on 14 Sep 2011.
Bikram Yoga Fitzroy
“That sounds like the worst thing you could possibly do” is most people’s reaction when told about Bikram Hot Yoga, but when it comes to shaping up, damn it all if this slightly sadistic sport doesn’t get the job done. The internationally recognised set of 26 postures patented by the enigmatic Bikram Choudry, is designed to stretch, strengthen and relax you, but unlike other yoga styles, Bikram takes place in a sauna heated to a kill-me-now 40 degrees. Working every muscle in your body over 90 minutes, this is a detox and a workout all in one. You’ll end up looking amazing, but while you’re in there, prepare to look less hot than you ever have before as you and 40 cohorts from all walks and all sizes sweat and stretch yourselves beautiful. It’s tough love, but persevere and nut crushing thighs shall be yours.
Fancy eating at Vegie Bar? Then get in line. The 20-year-old establishment is so consistently busy that it’s walk-in only for tables of fewer than six, and waits of an hour or more are not unheard of. Fortunately the staff have a well coordinated system for getting diners in, seated and out again. Names are taken upon arrival, numbered cards assigned and the ravening hordes directed to a very pleasant courtyard, with a large sheltered area and (crucially) a cash-only bar. When a table in one of the dining rooms becomes free its next occupants are found and seated within minutes, almost invariably with a drink already in hand.
The stable-like building, with its high ceilings, concrete floors and brick walls is almost constantly noisy, and odds are you’ll be sitting elbow to elbow with a stranger. The tables are a mix of private and communal, with a handful of long benches for good measure.
Agoraphobics may find the dinnertime rush a little hard to handle, but for most it’s simply part of the experience, and any objections soon melt away when the food arrives. It is, after all, the entire reason for the Vegie Bar’s enduring and occasionally cramping popularity with vegetarians and omnivores alike.
The specials boards are updated frequently and always worth the time to read – perennial favourites on the regular menu include deep-fried mushrooms stuffed with tofu and feta, a bean burrito served with the works, and some mighty fine vegetarian pizzas for under a tenner.
A wide range of smoothies is available and the courtyard and restaurant bars are both well stocked with local and international beers and wines. Even the house recommendations are perfectly respectable. All told, Vegie Bar is worth the wait. 380 Brunswick St, Fitzroy 3065.
Back to Time Out Melbourne – Healthy Living
For loads more tips on healthy eating go to weightwatchers.com.au/discover