From hot yoga to mindful meditation, a class at Grass Roots Yoga will leave you feeling stretched and strengthened; both physically and spiritually. Located in the heart of St Kilda, new studio owners Shelley Armstrong and Sally Murchie have created a safe and inclusive space for the community to come together.

We spoke with Shelley about the importance of movement, the inspiration behind Grass Roots Yoga and what makes her studio unique.

Tell us about your studio, what is the history here and what was the inspiration behind it?

Our studio was one of the original “hot yoga” studios in Melbourne. Originally opened in 2011, Shelley & Sally took over as new owners at the end of 2022. Based in the heart of St Kilda and tucked away in a warehouse, it can be tricky to find! A lot of our students find us through word of mouth, but once they find us are usually here to stay.

What type of practice do you focus on and why?

Each teacher at GRY brings their own unique style. On our timetable you will find heated & non-heated flows, yin & foundation classes. Our teachers have extensive training and experience, and bring their own twist to each of the styles we offer. A common thread of feedback we receive is how much the students love how different the teachers are and they learn something new from each of them.

What do you love about your community? How would you describe the overall vibe?

Our community is our heart and soul. Having been with GRY for so long there’s a collective feeling of holding space for each other. Especially over the past year we have loved watching friendships being formed and getting to know our regulars. The vibe is very laid back, inclusive, and we want everyone to feel welcome.

What can people hope to find in the space you’ve created?

Our hope is that people feel safe, seen and heard when they are in our space. The studio is an extension of our homes, and we want our students to feel that.

What is unique / different about your studio?

We try not to compare ourselves to other studios. It’s not always easy, but for the most part we just do our thing, and always make sure decisions we make are from the heart and feel right. I would say we have a strong sense of community, and it’s felt as soon as you walk through the door

Tell us how you each ‘Own The Morning’?

With both of us having young families, life can feel like a juggle at times. Early mornings, before everyone wakes, this precious time and how you use it can make such a difference to the rest of your day. For me, it can sometimes be just a few minutes of meditation or heading to the studio for half an hour before anyone gets there. Not engaging with phones (work in progress..) and taking some time to be in that glorious stillness.

How did you each find movement and what led you to it?

My Mum took me to my first yoga class at the age of 15. I will never forget it and have had a love affair with the practice ever since. 30 years later it has seen me through many ups and downs of life!

What does practicing movement mean to you?

This has evolved so much over the years. During my 20’s I was a hardcore Ashtangi, starting my days with 2 hour practices and pushing myself to the limit. I have softened into the subtler layers of the practice now, and love the way movement can shift the way you feel. I have explored many different modalities over the years from dance to martial arts, but yoga is what keeps me grounded.

If you would say something to someone who hasn’t found their groove yet in practice / looking at giving some of your classes a go, what would you say to them?

I would always encourage students to try out different teachers until they find the one they resonate with. I remember when I found my first ashtanga teacher at a community hall in north London. The way she taught changed everything for me. Consistency is also important when approaching anything new to uncover the deeper layers of the practice.

Is there anything specific you want to share with our audience? It can be advice or something around another specialty you might have? Or something specific to your favourite pose Ie. Three adjustments to make so you nail XX pose…

My advice would be, before you move your body, take a minute to ground yourself. Let go of all the things you didn’t get around to doing in your day and give yourself the gift of now. Being present in your body is the most wonderful gift you could give yourself.


Visit GRASS ROOTS YOGA to learn more about them and their classes.

Also check out their instagram @grassrootsyoga