Yoga in Public Park

It was a fresh winter morning in Sydney East this morning. The waves were roaring; the sun was still trying to crack the clouds open when I was doing my own practice, facing due East in Bronte.

Although I was trying to stay focused and with my attention on my breath and body, I couldn’t help noticing a group of about nine mats near me—a slim and tall leader with a beanie leading the sequence.

Then, I noticed some disruption to their practice. Two rangers came politely to ask for her permit.

She claimed they were friends, but I couldn’t help sensing frustration in her tone. The exchange lasted just over seven minutes, disturbing theirs and my practice.

Later that day, I decided to look into this in detail.

What are the terms and conditions of teaching yoga or pilates in an outdoor public space in Sydney? Do you need insurance?

All local, state, and federal-managed green spaces require an application or licence to conduct yoga in the park. You could be fined for non-compliance if you don’t follow their approval processes.

Most councils need insurance, a first aid certificate, and council authorisation.

Some areas are restricted, and there is usually a code of conduct we must review and agree to.

Every council is different, so it is best to double-check with your local council. Just search for ‘council name outdoor fitness training’.

You need to get park permits from your local council. They may require you to submit PL insurance and a mini-risk plan. All details should be on the council’s website.

You should always have insurance and get clients to sign waivers.

Some councils may require you to be registered with a body such as AusActive. They should be able to document all of their requirements for you.

Some are free to a certain number, but you must register, and some are paid.

In Sutherland Shire, you pay an annual fee to legally use a public space. Randwick Council operates a permit system. North Sydney Council doesn’t charge, but you need to get a license to teach, and there are restrictions on where you can teach. In the Gold Coast, you don’t need a permit from us if you are providing health and fitness activities on a not-for-profit basis.

Frequent Questions

For those who teach in a park, what’s the going rate/per person?

It can be a donation or anything between $10 to $25 per class.

Do I need to notify the council every time I conduct a class?

It depends on the council. Some may require advance notice for each session, while others only need a one-time permit.

Are there specific times when I can hold classes?

Most councils will have designated times when fitness classes can be conducted.

Can I use amplified sound during my classes?

Many councils have restrictions on the use of amplified sound in public spaces.

Are there limits on the number of participants?

Yes, there may be limits. These can vary by council.

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