March 20, 2014
We Love: YOGA Loft Newcastle
I love Sydney, the beaches, the nightlife, the people and the mix of mega yoga studios with smaller intimate one room yoga spaces. However, there are times, many times when I crave getting out of the city and to a place where life moves a bit more slowly. Earlier this month on a last minute whim I decided to hop on a train at central station and go visit my Aussie Mum, Kate in Newcastle. I had been there a few times in the past, but mostly just hung around her flat eating homemade dinners, chatting and getting to know each other. This time we decided to be a little more adventurous and explore the city together.
I arrived on the train early Friday evening and she was waiting for me at the last stop – ‘New Castle’. The train station is right on the waterfront and we went to bar right on the jetty to have a drink. We then went home for a lovely dinner, but decided to come back into the city the following day to have a look around. I had no idea that Newcastle has some stunning beaches right in the CBD – and what I also discovered is this post war mining town is also host to a number of Yoga Studios. As we meandered the treelined streets, sipping coffee and admiring the views we came across several studios – Yoga For All, Yoga Body Works and YOGA Loft – all within a 10-15 min stroll of each other.
I wasn’t prepared to take a class that day, but decided to google some of the studios and come back and try out a class the following morning. All 3 of the studios I saw looked absolutely gorgeous, and had I have had more time I would have loved to try them all – however, I chose to practice at YOGA Loft after discovering that the yoga room had views of the ocean – I am a sucker for a little ambience, so I couldn’t pass it up.
The Studio at 50 Hunter St.
I had my choice of two classes on Sunday, but opted for a 90 minute 8am ‘sweat it’ class. In a fashion true to myself, I arrive at 7:56 without a mat, or a towel and the instructor Sophie Brauer, who was behind the desk happily accommodated my late arrival.
Even though it is a little more work, as a yoga teacher myself I cherish the times when I am able to check in my own students, that little 90 second chat can go a long way to creating a sense of comfort and trust. Sophie was so warm and welcoming, it helped to settle my OMG-I-am-going-to-be-late nerves.
The space itself was stunning and modern, but the extensive use of timber maintained a warm, welcoming vibe. The change rooms and toilets were impeccably clean, and well stocked with eco friendly products.
The Yoga Room
The early morning sunlight filled the yoga room, and I settle onto my mat with about 15-20 other yogis. The room was gently heated, my guess – to about 28 degrees. As Sophie walked in, to start the class her greeting was overly positive, without being annoying. It might sound small, but that is a hard line to walk, trust me.
The class itself was challenging, but I never once felt rushed or unprepared for what came next. Sophie’s use of props in challenging poses like headstand, forearm balance, and shoulder stand was elegantly sequenced, and made these poses accessible to even the freshest practitioners in the group. Even though it was the first time we met, Sophie gave me corrections or encouragement using my name – what a nice touch!
The next time you are in Newcastle, visit the beaches, the trendy cafe’s – but if you want to be challenged, supported and surrounding by beautiful interiors, make sure you try out a class at YOGA Loft.
YOGA Loft Newcastle
a: Level 5, 50 Hunter Street (beach end of Hunter St) Newcastle NSW, 2300
p: 4927 1010
Check out their timetable here