Discover Newcastle’s longest standing yoga school
Situated on the edge of Hamilton’s Gregson Park, sits the iconic G.U.O.O.F. hall, home to Newcastle’s longest-standing yoga school, Hamilton Yoga – Iyengar Yoga School.
Brought to you by Newcastle-born and bred local, David Morley, Hamilton Yoga has been an institution for our local yoga scene since its inception within the Steel Street venue in the year 2000.
Twenty-three years later, the beautiful maroon and blue façade is still home to the Iyengar Yoga practice with David operating a range of classes available to suit numerous skill levels.
“I first came across Iyengar Yoga up in Byron Bay with friends from Newcastle who had moved up there. This would have been back in 1992. I had dabbled in some types of yoga before then, but this was the first time I tried Iyengar yoga,” David said.
Going on to complete his teacher training with Sydney-based teacher, Pixie Lillas, David has been a force within the local yoga community since he started teaching his own Iyengar classes in September 1996.
What is Iyengar yoga you ask?
The Iyengar yoga method migrated out of Pune in India to countries all over the world and made its way to Newcastle in the mid-90s. The practice focuses on the alignment of the body, the use of props, and holding poses for extended periods of time.
In 1996, David, alongside his parents, spotted an ad in the newspaper, reading that The Greek Taverna was selling their then home, (the G.U.O.O.F Hall) to fund the building that we all know and love today (just a few doors up).
“We were down talking to Father Nicholas within the hour!”
In 2000, the Novocastrian School of Yoga, now known as Hamilton Yoga – Iyengar Yoga School, was the very first Iyengar Yoga school in Newcastle.
“At the time, I wasn’t your typical Aussie male – I was doing yoga and was a vegetarian. Now, perceptions and mindsets have definitely changed, and Newcastle is somewhere I am incredibly proud to call home.
“Yoga has been a part of that transition of Newcastle moving from a steel city into a thriving metropolitan city.”
The Hamilton-based studio is complete with a large open space featuring timber flooring, natural light, and props galore. The studio is fitted out with a range of props including wall ropes, back benders, head standers, yoga chairs, tressler, halasana boxes, setu bandha benches, and a demonstration stage.
The Iyengar yoga practice attracts a diverse mix of students due to its adaptability, comprehensiveness, and supportive approach. You will potentially find a university student, a businessperson, a tradie, a surfer, or a retiree all in the same class.
“We do find our students tend to be more of the mature mind. The people that tend to come in without any expectations are the ones that tend to stay on.”
For those completely fresh to Iyengar yoga practice, David suggests students sign up for a Beginners Course where you will learn the basics and foundations for Iyengar yoga.
“Having students come through that beginner’s course and getting their grounding of how Iyengar yoga works is really essential. Even for people that have done other styles of yoga before.”
From there, students can explore a range of classes including Gentle Beginners, Progressing (Level 1), Intermediate (Level 1 &2), Advanced (Level 2), and Restorative Yoga.
David, with the help of his wife, Grit, welcomes you in to try Iyengar for yourself. With David’s friendly, down-to-earth, and light-hearted approach to teaching, you’ll be well-supported throughout your Iyengar yoga journey.