Discover Newcastle’s longest established yoga school
Located on the edge of Hamilton’s Gregson Park, sits the iconic G.U.O.O.F. hall, home to Newcastle’s longest-established yoga studio, Hamilton Yoga – Iyengar Yoga School.
Newcastle-born and bred local, David Morley, has been the key figure and founder of this yoga school, previously called the Novocastrian school of yoga, since its inception in 1996. Operating from its Steel Street venue since the year 2000, this Newcastle yoga studio has been a well-integrated institution for our local yoga scene.
David came across Iyengar yoga in the early 90’s while still working as an electrician. After completing the rigorous Iyengar yoga teacher training with his Sydney-based teacher, Pixie Lillas, David brought Iyengar yoga to Newcastle and founded the very first Iyengar yoga school in town.
“Leaving my trade as an electrician behind, I wanted to help people help themselves through yoga rather than fixing machines for the rest of my life,” David said.
What is Iyengar yoga, you ask?
The method of Iyengar Yoga was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar who is widely regarded as one of the most influential yoga teachers of the 20th century. Iyengar Yoga, a form of Hatha yoga, migrated out of Pune in India to countries all over the world and made its way to Newcastle three decades ago with David’s yoga school. The practice focuses on the alignment of the body, the use of props, and holding poses for extended periods.
The detailed instructions and gentle adjustments during a class in Iyengar Yoga might be a pleasant revelation and unlike other yoga forms you might have tried.
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 find, Iyengar yoga draws in students of a more mature mind. The people who come in without any expectations tend to be the ones that stay on.”
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.
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.”
Gentle beginners’ classes are an option as well, suitable for seniors or those working with injuries and wanting a slower-paced class. After the beginner’s level, students can explore a range of classes including Progressing (Level 1), Intermediate (Level 1 and 2), Advanced (Level 2), as well as Restorative Yoga.
You will need to try it for yourself to see if Iyengar yoga could be the very thing that suits you.
“Yoga has definitely been a part of Newcastle’s transition moving from a steel city into a thriving metropolitan city.”
Maybe yoga can be part of your transition, too? 'doing is believing' as per Hamilton Yoga’s motto.
David runs Hamilton Yoga as a low-key, family-operated business. With his friendly, down-to-earth, and light-hearted approach to teaching, you’ll be well-supported throughout your Iyengar yoga journey.