Community, spirituality and yoga classes Newcastle style with Yoga Therapies
Looking to get into yoga Newcastle readers? Our resident wellness enthusiast, Hannah Bullimore, tells us why this Ouseburn studio is about more than perfecting your downward dog.
By Hannah Bullimore
I’ve been practicing yoga regularly for about nine years now. It’s the only form of fitness that has really stuck with me over the years.
While I save swimming for summer and have dabbled in the odd trip to the gym, I can’t go a week without stepping onto my mat.
A big part of the reason I love yoga so much is that it has offered me a community of like-minded people and insights into the bigger questions of spirituality.
To share my love of yoga, I also wanted to share my favourite yoga space (and experts) in Newcastle: Yoga Therapies.
Yoga x Life Newcastle Studio
Yoga Therapies has been a part of my regular practice for many years. I completed my own yoga teacher training with them in 2019 and the course deepened my understanding of yoga in a way that nothing else has before or since.
Since then, there has been a global pandemic, a change of location and a big shift in many yogis choosing to practice at home, alone. Now, I love a home practice, but there’s nothing quite like the community and support a regular in-studio yoga Newcastle class offers.
Yoga Therapies moved to its amazing space in early 2020 and, after coming through the pandemic stronger than ever, it offers two beautiful yoga studios, a wellness shop and a fully vegan and gluten-free café, (the flapjacks are unbelievable).
This studio is not only aesthetically beautiful (and oh so Instagrammable), but it also offers a range of classes, workshops, retreats and events. Perhaps even more importantly, Yoga Therapies has a huge heart with a community of yoga teachers and yogis who are always ready to make each other welcome, offer advice and a safe space to breathe after any of life’s stresses.
Whether you want to try yoga for the first time or are looking to deepen into the limbs of yoga beyond the physical practice, the Yoga x Lifestyle Studio is the place to be.
Situated near to Ouseburn, the studio is ideal for post-work workshops or weekend classes. Its handy location makes it one of my favourite places to meet with friends or practice alone for an hour’s peace after a day at work.
The Yoga Classes, Newcastle
There are a wide range of classes available at Yoga Therapies: from slow flow to dynamic and moon meditations. My personal favourite is the Friday evening Vinyasa ‘ah’, which is the perfect way to decompress and start the weekend.
Whether you decide to go in a group of friends or on your own, you’ll be welcomed by one of their skilled teachers and will be chatting to your fellow yogis in no time.
I’ve found that the relaxed atmosphere in classes and the teachers ability to laugh when they forget which side they’re on, as well as offering support during tough times, means that this feels like far more than your typical gym class.
Yoga Therapies has an ability to pick you up wherever you are in your yoga practice, but also in your day-to-day life. It offers you a space to be with the breath, to decompress and to get out of your head and into your body.
Over the last few months, I’ve made the most of the wonderful offering of workshops that Yoga Therapies has.
I recently attended a Cacao Ceremony and Meditation ran by one of the owners, Debbie, and two of the yoga teachers, Emma and Lucy. The evening saw a large group of yogis gathering together to learn something new.
I had never tried cacao and I enjoyed the ritual and tradition of the evening. There was a gentle yoga practice, meditation, the telling of myth and time to journal. We also left with a series of journal prompts to continue the process of reflection beyond the mat.
Another workshop I recently attended was the Spring Equinox workshop with Debbie. This beautiful evening was perhaps the most relaxed I have been since the start of the pandemic. Debbie has one of the most soothing voices ever and she has so much wisdom to offer on spiritual practices, shamanism, yoga and self-care. We practiced yoga, meditation, visualisation and face yoga. At the time, I was holding on to a lot of negative emotions and that evening I felt myself relax into what was. I came away feeling rested and lighter and ready for whatever the season had in store for me.
I also recently attended an astrology workshop at Yoga Therapies with yoga teacher Lucy and astrologer Zeb. I am a complete newbie to astrology, but recently I felt that a lot of what I was feeling was fitting with the astrological cycles I had heard the teachers at Yoga Therapies talking about.
In this workshop we were given our birth charts and guidance on the upcoming astrological events of the New Moon in Aries, which also happens to mark the start of the astrological year. The evening was incredibly special. As well as Zeb and Lucy sharing their wisdom, the workshop felt like a very comfortable way for us all to hold space for each other. We shared our worries, our hopes and our fears and we all supported one another.
I think that often we feel this pull to community but don’t necessarily know where to find it without feeling like a burden to our friends and family. The workshops at Yoga Therapies offer a space for us to feel part of a community, to listen and to be heard. And to learn about spirituality, yoga and shamanism in a way that is authentic, genuine and heartfelt.
The Yoga Therapies Philosophy
Yoga Therapies is owned by husband-and-wife team, Debbie and Chris. Debbie was kind enough to spend some time explaining what their secret to an authentic, successful studio is.
‘Our Yoga x Life Newcastle Yoga Therapies studio is the culmination of more than a decade of deep and dedicated work, exploration and listening,’ she told me. ‘We discovered yoga separately, but were transformed and brought together by it.’
Debbie went on to explain that they had both worked in careers in therapy and that this ‘became possible through yoga. It was this central embodied lifestyle that created the space for our work to come together: consistency, accountability and acceptance were at the core.’
Quite simply, Debbie said, ‘we wanted to create a space that made it possible for these teachings and this community to grow in a truly sustainable way. The studio itself is both a safe container and has a schedule that is expansive, convenient and truly accessible.’
The range of class styles, times and range of yogis who attend the studio are testament to that. Debbie explained that they wanted to ensure every yoga student is welcomed with a smile and has the space to decompress after class. Something else Debbie mentioned, and which I personally love about the studio, is that if you’re late, you can still get into class and won’t be turned away having wasted money, (I’m sure most yogi’s know that feeling).
Debbie and Chris also take their roles as employers very seriously and explained that curating the right team meant ‘we wanted to stabilise things that didn’t exist in the yoga world yet. Working hours that supported a balanced social life. Paid holidays. Maternity leave. So that the team were as nourished as the people they were hoping to nourish.’
Debbie finished by perfectly summing up the Yoga Therapies experience.
‘Once you’re through the doors, the areas and energy are always cleansed with the daily rituals to ensure the open space is a safe space, as we live and breathe what we teach. We move, we breathe, we live.’
If you’re in need of a little TLC, time for yourself or are looking to begin or deepen your yoga practice, then I highly recommend heading to the inviting calm of the Yoga X Life Studio.