The History of Yoga Body Works Newcastle.
It all started in 2010 - Karl rented the space that was once a women’s gym, 204 King Street, Newcastle. The lovely big mirrored space required major refurbishment to house the thousands of clients that soon walked through its doors. This refurbishment consisted of Karl and his builders scraping back the mirrors under the paint, building bathrooms, installing ceiling heaters, sound systems, painting, and creating an inviting lobby for staff and students to get to know each other after a class.
So it began as ‘Hot Power Yoga Newcastle', the first Hot Yoga studio to grace the shores of our little city. Wow! What a response from the public- we had 24 classes a week, and the majority of them were full. By 'full', we mean there were up to 60 people sweating it out in the carpeted studio at any one time. There were many times when we would turn students away because there was literally no room for their mats. This demand, and the fact that the carpet was not the greatest sweat absorber, saw the studio transform. The room was extended to allow for more students to participate and finally the green carpet was removed, replaced with beautiful timber floors, and a refurbishment of the entrance and lobby. Our students expressed constant gratitude to see their money being returned, transforming and beautifying the space they had supported from such humble beginnings.
Hot Power Yoga had many teachers come through the doors. Some new to the Power Sequence, and some experienced Hot Power Yogi’s. Together we delivered many HOT classes that exposed the public to 90 minutes of Power Yoga, or what we call Yang Yoga. We observed that not only the clients would get burned out by the repetition of more Yang in their lives, but so did the teachers, and owner.
Karl talks of those days as extremely stressful- he didn't realise the imbalance until he was invited to practise a Yin Yoga class. He describes a conversation with his Yin teacher Paul Grilley while on level 1 Yin Yoga training in Thailand as the moment he woke up; Yin and Yang Yoga must coexist, not always in separate classes. The balancing effect, once implemented into the studio, and his personal life, saw many long term problems dissolve. He underwent a transformation, where years of high level stress, both emotional and physical, started to fall away. Paul also expressed great interest in how Karl formatted his 'Yin & Yang' classes, and how this would be infused into his popular Teacher Training programme.
The Studio was now heading in a new direction. The students apprehensively attempted the long-held 'Joint and Facia release', also experiencing the wonderful mindfulness and calming effect of Yin, so helpful for our over-stimulated lives.
Coupling this with hitting the Power Yoga refresh button, our community had fallen in love. This natural evolution was also the first introduction of Yin & Yang Yoga into the Newcastle Yoga Community.
With all of these changes, a new transformation was required; new branding, signage, philosophy and direction. Karl took over the business alone and Yoga Body Works came into Being, something he considers a "real yoga studio and community" and very successful business model, that provides Yin and Yang yoga to the broader community. Students often walk through the door, stating they are overwhelmed by the atmosphere and welcoming presence, many of the older students say "it's like coming home, something you can't find in gyms, or corporatised yoga studios". We are encouraged as students and teachers to share from the heart, share our experience, strength, pains, and hopes, and encourage each other to look within, as well as without. We must do this in order to maintain, emotional, mental, and physical health.
Yoga Body Works is also the first Yoga Teacher Training facilitator in Newcastle. We are proud to share the knowledge, philosophy and journey of yoga with teacher trainees. This pride and gratitude extends to being involved in the transformational process and sharing that occurs during teacher training. Every training gets better with age - our facilitators from Sydney, Queensland and Newcastle are amazingly gifted teachers.
Yoga Body Works continues to support many community events, Surfest, and fundraising for charities. It is a privilege to be a part of such a spirited community and city.
We are so excited with the direction and expansion out to Lake Macquarie. The new studio will allow our practitioners to explore their yoga in a convenient location close to their home. All Yoga Body Works studios will have the same philosophy and values as well as the highest standard of yoga instructors, and the strongest sense of community.