Angela is a freelance writer and radio producer living in the heart of Newcastle. She is endeavouring to find and share the best the city has to offer no matter how many delicious restaurants she has to endure.
Newcastle, like most cities, has caught on with zeal to the craze that is yoga. Yes, yoga is in vogue and with no less than 25 studios offering cathartic classes in the area, it can be a bit overwhelming for a local, or a visitor to the city, to choose a class from the long list. So, how to proceed my stiff, stressed subscribers? In the words of Confucius, "he who does not economise will have to agonise". With that in mind, why not choose the cheapest class from the lot and the only thing you'll be agonising about is your sore, aching body (thank me later!).
This writer has scoured the World Wide Web and made dozens of phone calls to find Newcastle's cheapest yoga class, purchased a new yoga mat, gone and tested it out, pulled a muscle or two, resisted getting pizza for dinner afterwards, and is ready to present you with the results. So without further ado, Newcastle's most economically friendly yoga class is ... Yoga with Karen Nicoll!
Located in Adamstown Senior Citizens' Hall, Karen Nicoll offers classes for beginners and those with a little more experience (do you know your anjaneyasanas from your padmasanas?). The sessions are more relaxed than those in the Hot Power Yoga genre, but you can still expect to be stretched, bent and, at the end of it all, totally tranquillised by Karen's meditation mastery. With a Bachelor of Health Science, Diplomas in Yoga, Medicinal Herbalism and Counselling, and 28 years of teaching under her yoga mat, Karen is more than qualified to lead you in her own special blend of yoga that focusses on listening to your body and tailoring poses to your own abilities.
Not the kind of thing they do in beginners! Nidrasana/Creative Commons
When this writer attended a beginners' class, the chosen ashram (place for practising yoga) was host to several other stressed people who were all seeking serenity. We were guided by Karen through a beginners' version of the 'salute to the sun' routine and taught poses including 'warrior's pose', 'child's pose' (a personal favourite that requires you to just flop), 'downward facing dog', 'crocodile' and a host of other positions named after animals. By the end of the class, which was aptly described by my friend as an 'asana-rama', everyone had successfully chilled out and there were sunny smiles all around as the group rolled up their rubber mats and left in relaxed slow motion.
So, how much is this yoga with Karen? You won't believe me, but here it is. Beginner classes are $40 for 4 sessions (consecutive or non-consecutive weeks) and general classes are $16 per class or $13 if you happen to be on a government benefit (which is great news for strapped students!). There are also deals available if you purchase sessions in bulk (6 classes or 10 classes).
You can't put a price on that feeling of total relaxation yoga affords its students, but unfortunately, most yoga studios do. Luckily for us, Karen's price is a very friendly one indeed! Namaste.