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The Bhakti Tree

Home > Newcastle > Spirituality | Vegan | Vegetarian | Workshops | Yoga
by Carolyn Hopping (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published June 1st 2015
Yoga, Meditation & The Best Vegetarian Food In Newcastle
The sun is setting as we park our car on busy Maitland Road, and the delicious aroma of delicately-spiced food wafts across from a small shopfront on the other side of the street our destination for a few hours this evening.

Entering the softly-lit building, the exotic fragrance of incense and the soothing chant of Indian devotional music serves to further stimulate our senses, preparing us for the program ahead. We're visiting The Bhakti Tree for the first time - a new yoga and meditation centre situated in Mayfield, and dedicated to the promotion of a healthy yogic lifestyle, based on the ancient Vedic culture of India.

Image courtesy of The Bhakti Tree Facebook page
Image courtesy of The Bhakti Tree Facebook page

Located at 410 Maitland Road in Mayfield, The Bhakti Tree is a one-of-a-kind destination here in Newcastle, teaching locals about not only the physical benefits of yoga, but also the deeper spiritual traditions and culture that support it. Whether you're a yoga veteran or simply a wannabe, if you desire to enrich your understanding of this ancient spiritual practice, this is the place to come. There are regular workshops being held in various yogic disciplines, vegetarian cooking, and mantra meditation. From time to time, swamis (travelling renunciates) also visit and hold lectures, and these special programs provide guests with the opportunity to learn more, directly from people who've been following a spiritual path for many years.

Image courtesy of The Bhakti Tree Facebook page
Image courtesy of The Bhakti Tree Facebook page

The Bhakti Tree held its official opening in early 2015, and is therefore a relatively new destination on Newcastle's spiritual circuit. However, despite its newcomer status, it's managed to garner many local fans with its laid-back vibe, awesome yoga teachers, great music, and yummy vegetarian food.

At the time of writing this article, The Bhakti Tree is holding two main weekly programs, as well as serving as the commercial kitchen for Newcastle University's Vegetarian Club. From time to time, vegetarian cooking classes and other programs are also held here, with various others planned in the future. There are exciting times ahead.

Image courtesy of The Bhakti Tree Facebook page
Image courtesy of The Bhakti Tree Facebook page

If you love yoga and would like to take a class after work, Yoga Wednesdays are held every Wednesday evening, at 6.00pm. For just $15.00, you get not only a one-hour yoga class, but also a delicious vegetarian meal. Understandably, these classes are extremely popular, so if you want to check them out, you really need to be at The Bhakti Tree well before the starting time. Unfortunately, advance bookings aren't taken, so it's first in, first served.

Image courtesy of The Bhakti Tree Facebook page
Image courtesy of The Bhakti Tree Facebook page

If you're more of a meditator than a yogi, you might also want to drop in for one of The Bhakti Tree's kirtan nights, held every Friday at 6.00pm. Although relatively unknown outside of the yoga fraternity, kirtan has been part of India's ancient spiritual culture since time immemorial. Unlike japa, which is mantra meditation that one chants alone, kirtan is a dynamic musical meditation in which each individual joins together in song and spirit. An experienced musician leads the chanting, with the other members of the group responding, creating an exquisitely melodious experience that never fails to touch the heart and soul.

Kirtan is extremely popular on the world music scene, and is gathering a steadily growing fan base here in Newcastle. As with the Wednesday yoga class, Friday Kirtan concludes with an awesome veggie meal the perfect end to a beautiful evening. Admission for Friday Kirtan is $10.00.

While most yoga enthusiasts are vegetarian, many others are somewhat curious about the philosophy of meat-free living, not to mention keen to learn a few yummy new recipes. With this in mind, the folks at The Bhakti Tree are planning to hold regular vegetarian cooking classes to point you in the right direction. Although many people would like to make big changes to their diet, putting these into practice can sometimes seem almost impossible, so workshops like these provide a few tips about how to start and what to do.

Image courtesy of The Bhakti Tree Facebook page
Image courtesy of The Bhakti Tree Facebook page

In a nutshell, The Bhakti Tree is a unique little spot which is certain to appeal to a wide spectrum of locals, from the wannabe vegetarian, to the dedicated yoga practitioner and health enthusiast. Quite a few of the regulars have also developed a soft spot for India's rich spiritual culture while travelling the world, and find that the centre captures some of the magic they experienced 'on the road'.

At the moment, The Bhakti Tree is holding two public programs weekly. However, with the incredible interest that's been shown since its opening, it's quite possible that they'll be putting on a few more in the not-so-distant future. There are also plans to open the cafe for lunch, which is definitely something to look forward to, if the meals I've tasted at the Friday Kirtan night are anything to go by.

Finally, if you're a student or faculty member at Newcastle Uni, be sure to wander over and grab a meal from the Vegetarian Club, which is on-campus for lunch three days a week Tuesday and Thursday in the Auchmuty courtyard, and Wednesday at NUSA. This is also cooked by the Bhakti Tree team, if you want to try their food before you visit the centre.

Image courtesy of The Bhakti Tree Facebook page
Image courtesy of The Bhakti Tree Facebook page

The Bhakti Tree is situated at 410 Maitland Road in Mayfield. To find out more, check out The Bhakti Tree Facebook pagee, email or give Jayanti a call on 0469 868 217.
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Why? It's a great place to chill out and enjoy some of Newcastle's best vegetarian food.
Phone: 0469 868 217
Where: 410 Maitland Road, Mayfield
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