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My Newcastle Yoga Sanctuary

July 1, 2016 by Indra Kubicek 

Namaste from Newcastle! Last Monday night I found myself in Newcastle Upon Tyne for a work-related trip. I decided to take advantage of this opportunity and check out the local yoga scene. I googled for yoga in the city centre and found a nearby studio offering up an evening Vinyasa Flow class. Yogalilies, tucked away off Market Street on Pilgrim Road in Central Newcastle, was offering an evening Vinyasa class. IMG_0044

Yoga felt like the perfect thing to be doing this evening. Following the UK's recent referendum on whether to leave the EU, the country was experiencing a heightened level of uncertainty and it has been a difficult period for many people.
I was personally really looking forward to trying to take my mind away from all the events and chaos. When life seems to be totally beyond your control and you aren't sure what to do or expect next...my advice is ALWAYS to roll out your mat and do some yoga. It truly can make any situation feel more manageable and this particular night was no exception 🙂
I was surprised to find a completely packed room of yogis when I arrived at the studio. There go my own judgements - I had no idea there would be a yoga scene in Newcastle but I was definitely very wrong. While researching yoga studios, at least three popped up located right off Market Street.
This evening's class was taught by Karen Marsh, an amazing teacher with an uplifting spirit. As fate would have it, Karen is also a fellow Canadian (what are the odds?) and trained at the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala, India where I spent some time in 2010.
Hearing a familiar voice from home was exactly what I needed that night. I feel deeply connected to both my home country (Canada) and my new home (England), a unique benefit I feel blessed to have experienced as a "global citizen", having two countries I consider to be home. So to have a bit of both in one place was a real treat!
Karen's vinyasa style was a slow flow and included lot's of opportunity for variations depending on your level. It felt both healing and balancing . I enjoyed it so much and I stayed on for her second yin class, which is probably the one I needed most!
One of my favourite parts was hearing beautiful church bells ringing during our final sivasana. A sound I only usually get to experience when visiting cities and towns around Britain.
The class ended with all of us yogis, sitting side-by-side, in unity and peace. Yoga literally means "to yolk" or unite, and somehow despite all the chaos outside our little yoga haven, in that moment I felt we all were united together. Connected despite any difference of opinions, backgrounds, or circumstances.
It was the perfect ending to my day.
I am so pleased to have discovered one of the nicest yoga studios I've ever been to (and I have been to quite a few!) and a teacher with such an amazing soul. Anyone visiting this lovely city should definitely check out Yogalilies. And be sure to try to get into one of Karen's classes to experience her positive soothing energy, big smile, and rejuvenating nature.
Big thanks to my new friend Karen & Yogalilies for letting me join in for the evening!
Om shanti, shanti, shanti.
Peace, peace, peace.