Deb & Russ Young established Younga Yoga Studio - Wollongong's first dedicated Yoga space in 2006 with the vision to create a beautiful space that provides the community with a balanced variety of vinyasa yoga classes, inspirational events, healthy living programs and trainings to deepen one's study of Yoga. They are also the co-founders of The Online Yoga Studio.
In 2009 Younga Yoga Studio moved from Keira St to its current location in Thomas St.
Previously the Wollongong Girl Guide Hall, "The Studio" has a rich history of bringing people together, and Deb & Russ have restored it in a way that honors the past, using reclaimed materials to create a gorgeous oasis in the middle of the CBD.
Our classes are dynamic and challenging, yet we encourage our students to work at their own level and practice safely with awareness. All our classes incorporate the principals of Vinyasa Yoga (working in a moving meditation with the breath), Meditation and Pranayama.
We are committed to providing a space where people feel welcome, supported and able to experience the wide reaching benefits of Yoga.
Meet the Studio Owners: Deb & Russ Young
Russ is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and has been practising Yoga for more than 20 years.
Unlike many students who start Yoga in a studio, Russ' reasons were more intrinsic and home-practiced based. He became interested in yoga as a teenager, and taught himself postures out of a book as a way of managing severe pain associated with the imbalances caused by scoliosis. This set him on a path in the health & fitness industry, first as a massage therapist, then later a Degree in Exercise Physiology.
He is a part time guest teacher for the Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Wollongong, where he annually teaches Anatomy to doctors in training.
Russ has a keen background in biomechanics & functional anatomy and uses this unique knowledge in conjunction with mindfullness techniques to treat patients with a range of injuries and mental health conditions.
He initially trained with a traditional school - The Sivananda School of Yoga in Kerala, India, and like Deb has since completed various teacher trainings, retreats and workshops with Internationally acclaimed teachers in a range of styles such as Donna Farhi, David Swenson, Emil Wendel, and Flo Fenton.
In recent years Russ has created & delivered Anatomy & Physiology teacher training modules for 200hr trainings for Amy Ippoliti (Yoga Glo) and Flo Fenton.
Yoga nerd, passionate business owner, proud (sometimes frazzled) mum, creative thinker, ideas chick with an addiction for apps & a love for all things Yoga, business, food & travel. Along with Russell, Deb co-founded Younga Yoga Studio in 2006 and more recently The Online Yoga Studio. They have grown Younga Yoga Studio into a successful business with more than 400+ students each week.
Deb has a Degree in Physical & Health Education & a background in dance, but it wasn't until she met Russ that she discovered her love for all things Yoga and the amazing way it can help bring balance to life.
Deb's has a unique ability to bring Yoga philosophy to life on the yoga mat with dynamic & clear sequencing by drawing metaphors between what we practice ON the Yoga mat as a symbol for what we do in our everyday life OFF the Yoga mat.
Deb completed her initial teacher training in 2005 with some of Australia's most well known teachers: Louisa Sear, Rose Baudin & Flo Fenton.
Over the years she has completed other advanced teacher trainings & intensives with well known teachers such as David Swenson (Ashtanga), David Life & Sharon Gannon (Jivamukti), Louisa Sear and more recently with Amy Ippoliti (Yoga Glo + 90Monkeys) who she continues to mentor with and assist.
Deb has also completed numerous vipassana meditation retreats in silence and finds the tools of pranayama (breath work) particularly helpful as a gateway to reduce stress & address the symptoms of chronic asthma.
Deb & Russ have led many local & overseas lifestyle retreats incorporating Yoga, meditation & wholefoods for better life balance.
She also has two little munchkins, and is a trained Doula with a passion for helping women during pregnancy and beyond.
Deb loves sharing the amazing tools of Yoga as an essential tool for busy women on the go with a passion to help make a difference in the life of those around them.
Meet Our Amazing Team
Caiti Hoare | Studio Manager + Tech Guru
Caiti has been with Younga Yoga Studio for the past year. In a previous life she was a Marketing Graduate in the corporate world, and has since swapped stilettos and a killer commute for bare foot bliss and better life balance.
Caiti is your go-to girl for pretty much anything admin related at the studio! Are you are new to Yoga and unsure which class will be best for you? Caiti's your girl! She's usually in and around the studio from 11.30-3.30pm weekdays so feel free to pop in for a chat.
Alternatively give Caiti a call on 4227 1997 and she'll get back to you with any enquiries you have about your membership.
Caiti is here to help you get started, decide which pass to buy and answer any membership questions. She's also your go-to for retreat & event sign ups.
Cathie Doyle | Teacher + Schedule Guru
Cathie has been with Younga Yoga Studio for 12 years, first as a student, then subsequently as a teacher.
Cathie completed her initial teacher training in 2007 and has since studied extensively with Rachel Zinman & John Weddepohl here in Australia, in India & South Africa. She regularly attends trainings both as a participant and assistant in Australia & abroad.
In Cathie's classes, you can expect a classic Hatha flow style with a focus on breathe and core.
She believes that continually coming back to the breath helps us to focus and be calm - giving us time out from the crazy world outside of our bodies.
Sofia Andersson | Teacher + Mad Musician
Sofia is a master musician & mum, when she's not on the Yoga mat, you'll find her in the recording studio jamming on her instruments or strumming up a storm with local band Sound of KoKo.
Sofia began her Vinyasa and Hatha teacher training in Sweden in 2009 with Lariella Antonsdotter. She later completed her Yin training in 2016 under Tara Fitzgibbon in Byron Bay. Sofia began her Yoga journey when she wanted to honour her life and bring more love and compassion into her body and create a happier healthier lifestyle.
In her classes you can expect to step inside the layers of your body, challenge yourself and reach outside the limitations of your mind. Sofia brings joy and light to your practice, and occasionally will incorporate her guitar skills and chanting in classes.
Lana Clementson | Teacher + Eco Warrior
Amazing mum to two little munchkins, eco warrior & passionate Yogini - Lana is well known for her strong yet steady strength based vinyasa Yoga classes & blissful meditation workshops - held regularly at Younga Yoga Studio.
She completed her training at Life Source in 2011 with Christina Brown and Richard Allen and has continued to train, learn and grow with a variety of incredible teachers since, including Annie Carpenter, Flo Fenton, Duncan Peak and Ana Forrest.
Lana's background is an eclectic gathering of styles and influences, her classes generally contain strong, creative flow, a focus on core, steady and safe alignment and an opportunity for self awareness. Lana believes modern Yoga offers a mental break from our busy lives and an opportunity to connect with our peaceful, inner self, resulting in a sense of calm perspective. She hopes to share these benefits through focused Asana, Pranayama and Dhyana (meditation).
Kate Scheffer | Yogini + Cover Girl
Kate has been our Cover Girl for the past couple of years - so basically when she's not chasing her daughter Pippa around, or jet-setting across the world (the perks of being a flight attendant) she can be found filling in for the team or practicing on her mat at Younga Yoga Studio.
Kate completed her teacher training with Don Peers in 2014. She entered the course wanting to find her passion for Yoga again and realised she wanted to help other people fall in love with the practice. She has since competed teacher trainings in Ashtanga, Hatha, Iyengar, Vinyasa and Yin, and has trained with U.S. based teachers Tiffany Cruikshank & Maty Ezraty.
In Kate's classes you can expect a strong practice with a few non-traditional elements and a lot of encouragement to challenge yourself and try something new!
Rayna Gillott | Pug-Loving Yogini + Soon to be Mum!
Rayna has been a regular at Younga Yoga for the past 5 years and completed her teacher training in 2013 with John Oglivie, followed by Pre and Post-Natal at Bliss Baby in Byron Bay with Ana Davies, Yin with Sarah Owen and Pilates Matwork with Studio Pilates.
Rayna always has a theme or focus for her classes. She always encourages the importance of self compassion and love - that means no comparisons to others in the room and all negative self talk or internal scripting is left at the door!
You can usually find her either on the Yoga mat, or walking her two pugs Otto and Archie. She is a fierce animal lover, and is always advocating for various animal charities or planning our next Younga Yoga Social event!
Kim Purnell | Covers + In Class Assistant
Kim did her first class at Younga Yoga Studio two years ago and was instantly hooked. Over the past two years, Kim has established a solid & consistent practice - both at home and in the studio. Her dedication to regular practice shines through.
In 2017, Kim completed her first teacher training with Amy Ippoliti (Yoga Glow + 90Monkeys) and has since been mentoring with Deb & Russ at the studio.
When not at her day job, you'll find Kim glued to her mat and on a quest for a fearless handstand in the middle of the room or honing her new SUP skills.
You'll most likely meet Kim at the studio when she's offering hands on assists + teaching covers when the regular team are away.
We are thrilled to welcome Kim to the Younga Yoga team.
Valid for 30 days from your first visit & available to those new to the studio - this pass gives you a chance to try us out before committing to a membership or pass. Excludes courses & prenatal.