Almost everyone likes it warm, even Nordic people – there it’s more of an indoor rather than outdoor option most of the times 🙂 I’m thinking Finnish sauna sessions, and afterwards curling up in a nice reindeer sweater with coffee and a cinnamon bun…
OK, enough with the daydreaming! A nice warm place does you good, and it certainly did me good to practice some nice, slow, juicy yoga in a warm and cozy studio in Helsinki on a peaceful Saturday morning.
Here’s the details:
I spent a (very eventful) weekend getaway in Helsinki and managed to squeeze in a truly heartwarming 90-minute slow “hot yoga” session at Yoga Nordic. To be honest, I wouldn’t describe this as hot yoga, as I think the room was moderately warm at about 28°-30°C (nothing like my regular Bikram sessions…) but the temperature was just about right for a 9am weekend warm-up class.
The studio is located on the 5th floor of a central shopping center and is surprisingly spacious and sunny. Yoga Nordic specializes in hot yoga from what I could understand on their website, and offers many styles practiced in warmed-up settings (incl. yin yoga and pilates). I inspected the décor of the asymmetrical practice room before class and noticed the mantra board placed on top of the mirrors: Om mani padme hum – the mantra of compassion, as I found out later… and to me, a delicate bit of spirituality in an otherwise modern, sterile environment.
Ale was our teacher for this morning class in English. We started with meditation lying down on blocks, opening the heart and releasing the sleepy heaviness of the night before. As the reasonable warmth of the room was kicking in, we mobilized the back, activated the shoulders and opened the hips. Blocks and straps were used to deepen the positions, and created much more intensity than one may expect. We only practiced a few slow, conscious mini-flows, as the warm environment typically does not encourage many fast movements – and that was more than enough! 🙂
The whole 90 minutes were actually very focused on awareness in motion, and alignment in stability. No music, no frills, just your mat and your reflection in the mirror – I know, mirrors are not standard yoga studio accessories, but in my view useful support rather than distraction elements.
After wrapping off the class with meditation, relaxation and positivity for the weekend, I rushed out for a well-deserved shower (available with complimentary Rituals toiletries, btw!) and hurried off to catch a walking tour of Helsinki. Wish I could’ve stayed longer in that nice warm yoga bubble 🙂 Certainly something to do next time I’m in town, along with a few other yoga studio visits I was recommended in the meantime.
Thanks for the warm welcome, Yoga Nordic Helsinki!
Namasté and see you again soon ♥