I finally made it. I finally got my butt to yoga since moving here. It only took me a little over three months. It's true that I am slightly ashamed. Okay, more than slightly. ~_~
The yoga studio of choice was recommended to me by a friend because of its English-speaking teachers. Apparently there was a studio owned by Americans but it closed about a month before I arrived (total bollocks! If I had arrived just shortly before they wouldn't have had to close their doors, I swear it!). Anyway, this place is located a swift 8 or so minute walk from my apartment, so I was definitely more than willing to give it a try. And so try I did.
Naturally pictures would have been the most awkward thing in the world to do while taking a class, or even before/after a class, so you'll just have to imagine along with me. Apologies but...there are just some places too sacred for taking pictures. Yoga studios are one of those places. It feels like sacrilege. Totally fine with taking pics in art museums (where I swiftly get yelled at), or in churches/cathedrals (also get yelled at, or at the very least pointed to a sign)...but yoga studios are a no-no for me. Take it for what it is.
Anyway, this yoga studio was very inconspicuously placed in an apartment building that is undergoing outside renovations, which made it extremely difficult to find. Luckily, like a dupe, I was carrying my yoga mat with me, so a Finnish woman from the same class took pity on me and showed me the way when I was confusingly looking over the facade of the building with a stupid puzzled look on my face. Boom, found my way in.
Introductory class price (i.e. walk-in price) is 15euros. Not horrific, considering all equipment is included (which I didn't know otherwise I wouldn't have carried my mat all the way there) and the classes are an hour and a half.
Since it was my first time there I decided to take a Level 1 class to ease myself back into yoga. It's been 3+ months and despite the fact that I've been stretching every time I go to the gym, I can feel myself losing some of my awesome muscle and other special talents. But what I've lost in muscle I've gained back in unbelievable flexibility. Guess if there's nothing blocking the way my body just bends in whatever direction I tell it to. Awesome.
Anyway, back to the class. Definitely in English. Slow, steady English. Kind of hilariously over-explained English, actually. At one point the instructor actually pulled out a human skeleton and explained what part of the back we were stretching in order not to hurt ourselves. A bit too specific for my taste, especially considering I was going to recenter myself and hopefully get a work out. Recenter myself, yes, work out, no.
Unless you consider adult gymboree class a work out. Some might.
During the class we got use these things call pelvic swings. We attached straps to the walls and actually hung upside down from our hips. Incredible. Really good for beginners who need to know what inversions feel like, but otherwise just the lazy man's inversion. I could lay in that sloth-like position for hours (probably not a good thing). Absolutely hilarious though.
Anyway, that's one off the bucket list for Helsinki. I think I need to find a studio that is a bit more hardcore and a little less gentle. It was a wonderful reintroduction, but at this rate I'm never going to regain my flexibility and strength.
So, thank you, Studio Prana, but I think I'll leave the pelvic swing to the others.