I’ve been an on-and-off yoga fiend for much of my adult life – off when my work schedule gets overly hectic and on when things start to cool down. The irony is, the more stressed at work I am, the more I need yoga to get me balanced at the end of the day. So I’ve decided to give up all those excuses about how I don’t have enough time and dedicate myself to at least 3-5 classes per week.
I’ve long been a fan of Yoga na Foksal, but these days it’s just way too crowded. Luckily, there are more yoga studios cropping up – bigger, cleaner and more modern than the ones of the past. Astanga Yoga, which is a yogic legend in Warsaw, has moved from its tiny quarters on Żurawia tul. Gałczyńskiego 4 Warszawa Polando a spanking-new home on Gałczyńskiego – incidentally, just a few feet from Foksal. I’m always wary of starting off at a new place, but it’s friendly and fun, too. You ride up the elevator in a rather drab office building, but when you finally get upstairs, the place welcomes you with a reception-cum-cafe full of organic and vegan goodies. Equally welcome, Astanga touts roomy dressing rooms and separate bathrooms for men and women with two, not just one, stalls.
The surprising thing about this studio is probably the fact that the temperature is elevated and there’s an impression of stuffiness. Yet at my first lesson it was explained that this is the whole point of Astanga – to exert oneself in a warm room and to really get sweating. And sweat I did, this isn’t your grandma’s yoga – all the positions are done in routines that have you horizontal one second and lateral the next, with your heart pumping and your endorphins flowing.
I’m quite happy with the classes here at Astanga, but I’m making the rounds of several other studios in town to find my absolute perfect match. After all, if I’m going to be spending close to ten hours a week here, I’ve got to be happy. Especially at zł. 25 a pop – although an open pass for a month is a more reasonable zł. 235. For those who can’t commit, there are loads of in-between options that make Astanga all the more attractive. (AL)