Review: Yoga Tour in Stockholm
Writer Wailana Kalama tests out a new yoga tour in Stockholm
I recognized Mo as my yoga teacher instantly. Her pinkish tie-dye leggings and a large tubular bag of yoga mats were a dead giveaway.
Mo partners up with Dan Paech of Run with Me Stockholm for a Saturday morning tour of the old town and some yoga exercises on the waterfront. If you’re ever looking for a gorgeous view while you stretch through poses, Mo is the one to ask. Originally from Paris, she transferred her passion of health and well-being to Stockholm and now guides a unique tour of sightseeing and outdoor yoga on the weekends.
I met her at Gamla Stan station, armed with only walking shoes and clothes for stretching. We walked down Västerlånggatan around 9am; the shops were all closed, and tourists were just beginning to peek through the streets in search of souvenirs. Squeezing through the narrowest alleyway in Stockholm, Mårten Trotzigs gränd—we emerged at Stortorget, in time for a brief history lesson of the Stockholm Bloodbath of 1520. I’ve lived in this town for nearly a year, but it was only when Mo pointed it out did I notice the 16th-century cannonball in the side of one of the buildings.
Walking farther down the road, we noticed black rectangles jutting out from some of the residential roofs; they looked something like broken chimneys. These were parts of old pulleys, once attached to ropes when people had to lug up heavy items to the top floors. We walked to the Royal Palace, where stood a statue of Charles XIV John of Sweden. Originally Napoleon’s Marshal of France, Charles a.k.a. Jean Bernadotte was elected into his position and reigned for 26 years as a devoted and popular monarch.
We continued onto to Riddarholmen—“where people work but nobody lives”—and finally to the bank of the river where we laid out the mats. The weather was mostly in our favor: cloudy but not too cold or windy.
The yoga exercises lasted about an hour, a combination of Hatha and Vinyasa poses. As with most yoga sessions, the sun salutation kicked off the hour. Then there was chair pose, cobra pose, and dozens more I couldn’t name. There’s something special to be said about practicing yoga outside, right next to the water. I had attended yoga classes before, but they were all in a closed studio that was at times claustrophobic. Outside I could feel the sun peek out from behind the clouds, and the breeze kiss my feet.
As I struggled to balance in mountain pose (that’s the one where you balance on one leg with arms stretched above your head), I stared out over the water. The gentle waves of the bay were almost like a breath: in… out… in… out.
As we practiced, Mo’s voice was clear, steady and in control, guiding me through each post effortlessly. She had trained at an ashram in the Netherlands, in the middle of nowhere, under a strict yoga regime of early mornings and silent lunches. There was no hesitation in her directions, and she was mindful of difficulties: “if it hurts, ease up a little.” I found the poses challenging, but not too advanced—a careful balance between comfort and endurance.
After the hour was up, it was time for fika!: a snack of vegan cookies and fruit bars, and some delicious carrot ginger juice to revitalize the joints… a refreshing way to spend a Saturday morning.
Run With Me’s Yoga tour is bookable online, 50 euros per person. Saturdays at 9:30am, 1h45 duration. Meets at Gamla Stan T-Bana station. Our writer was invited on a complimentary basis but all opinions are hers.