After leaving my course in India my daily self practice sadly dropped significantly, from at least twice a day to only here and there. Backpacking around Europe – getting lost in countries where I can’t even say hello – makes for a chaotic schedule in which my yoga practice has been shuffled around to whenever time can be made. Fortunately, however, while staying at an Airbnb in Krakow, Poland I found an English speaking yoga studio and went for a much needed yin class.
The studio that I found – 5 Elements, is not downtown, but is accessible by public transport (directions linked below) and in my case was a 20 minute walk from my Airbnb.
5 Elements is my kind of yoga studio. Here are the reasons why practicing at 5 Elements was worth the wait.
- English – When traveling it’s not always easy to find an English speaking studio or class. The finding part is sometimes the most difficult. When I choose a studio in a new, foreign city, I choose it based on it’s website and whether the site is in both the native language and also in English. Obviously I can navigate the site much better if it’s in English as opposed to translating the entire site with google. An English website also implies that the class may be taught in English or some degree of English, a bonus for sure. 5 Elements had both an English website (well designed) and an entirely English taught class.
- Yogic Philosophy – After a thorough read through of the website which included class descriptions, Ayurveda, and a mentioning of yoga and the ego (my kind of philosophy,) I knew that it was a good fit for me, not simply a “workout” place.
- Atmospheric- I like a studio to have soft lighting (bonus points for candle lit studios,) Sanskrit and Hindi gods on the wall, pillows on comfy seats, and incense a-burnin’. 5 Elements ticked all of those boxes. There was even an incense burner located outside the main entrance of the studio – literally outside on the doorstep. It was a welcome, homey feel on a cold and rainy Wednesday night.
- However! – The studio itself was pretty small and had very blue tinged lighting (LED I think) which isn’t great to practice a night time yin class in in my opinion, but it didn’t take away from a good practice, I’m just making note.
- Props- If you’ve ever taken one of my studio classes at Kaizen, or maybe through reading other posts here, you probably noticed that I am a big supporter of props (pun intended.) During the yin class that I took at 5 Elements we used blocks, straps, and eye pillows – lovely! And necessary to find comfort in those long holds!
How to Visit 5 Elements
Directions: Like my Airbnb, 5 Elements is not actually in the center of Krakow, but is in a residential suburb. Luckily it was walk-able for me (doubly so since I wasn’t so sure on how to even use public transportation in Krakow) but you can follow this link to get directions.
Cost: Drop in classes are 35 Polish zloty, but for your first class there’s a special rate of 20 zloty (about $5.) 5 Elements offers an array of different packages that will suit any schedule. They can be found here, which also has the class schedule.
NOTE, Must Book Ahead: As mentioned, the studio practice space is small, which is great for an intimate class, but for this reason you must call ahead to book a spot. The phone numbers to call, both fore English, are listed in the link found directly above.