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5 Ways to Stretch Your Yoga Practice

Kali Ray, shown here teaching a class in Moscow last year, will be conducting a seminar at Prana Yoga in May.

Yoga continues to increase in popularity in Moscow — the Russian version of Yoga Journal lists 268 studios in the city — and the growing number means not only a wider variety of styles but also more special events to attract new clients. This spring, several studios are offering special classes or programs aimed at those who want to start learning, as well as events for more advanced students who want to take their practice to the next level. Start practicing now, and be ready for the free open-air classes in city parks this summer. From May 19 until Aug. 31, Yoga Journal is sponsoring classes with certified teachers in parks across the city. The schedule will be updated every day on a special site,

Types of Yoga

Hatha (Хатха): This style of yoga is what most people think of when they imagine yoga. According to Indian tradition, the Hindu god Shiva founded hatha yoga. Hatha classes are generally slow-paced and vary in the number and type of poses performed during the class. Most other types of yoga are derived from hatha.

Ashtanga (Аштанга): Classes in ashtanga yoga are generally faster-paced and involve performing a combination of positions while focusing on breathing. While there is some variation in poses performed in Ashtanga classes, they all follow a general order.

Bikram (Бикрам): Founded in the United States in the 1970s, a bikram yoga class always involves the same series of 26 postures performed in a room heated to 40 degrees Celsius with 40 percent humidity. Bikram classes are usually 90 minutes long.

Iyengar (Айенгар): This style of yoga, which emphasizes technique and the structural alignment of the body, was founded in India in the 1970s. Iyengar classes utilize a lot of props and positions are held longer than in other styles of yoga.

Prana Yoga, which has studios at Timiryazevskaya and Barrikadnaya, is hosting a three-day seminar with Kali Ray from May 1-3. Ray, who is based in California, teaches and practices TriYoga, which emphasizes posture, breath and focus. The seminar, which has registration options ranging from 5,500 rubles to 9,000 rubles for three full days of practice, will be taught in English with Russian translation.

9 Dmitrovskoye Shosse, Bldg. 2

Metro: Timiryazevskaya


Bikram Yoga Moscow, which offers classes on Ulitsa Pravda and Malaya Ordinka, is starting another session of its 30 Day Yoga Challenge in May. For a special subscription rate of 5,800 rubles, yoga students commit to attending 30 days of classes. No more than five absences are allowed, and skipping two classes in a row forfeits the subscription. Classes are taught in Russian, but nearly all the teachers at the studio speak English and will give special instructions to non-Russian speakers. While going into a Bikram studio, which is always heated to 40 degrees Celsius, feels pretty good in the middle of winter, it can get hot in Moscow in the summer, so make sure to dress appropriately.

24 Ulitsa Pravdy, Bldg. 2

Metro: Savyolovskaya


25 Ulitsa Malaya Ordinka

Metro: Tretyakovskaya


The B.K.S. Iyengar Studio is starting a new series of classes on April 27. The studio is offering a 50 percent discount on a series of four classes for newcomers. The classes are offered on Mondays at 8:15 p.m. or Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. New yoga lunch classes will take place on Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. and Thursday at 3:00 p.m.

7/6 Ulitsa Vozdvizhenka, Bldg. 1<

Metro: Alexandrovsky Sad


On May 23-26, Yoga Praktika will host a seminar by Abhijata Iyengar, the granddaughter of the founder of the Iyengar style of yoga, who will be visiting Moscow for the first time. The three-day event will take place at Sokolniki Park and involve yoga practice as well as lectures on the Iyengar method. The studio is offering a 50 percent discount on the seminar for those who register before April 30.

1 Ulitsa Sokolnichesky Val

YogaDom is offering an a special series of events from May 4-11 as part of its "alternative May holidays" program. As part of the program, the studio will have classes for women only, classes focusing on the abdominals and classes focused on twisting and flexibility. Each class is 700 rubles.

1/30 Petrovsky Pereulok


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