The old town, Gamla Stan, is one of Europe’s most stunning historic hubs, all storybook buildings, grand palaces and winding cobblestone streets. Just a few blocks from all this history is the uber-modern city centre, a maze of gleaming glass and skyscrapers.
Though it’s spread across 14 islands and connected by 57 bridges, it’s actually quite compact and totally walkable. So while each of its many neighborhoods has a distinct and charming personality all its own, you can easily spend a day strolling from one to another, sampling the inventive cuisine, wandering the unbeatable museums, hangings out in the pretty parks and taking in the trend-setting design. Stockholm is the epicenter for all things cool: everything here is the very latest thing…each restaurant a test kitchen, each sidewalk a catwalk and every store a showroom.
All that and it’s surrounded by pristine forests and a vast archipelago. There’s literally something for everyone…what’s not to love?
Stockholm is one of our favorite cities and one we know well; for this trip, we decided to slow down and try a couple new-to-us Swedish traditions. The first was a hot yoga class at the membership-only club duCalme studio. There’s no better way to warm your body and stretch your tight muscles, when the frigid Arctic air blows through Stockholm, than a hot yoga class!
duCalme’s environment combines contemporary design with classic materials— it’s the perfect mix of chic and calming to make a busy New Yorker feel totally chill.
We sat down with Catalina Palma one of the instructors at duClame, to learn more about the benefits of hot yoga and how duClame differentiates itself from other wellness studios:
P7: Tell us some of the benefits of your hot yoga?
CP: People say that they feel tremendous focus and determination after one of our classes. The heat helps to heal old injuries and prevent them in the future; it also known to reduce symptoms of conditions and illness including diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, depression.
P7: If you are new to the practice, what are some things you should think about before and after a session?
CP: It is important that you do not eat 2-3 hours before you come to duCalme and make sure you drink lots of water. During the session, your focus is to just stay in the room to get accustomed to the heat; breathe in and out through your nose. While the heat might get you a little dizzy at first, a sip of water and a moment’s pause from the practice will make you feel better. After class, eat a good meal and drink lots of water. Personally, I love to drink coconut water since it's full of minerals and electrolytes.
P7: What are three words that describes your Hot Yoga classes and why is it so good for you?
CP: Strength, focus and determination. I feel that resurrected, amplified, that the clutter around me clears and I get a higher level of energy after I complete one of our Hot Yoga classes.
After a morning session at duCalme, the next logical activity is to partake in a beloved Swedish tradition: Fika. Fika is the art of having coffee and pastry…all afternoon. It can be a verb “let’s fika today after work!” or a noun “Do you want to meet for a Fika today?”; it’s a lovely, community-minded institution in Sweden and one that makes the country so special.
Of course, I had to participate and met up with friends at the darling Karla Cafe on Karlavägen in the heart of Östermalm in Stockholm. This little coffee house makes you feel at home with a living room atmosphere, allowing you and your friends to relax with a coffee or glass of wine. While I’m not used to slowing down in the middle of the day for hours with a single cup of coffee, it was such a welcome break from my otherwise packed schedule!