What it is: Candlelight Flow is an evening yoga class at Yoga Sol lit almost exclusively by candles. The northeast Minneapolis studio is nearly pitch black in the winter, and Yoga Sol has black shades to create a similar atmosphere during the summer.
What’s new: The soothing music and soft lights make a traditional vinyasa yoga class even more relaxing. Instructors encourage students of all ability levels to move at their own pace and spend additional time stretching parts of their bodies that feel like they need more work. “It’s a fantastic way to unwind,” said Flor Frey, Yoga Sol’s co-owner and the class’ instructor.
Trial run: It was easy to see that Flor and her husband, Peter Frey, have created their own yoga community. Members of the class greeted one another and the owners with smiles and hugs as they settled onto their yoga mats. I purposely placed myself away from any lit candles to avoid burning down the charming little studio, but quickly realized all of the past week’s tension and stress were floating away as I followed Flor through the poses.
Who it’s for: People interested in starting or continuing their yoga practices in an intimate space. Relaxation and individualization are key, and you’ll probably get to know the people around you in class.
Who it’s not for: People so new to yoga that they need to watch instructors carefully to do the poses correctly. Because of the dim lighting, it could be difficult to see.
Do: Arrive early. The studio’s maximum capacity is 30 students, and sometimes classes reach their limit.
Don’t: Forget to make a donation. Yoga Sol is an exclusively pay-by-donation studio.
Cost: The suggested donation is $10, but people can pay as much as they are able for classes.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. I’ve done yoga on and off for the past few years, but usually get bored or frustrated by my own lack of flexibility. Candlelight Flow was challenging enough to keep me engaged, yet I felt comfortable modifying poses for my ability level. It was a total judgment-free zone. I came out feeling stronger and more peaceful than I had in weeks. (Yoga Sol, 21 NE. 5th St., Mpls. yoga-sol.com.)
Madison Bloomquist is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.