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‘Ice yoga’ in Swedish Lapland


New wellness program involves snow walking and ice sculpting
A reporter with British newspaper The Guardian tries out ‘ice yoga’ in Swedish Lapland – and the time-honoured ritual of sweating in the sauna then plunging into a frozen lake. “The contrast is electrifying,” she writes.
The frozen Baltic Sea in the far north, near the town of Skellefteå, is the setting for Arctic Winter Yoga Retreats, “a yoga retreat that delivers as many thrills as it does chills”.
Rebecca Björk, founder of Active North, organises the activities. The yoga is done on ice and snow but with a reindeer skin to sit on, in temperatures of -17C, surrounded by candles as the sunset deepens.
“It’s all about what’s around you,” says Björk. “This is not just about the yoga.”
The new wellness program also involves snow walking, ice sculpting and mindful meditation. The ice yoga is supposed to boost blood circulation and make participants more alert and energetic, but the reporter isn’t convinced. She is more absorbed by the incredible surroundings and physical sensations.
The ice plunge experience comes at the “anything but basic” Aurora Safari Camp near Luleå. The camp’s founder Fredrik Broman says: “The truth is, you will freeze a bit, and you should.”
The Guardian
Photo: Helena Wahlman/imagebank.sweden.se


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