This is the entrance to one of the yoga centres where I practised in Moscow. I loved this place because its shabby and rough interior. It was located in a basement at the end of a small side street and it smelt like dust and sweat. The ‘studio’ had smashed windows and steel rafters from which Anton would do one-armed press ups while we held the warrior pose. Punching bags were left over from its original usage – a Sambo studio. Sambo is a modern martial art formed in the Soviet Union. It stands for Self Defense Without a Weapon.
Russians only ever do things in extreme so most classes were over 2 hours long. I have been in classes that last over 3 hours and finishing after midnight. I slept so deeply after these sessions that it took me a few days to wake up again. At least I got my money’s worth every single time. The teacher would guage the energy and experience of the group so each class would be slightly different. It was rare for me to come away feeling dissatisfied.
This is the ‘babushka’ who sits in the office exchanging tokens for money, money for tokens, tokens for other tokends and yelling at people that don’t understand the token system. She chides you like a naughty school girl. They also never have any change.
One time this babushka let herself out mid yoga class, locking the teacher’s belongings in the office and locking all of us in the basement. We were there for over an hour, wondering if we’d ever leave Club Sambo until one strong guy (yes it’s not only girls who do yoga) found a spade to lever open the door.
Their website has timetables, prices and directions for all 4 locations around Moscow and also details for St.Petersburg. The site is also in English and they have some English speaking teachers.