5 Minutes With Harriet & Petri Linnankivi
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Founded in 2004, Yoga Nordic is a wellness company focused on Hot Yoga and Pilates. With locations in 4 cities including Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo and Turku, Yoga Nordic brand has grown to be the leading Yoga and Pilates studio chain in Finland. Behind the brand are Harriet and Petri Linnankivi. VEEN Scene met up with these yogis-turned-entrepreneurs downtown Helsinki, right before a Hot Yoga class – a concept brought to Finland by Harriet herself.

Tell us about the state of yoga in Finland? What is the past – present – and future of yoga in Finland?

Yoga has a long history in Finland, nearing 80 years already. The present is very good, we have a wide selection of gyms and studios offering high quality classes for all levels of students. I personally still believe in growth, there is absolutely still room for more teachers and also more studios.

Take us back in time and tell us when, how and why did you start Yoga Nordic?

These questions are huge, here I could easily write a book 🙂 I started my first location 13 years ago, after having been teaching at several gyms, spas and a yoga studio for a few years. I wanted to grow the community and make hot yoga more known in Finland.

What has been your biggest challenge as entrepreneurs in growing the Yoga Nordic brand?

Definitely HR. Recruiting and getting a fairly big crew to share my vision and mission. Working with people with sometimes strong personalities is a challenge.

What separates Nordic Yoga from ever-growing competition?

We only compete against the couch and TV, and that is of course an ongoing battle.

What is the single most defining issue/challenge facing the global yoga community today?

Well just now hot yoga, especially Bikram Yoga has suffered from its birth father’s Bikram Choudhury’s past behaviour. Netflix just came out with a documentary about him, and the whole community takes a hit in these rare occasions.

Your downtown Helsinki studio features a Yogi Shop – where was the best Yoga shop you have ever visited?

In Helsinki Kamppi, of course  😉

What about your favourite yoga retreat around the world?

This would be Costa Rica.

What are your thoughts on Ayurveda and its role and place in today’s fast-paced world?

Very important, yet still very unknown, compared to many other eastern medicines.

Why is Hot Yoga – Hot?

Because cold is almost never good for your body.

What in your opinion makes a good yoga teacher?

A dedicated and genuinely caring one.

What are the biggest misconceptions out there about yoga?

That you have to be flexible to start practice. You don’t!

What do you think is the most important thing one should learn from yoga teachings?

To listen to your body’s subtle signals, and give yourself some slack every now and then.

What would you say is go-to yoga style/class at the moment?

There are SOOO many to choose from, but I would have to say Hot Yoga is the go-to right now!

What’s next for Harriet, Petri and the Yoga Nordic brand?

We are planning to open one or two more locations, but the when and the where is still a secret!