Even though it’s had some fans in the Western hemisphere since the 1960s, yoga has for a long time been more of a niche discipline. That is a thing of the past though – not only Indians, but millions of people from around the world practice yoga techniques on a regular basis these days. Whether you choose to practice it in order to relax or meditate, gain muscles and fitness, or, more recently, as a form of artistic expression, the different styles are as manifold as they are different. Much of what is labelled “yoga” nowadays are actually “asanas” as part of “Hatha yoga”, e.g. practices of physical exercise; whereas yoga, the original philosophy, is a broad field of (partly) ancient disciplines and practices aimed at improving physical and mental strength, willfulness, and self-discipline. Nonetheless, Hatha yoga is a great way to help you cope with everyday stress and unite body and soul. In Berlin, it often feels like there is a yoga studio on every corner. But now, during summer, it makes sense to move the discipline to the outdoors and to practice yoga under the open sky. Vishnudevanada, the one who brought the Indian philosophy to the West, already held many of his classes outside in the park. Berlin is a city of green, thus it offers numerous open air yoga sessions for you:
Take-off for the soul
Tempelhofer Feld, nestled between Kreuzberg, Neukölln, and Tempelhof, is an exceptional place right in the center of the German capital: a giant, abandoned airport; now a public park. Where once aeroplanes took off into the sky, you can let your soul fly: Yoga teachers Anya and Ronny offer Vinyasa Flow classes for the eighth summer here. Every Saturday at 11 am. Classes are held in English language, thus they are perfect for travellers and expats. Afterwards there’s always a casual get-together including vedic tea. Course fee is 10€, and please bring your own yoga mat. Find more information as well as the exact meeting point on their Facebook page.
Go with the flow
Herman Hesse’s “Siddhartha” listens to the river passing by and learns more or less everything there is to learn about life and being. We live in a world that is “in full flow”, thus the flowing river is a popular and fitting metaphor for our existence and the constant change surrounding us. So, is the Spree river not a perfect place to practice some asanas under the open sky? Sure, you could do yoga on the banks of the river. But what if we tell you there’s a chance to practice yoga right on the river? Every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 9 am there are Vinyasa and Flow courses on Badeschiff, Berlin’s one-and-only floating swimming pool. Go with the flow and start your day with some relaxing asanas. The fee is 13€ and includes pool admission for the day. Find out more online.
More water-themed Yoga? Haubentaucher, the stylish pool lounge at abandoned industrial complex RAW offers Open Sky Yoga every Wednesday and Sunday at 9 am. Enjoy the tranquility of this unique place two hours before everyone else enters and feel your strength awakening during some dynamic postures. Fee: 16€ including pool admission. Bring your own mat if you can, there are only so-and-so many of them on stock. Check their website for more.
A walk in the clouds
Practicing Hatha techniques – and many will agree to this – has the ability to lift you up. But before you start trying to levitate into the sky by meditating real hard, why not try a much easier way of practicing yoga close to the sky? The instructors of Berlin-based studio “Spirit Yoga” offer classes every Sunday at 9 am on the rooftop terrace of Hotel de Rome in the city centre. The course at 25€ an hour is altogether a rather fancy experience, but so is the setting (mats, towels and blankets included). More information: here.
…or rather in the park?
It’s almost a summer classic by now: Yoga classes in the park. Just like every borough in Berlin has its own park, every park has its yoga meetings and groups. No matter if it’s Ashtanga, Vinyasa, or even Acro-Yoga you are practicing, there’s a session for every style and practice. Participation is often tip-based, but this does not mean that they are no good: Most classes are taught by certified instructors and since they will have to earn your gratefulness they’ll put great effort into offering remarkable courses. Online Plattform Meetup has a great overview of many open-air yoga classes here. You can find anything from beginners’ trial courses to advanced jam sessions there. Check it out!
One last remark: All open-air yoga classes can only take place in good weather. Please check the official link in advance in order to find out whether a course will be held or not.
Picture: Datei: #112481231 | Urheber: Alextype – fotolia
is Berliner by choice and a passionate backpacker himself. As a receptionist he knows the real hostel life; as a blogger he's been writing for Industriepalast Hostel's Berlin blog since 2014.