A Canadian Yogi friend of mine asked me the other day what the German Yoga scene is like. It has been very interesting to experience essentially the same philosophy in a different cultural context.
I started out with a few Bikram classes in Berlin when we stayed there. And while I can see the appeal I prefer not knowing exactly how each class will be. Especially, when I am traveling I enjoyed getting to know the vibes of different studios and teachers. The opportunity to learn something new, open up my mind…
The town we live in now only has independent studios. What took some adapting is the fact that there are fewer classes, nothing on weekends, few on Fridays and extended holiday periods of two weeks at a time.
What is remarkable for me is recognizing how lifestyle and language influence how instructors teach. I guess it also plays a big role where teachers take their training. One of the teachers I go to lived in Boston for a while and I can definitely recognize ‚North America‘ in her way of teaching, certain phrases, how she structures some of her classes, etc.
When I think about ‚my‘ Vancouver yoga now, I realized that it reminds me of the ocean. It ebbs and flows. The language flows. And it just tends to be more flowery. I know I am simplifying here, however, this is something I miss.
We were listening to a podcast with Baron Baptiste recently, and all I could say was: That is it. That is West Coast Yoga. The language flows, so do the poses. Like the waves of the ocean, come and go.
So, what is yoga like in Germany… it still does all the things for me that I experienced in Canada. In some ways it is more down to earth here, less frilly, fewer accessories (i.e. less apparael, more comfy sweat pants), and also a varied audience (big, small, stretchy, very stiff, young and old).
I still miss my studio, whenever I came through the door there, I felt like I arrived. I still miss my teachers, their energy was always inspiring. But at least for now, I need to let go of what is out of my reach to be able to open up to something new….
Finding a new balance in this little valley where the beauty can be discovered on a slightly smaller scale…