Hi, I’m Bettina. What I'm working on : Forget to slouch. Relaxing is freedom. Choose life.

Articles tagged “staycation”

DIY Yoga Staycation in Treptow, Berlin, Germany

Treptow Yoga Retreat

Photos, from left: view of and from Badeschiff by del planeta imaginario, interior of the Krematorium Treptow by berlin.unlike.net

Only about two months left in 2011–what have you chosen to leave undone and what have you accomplished? And for the ambitious ones among us, what can you still do before we blow the candle out on 2011?

Now is the perfect time to slow down, unplug from the internet & gadgets for a weekend, and reconnect to your body and your goals. I’m a huge advocate of DIY-ing a yoga retreat weekend at home in the middle of Berlin. Treat yourself to a yoga workshop or a weekend series of classes at a local Berlin yoga studio and then relax, indulge, and get quiet in my favorite Treptow places :

♥ Swim or sweat

at Badeschiff–an outside pool on the River Spree by summer and an insulated sauna by winter

♥ Brunch

at Freischwimmer if you can get a seat on the floating platform on a sunny day

♥ Journal & meditate

at the crematorium–yes, the Krematorium Treptow. Designed by Axel Schultes and Charlotte Frank who designed the Kanzleramt on the other side of Berlin, the crematorium opened in 1999. The architecture is modern, simple, and open.

In medieval India groups of ascetic practioners of yoga hung out at cremation grounds, smeared themselves in ashes, grew their hair long, and basically lived on the margins of society. I’m not advocating this lifestyle, but the idea is food for thought : how you live your life depends on your relationship with death.

Think of what you’d like to look back at on your deathbed. Write that down in your journal and keep it somewhere where you can see it every day. No regrets; give life a whirl.

♥ Paddle in nature

on the Spree at Insel der Jugend

If you’ve been to the Treptow neighborhood of Berlin or live here, have you any other recommendations for me? What else would you need to make an urban setting a yoga retreat? Tell me in the comments section!



Urban Yoga Retreat: How to have a yoga retreat vacation at home

Traveling is wonderful. Abandoning daily routines, experimenting with new foods, speaking another language, turning strangers into friends–traveling makes the simplest thing different and exciting. But traveling can also be stressful: getting to and from the airport, the downtime during the physical travel itself,  visa paperwork and customs. The stress of being on time and the boredom of waiting in line are total opposites to what I’d want in a yoga weekend or yoga retreat. On top of that, the money spent…so why not just plan a retreat / vacation at home?

To replicate the yoga retreat experience at home, register for a special yoga workshop or a weekend workshop at your home yoga studio and then plan for the little luxuries that would make your apartment feel like a yoga retreat vacation.

My guiding words for resting and recharging at home would be calm & serene, self-love, and connection with nature, so those are my criteria for my yoga retreat at home.


♥ Make Time for Yourself

Clear your calendar for the day(s). I recommend 2 if not 3 days. You can meet up with friends if you’d like but don’t schedule anything that you wouldn’t schedule during a vacation. That is, yoga class and massages are ok; doing your taxes, not ok.

♥ Consider a Digital Sabbatical

Turn off your phone and check your email only once a day–or not at all. If you dare, don’t go online at all. Being offline is one of the best things about a vacation, so why not tell everyone that you will not be reachable via email or phone for 48 or 72 hours?

If you’re worried about getting bored, make sure you have a stack of books ready.

♥ Refresh your Environment

Either stay in a hotel or get your apt professionally cleaned to get the hotel experience. Change your bed linens and buy some flowers in a vase to give your home that hotel feeling. Light a new scented candle and buy a special bath product for your bath.

♥ Tune In Internally

Get in touch with yourself through writing. Buy yourself a notebook if you don’t already have one. Try to write three pages as soon as you wake up to get everything out of your head. If you don’t know where to start, try listing 100 reasons you’re grateful every day.

If you want to connect deeply with yourself, try observing silence for one day. Observing silence is exactly what it sounds like: not talking to anyone! Some people will allow themselves to speak when necessary or to write things down to communicate when necessary. You can wear a little sign to let people know that you are observing silence for the day. Decide on your boundary and stick to it! This will deepen your awareness internally when you are not focused on interacting with other people.

♥ Nourish your soul

Hide the foods in your kitchen that you want to avoid during your urban yoga retreat. Put chips, cookies, beer, perhaps even coffee in a cabinet. Lock it if you want to make it harder for yourself to access the forbidden goodies. To take it one step further, get rid of them entirely by donating them.

If you like to cook, stock your kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables in season.

Otherwise, get some new herbal teas, some fruits, and some lemons for your water, and order delivery or eat out at organic vegan restaurants. Even if you’re not usually vegan, it will do your body good to cut out dairy and meat for two to three days.

♥ Move your body

Take a yoga workshop to delve into a subject you’ve always been curious about. Walk in nature. Swim in a lake.


I would love to hear your tips for recreating a yoga retreat experience at home, so please share your ideas in the comments below.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be posting my ideas for recreating a yoga retreat experience in different neighborhoods in Berlin, so stay tuned!