Meet our Hatha Yoga Substitute

Christina Karafyllidi

Some years ago I met Christina Karafyllidi: a dynamic, eager, fun, fresh yoga teacher. She impressed me with her honesty, thoroughness and wish to learn. She soon became my official substitute. But who is Christina and what is her background? Here is a small interview to get to know her better.

So Christina, let us get straight to it.  What can you tell us about  your yoga background?

Making these sorts of introductions always feels a little forced and rather terrifying, I’m sure you know what I mean! On the other hand, it’s important to me that you know who I am. I was introduced to yoga as a college student in Greece. I started my yoga Journey in 2015 by practicing Vinyasa and Acro-Yoga. Over the years, I also enjoyed Asthanga and Nidra Yoga and in 2020 I completed my Yoga Teacher Training of 200hr (RYA) at Aadi Yoga School in Risikesh, India.

It was clear to me that I wanted to learn more through becoming an apprentice, and so I approached you, Pinelopi, and got to know Hatha Yoga.  I, also started teaching private classes and group classes in parks.

In September 2021, I started teaching at English Yoga Berlin as a “cover” teacher for you. You are probably the most inspiring, supporting and authentic person for me.  I am so grateful to your trust in giving me this opportunity to take care of your students when you are not able to teach.

Have you also studied something else other than yoga?

Yes I studied how to be a pre-school teacher in Greece. At the moment, I am doing a masters in Art Therapy and in the future I intend to link art therapy and yoga. Both of these require kinaesthetics, focus and paying attention to the present moment.

So what are your hobbies… besides yoga?

I consider myself a real book worm. I am also a music fanatic of many styles and a huge fan of Nature & Bouldering. ………. and a bedroom/kitchen/train station kind of “dancer.”

What are the things you care about the most when teaching yoga?

What I care about the most is Ahimsa: nonviolence. The purpose of Ahimsa is to meet the student and yourself exactly where one is in this very moment. Regardless of one´s individual challenges and aspirations, Ahimsa empowers you to move forward, one step at a time, one day at a time, one breath at a time, towards a greater experience of health, happiness and wholeness.

I, also, care greatly about creating community well-being and inclusivity in my classes. It is important for me to create a safe, welcoming space for all bodies, ages, abilities, genders, and shapes. I encourage people to listen to their own bodies and to trust their own process. Everyone has a different kind of connection to their body, so I encourage students to stay away from comparisons and ground themselves in their present moment.

What would you say is your biggest wish through yoga?

My wish is for us to rediscover the wisdom and power of our bodies, develop a tender relationship to our thoughts and emotions, and live in ways that nourish us, each other, and the planet.

What would you say is a yogic illusion?

The non-slip yoga mat! It is a mythical creature and it is proving to be a futile quest!

What are your personal struggles in yoga asanas?

I still feel uncomfortable with some arm balances and a bit scared of some inversions.

What do you not like in the modern way that yoga is presented?

I do not like when people consider yoga just a work out and focus only on its physical aspect. When people do that, they go against the true meaning of yoga which is about uniting the mind, body, and nature.

Thank you Christina Karafyllidi! We are so happy to have you on board!

Pinelopi has been a Hatha Yoga teacher since 2008. Her yoga Kreuzberg Berlin classes are open for and welcoming to beginners. She offers Berlin business yogaprivate yoga classes for people struggling with chronic pain, yoga courses, retreats and workshops.  She completed Leslie  Kaminoff’s Yoga Anatomy course and is training to become an Alexander Technique teacher.

2022 Hatha Yoga Changes

As 2021 approaches its end, we would like to thank you for your commitment, your presence and your part in our little yoga community. Each one of you brings their own special light and care to our classes and this is felt by all. Thank you!

Despite the challenging year, we have held together as a studio. We are proud of us. And, in considering our community’s changing needs, we are bringing some Hatha Yoga changes to our old schedule and pricing model starting from January 2022.

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

Tuesday becomes Alexander Technique day.

Due to the increased interest in people receiving Alexander Technique lessons, Tuesday afternoons will be dedicated to giving five Alexander Technique private lessons each week.

Hatha yoga day is Thursday.

On Thursdays we will continue to have a 6pm hybrid class and an 8pm in person class (computer-free).

  • Hatha yoga will follow the 2G plus model from January.  This means that people attending the studio must be vaccinated or recovered against COVID-19 plus show a 24 hour negative test. 

Hatha yoga will now be offered in 6-week modules.

Over the years, we have noticed how people need to take small breaks from the weekly continuity of yoga. In this new format, students get to commit for six weeks and then renew their commitment consciously after a small pause.

  • Instead of monthly subscriptions, we will be moving to a six-classes package format. 
  • After the six weeks of yoga, there will be a two week break, before the next six classes package begins again. 
  • These pauses will also allow for other exciting things to be offered, such as yoga retreats and workshops!

You can repeat any of the six yoga classes online.

All six hybrid classes will be recorded. Each recording will be available for 8 weeks (the 6 weeks of class + the 2 weeks of pause) This way, you can repeat your favorite class any time during the six active yoga weeks or the two weeks pause in between yoga packages. In the case that you need to miss a class, you can also easily recuperate it online by clicking on the link of the class you missed. 

  • When the next course begins these recordings are no longer available, and the new ones become available instead.

Bye bye 5er cards

To create clear and easy accounting for all, as of January there will be no more 5er cards. We will now only have 6 week modules and drop in classes. 

Q&A: What about the online students?

No problem! You can continue to attend online if this is your preference. The six week package online costs 40 Euro. An online drop-in costs 10 Euro. You too will have access to all six class recordings for the same amount of time as the studio students.

How do I secure my spot?

Our first 6-week course will run from January 6th – 10th of February, 2022. Our second 6-week course will run from March 3rd – April 7th, 2022. If you wish to book a six week package, simply write me an email letting me know which class you want to book at:

pinelopi (at) englishyogaberlin (dot) com

We hope these Hatha Yoga changes will be beneficial to all.Thank you all for being such an important part of our work and our studio…

Pinelopi


www.englishyogaberlin.com
https://www.facebook.com/englishyogaberlin

Sunday Yoga Class for Queers* and Friends goes back to the studio

Graphic illustration of queer yoga teacher Juli in purple leggings and pink tank top, standing in warrior II pose with a fist on the hip and the other hand making a mudra.

The Sunday queer yoga class at English Yoga Berlin has been running online steadily since the very beginning of the pandemic. It feels about time to try out going back to our lovely Kreuzberg yoga studio. But in order to be accessible to those who cannot attend in person, the class will also be streamed online. So, as of September, the class will go back to its original timeslot of 4pm as a hybrid yoga experience. The Zoom code for those who have it will remain the same.

Since we are still in the middle of the pandemic, the classes will be limited to 6 in-person participants in order to comply with the health regulations of Berlin. Those who register for the monthly BEFORE the beginning of the month will be reserved a spot. The remaining spots will be available by booking in advance through email.

Here are the updated regulations that we need to follow. I would like to take extra precaution for those at-risk and not contribute to the spread. So please take a moment to read the following guidelines so that we are all ready for the return of the Queer Yoga class at the studio.

** Update May 2022 **
The Berlin Corona Ampel has now dropped back down to yellow, so classes are returning to the Studio for the Hybrid experience. Class sizes will return to our pre-pandemic limit of 10 persons per class. Spots are prioritized for monthly students, and then open up for drop-ins as per first come, first serve basis. The measures have been lifted, but I will still request that everyone wears an FFP2 mask when not on their own mats, and to please arrive at the studio with a negative test (self-test at home is fine, please just take a picture of it). I will try to keep a few tests on hand, for those who forget, and will ask for the cost of the test in return.

Register for class:

Due to the limited amount of participants, you must register for class.

Since space at the studio is limited, and we’d like to keep a safer space for queer-identifed people, if you are not part of the queer community, please make space for queer folks by attending online or consider joining one of Pinelopi‘s classes instead.

For monthly students: Before the beginning of the month, send me an email letting me know if you will regularly attend in person or online. If you are attending in person regularly and cannot attend one class, please let me know in advance. Thanks!

For drop ins: To register for a class, use the online reservation system and then send your payment to me through paypal or bank account. A refund is only possible if you cancel 24 hours in advance.

For 5er cards: To register for a class, use the online reservation system and sign your own 5er card. A refund is only possible if you cancel 24 hours in advance.

If you have made a payment or have reserved using your 5er card, and don’t feel well or have tested positive, please DO NOT come to class in person. Please de-register yourself from the class using the reservation system. If you can still attend online, you are of course welcome to. But if you cannot, please write to me to arrange for attending the class another time.

If you have paid for the class before registering and the class has then become full, there is no reimbursement or rescheduling possible for those who did not read the guidelines through.

For those attending online: There is no need to register. Simply send your payment and join with the Zoom link!

Vaccination AND Negative test (2G+):

The Berlin regulations require that you show a proof of vaccination AND a same-day negative test in order to attend a class. You can use the various test centers in Berlin for free.

In the case that I have a positive test, but feel well enough, the class will be held online.

The use of FFP2 masks:

It is required to wear FFP2 masks at the studio in all spaces except when you are properly situated at your own mat. You need to continue to wear the mask when you enter and exit the studio, when you walk around the space, and when you get up to go to the toilet.

When everyone is situated at their mats, you can take your mask off and practice yoga without it.

If you need to go to the toilet during the class, you need to put your mask back on as you pass the other students.

Wash your hands as you enter the space:

As you enter the studio, please use the bathroom on the left to wash your hands thoroughly before showing me your negative test for verification.

Bring your yoga mats:

Please bring your own yoga mat to class. If, for some reason you forget, you will be allowed to use ours but you need to disinfect it before use and after use. The Health Ministry highly discourages the common use of yoga mats.

Hands-on contact/guidance:

Hands-on contact is only permitted when both parties are wearing a mask. If you would like hands-on guidance, please indicate so by putting on your mask, and I will put mine on and disinfect my hands before coming over.

Airing the space:

When possible yoga class will happen with the windows open. When the weather gets chillier, I will air the room out every 20 minutes for 3-5 minutes. In order to reduce contamination, please do not touch the window handles yourself. Every time you feel the need for more air, please let me know and I will open the windows for you.

Keeping a list of contacts:

We are required to keep a list of contacts for 4 weeks after each class. The list must contain every person’s full name, address, and phone number. When you register, you can either include that info in the reservation system (which is only privately access by English Yoga Berlin), or send me your full contact info (name, address, phone number), so that I can maintain the list. I will also provide a QR code that you can scan if you wish.

I am so excited to see you live again!


Juli offers Svastha Yogatherapy Vinyasa Flow yoga inspired classes at English Yoga Berlin. This queer yoga class is also open to friends and allies. Our yoga Kreuzberg Berlin classes are open for and welcome to beginners, as well as people struggling with chronic pain. Juli also offers private yoga classes one on one.

Hatha Yoga Classes Return to the Studio

I am happy to announce that Hatha Yoga will return to our Kreuzberg studio from the 10th of August, 2021 for live classes. Additionally, the Thursday 6pm class will become a hybrid live/online class again. This means I will be teaching live at the studio, while streaming it on zoom for participants who can not attend live.

Since the pandemic is still ongoing, the classes will be limited to six people in order to comply with the health regulations of Berlin. If you wish to secure your regular monthly space, please write to me and let me know which class you wish to attend.

Here are the updated regulations that we need to follow. Please take a moment to read them so that we are all ready for the return of the Hatha Yoga classes to the studio.

Register for class:

Due to the limited amount of participants, you must register for class.

For monthly students: Please inscribe to a specific class and let me know about it. Please come only to this class. If you miss a class you can recuperate on Thursday 6pm online.

For drop ins: to register for a class you need to send an email and pre-pay for it through paypal or bank account. A refund is only possible if you cancel 24 hours in advance.

For 5er cards: to register for a class you need to send an email specifying the class and sign your own 5er card. A refund is only possible if you cancel 24 hours in advance.

Proof of vaccination AND show of a negative test

The Berlin regulations require that you show a proof of vaccination AND a 24 hour negative test in order to attend a class. It is required to be an official test from one of the various test centers in Berlin.

The use of medical masks

There will be a partial use of medical masks at the studio. You need to wear your medical mask, when you come in and out of the studio, when you go to the bathroom, and as you walk to your mat.

When everyone is situated at their mats, you can take your mask off and practice yoga without a mask.

If you need to go to the bathroom during the class, you need to put your mask back on as you pass the other students.

Wash your hands as you enter the space.

As you enter the studio, please use the bathroom on the left to wash your hands thoroughly before filling out the obligatory list of contacts at the table.

Yoga mats

Please bring your own yoga mat to class. If, for some reason you forget, you will be allowed to use ours but you need to disinfect it before use and after use. The Health Ministry highly discourages the common use of yoga mats.

Hands-on corrections

Hands-on corrections can happen only if both student and teacher are wearing a mask.

Airing the space

When possible yoga class will happen with the windows open. When the weather gets chillier, I will air every 20 minutes for 3-5 minutes. In order to reduce contamination, please do not touch the window handles and air yourself. Every time you feel the need for more air, please let me know and I will open the windows for you.

Keeping a list of contacts

We are required to keep a list of contacts for 4 weeks after each class. The list must contain every person’s full name, address, and phone number.

I am so excited to see all of you live again!

Pinelopi

Benefits of Yoga Online

Laptop on a red yoga mat, with small dog and human looking on. The human's left arm and right leg are extended. The left knee is bent.
Yoga Online with Furry Friend

If we’ve learned one thing from the past year and a half, it’s that it’s possible to work from home. Long daily commutes became a thing of the past. Will we go back to that or listen to the communities of people fighting for accessible working conditions? The world does not stop because people work from the comforts of their homes. Right from the beginning of the pandemic I started giving my yoga classes online. As I got used to it, it became habit and I almost forgot what it was like to teach a yoga class in person. Now that measures are loosening, we have the opportunity to go back to the studio. And with the warmer weather, we can teach outside. But this is not always the preference of the people who attend my classes. So what are the benefits of yoga online?

Benefits of Yoga Online

You can join from anywhere

Throughout the pandemic, a number of international students have joined my classes. They’ve joined from Glasgow, Miami, Toronto, San Francisco, Barcelona, Vienna and Amsterdam. The class time (Sundays at 18h CEST) is quite conducive to people’s schedules who join from these various cities. Most of these international participants are people who’ve previously attended my classes in person, but some are new!

From the comfort of your own home

There’s always the option to turn one’s camera off during an online yoga session. If a participant feels self-conscious, or simply wants privacy while they practice yoga, with a click of a button they can achieve it. No more worries about interrupting a class, because you have to go to the bathroom or need a glass of water. Bodily noises such as stomach gurgles or farts are also hidden behind the mute button. If someone needs to take their time with a pose, or needs specific props, or would prefer to use a chair that day, those items are more easily within reach. Your favourite furry friend can also join you!

Eliminating the commute

If a participant is already at home, there’s no need to go anywhere to join a class. All one has to do is turn on the computer and sign in to the session. The time taken commuting to the studio is eliminated. If the weather is bad, there’s no need for it to cause a lack of motivation. There are therefore less obstacles in the way to joining the class.

Reducing spread

Of course, during the height of the pandemic, we were obliged to practice yoga online. The studios were closed. But now that we have the opportunity to go back to the studio, we can still choose to practice online in order to reduce the spread of the virus. Practicing yoga with masks on causes too much restriction for breathing exercises. And opening windows regularly cools down the room too much during cold winter months. Nothing reduces the spread as much as eliminating contact. This is something we can be sure about. For participants with compromised immune systems or pandemic-related anxiety, it makes it safer to practice yoga.

There are many things lost in online yoga classes – in-person connection to community, better visibility of the yoga teacher and participants, lack of connectivity problems, etc. But there are also many benefits of yoga online that are not achievable in-person. And we still have many people in our community who are not yet fully vaccinated. For now, the Sunday yoga queers & friends commnunity yoga class will continue online.

Juli offers Svastha Yogatherapy Vinyasa Flow yoga inspired classes at English Yoga Berlin. This queer and trans community yoga class is also open to friends and allies. Our yoga Kreuzberg Berlin classes are open for and welcome to beginners, as well as people struggling with chronic pain. Juli also offers private yoga classes one on one.

How to set up an Ergonomic Home Office – a two part Workshop

This two-part online workshop will focus on how to set up an ergonomic office in your own home so to minimize pain created from long hours of working on the computer.

Are you interested in booking the workshop for your business or request another one for the general public? Get in touch and let me know!

At the beginnings of the lock down it felt ok to not think about setting up a proper ergonomic office space in our home. After all, in a month or two we would be working from our office chair again, in a quiet environment without that many distractions…. or so we thought… But now that the lock down has gone on for nearly a year, it is past time to shift our way of thinking and to invest some time and effort into looking at what our computer working habits are and how can we create a better working space for ourselves.

how to set up an ergonomi home office

In this two part workshop we will look into all aspects of how to set up an ergonomic home office that provides good health while still getting your work done. We will look into the basics of posture, as well as back, wrist and eye care. We will also look into the proportion of working while sitting, standing and walking; and the quality and frequency of your breaks. Furthermore, we will look into the infrastructure used, such as the height of the table, chair, monitor; type of keyboard and mouse. The suggestions to better your office infrastructure will include a diverse range from DIY ideas or cheap props as well as introducing you to what is available on the market. The workshop will be given on ZOOM and will include both mindfulness and practical exercises, as well as a short stretching session.

When:

February 27th, 17.30 – 18.40 CET – PART ONE: posture, infrastructure, quality of breaks

February 28th, 17.30 – 18.40 CET- PART TWO: wrist care, eye care, general environment, questions

Where:

After signing up to the workshop, you will receive a link to access the ZOOM meeting.

Who:

This workshop is opened to the general public. You do not need to have any yoga or mindfulness experience to participate. You also do not need to have any fancy office equipment. It is designed to help you create a better working situation starting from exactly where you are. The workshop will be limited to 20 participants.

Prices:

24 Euro for the two part workshop (25 euro if paying by paypal).

About the teacher:

Pinelopi co-founder of English Yoga Berlin

Beginning her yoga journey in 1999, Pinelopi completed a 600 hour Hatha Yoga Teacher and Vedantic Philosophy Training course over a period of two years in Valencia, Spain.  For the last decade, she has worked as a full-time yoga teacher in Spain and in 2010 she founded English Yoga Berlin. Currently she is deepening her knowledge through Leslie Kaminoff’s Yoga Anatomy Course,  David Moore’s “Injury-free yoga” applying the Alexander Technique postural alignment to all yoga poses and is studying with Jorg Asshof to become an Alexander Technique teacher.  Her workshops and retreats are inspired by Tara Brach‘s teachings.

How to sign up:

To sign up please write an email to express your interest. You will receive an answer with payment details. Please transfer the money through bank or paypal within the next two days. Your registration will be complete and your spot will be saved when the money has been received.

pinelopi (at) englishyogaberlin (dot) com

Cancellation policy:. The workshop is refundable unless cancellation occurs later than February 20th, 2021 after which 50% refund.  No refund is possible after February 26th,2021. Register early before the spots fill up!

Hatha Yoga Retreat on “Conscious Intention”

***Due to the extended corona lockdown regulations this retreat has been cancelled.***

Pinelopi is organising a three day long weekend yoga retreat near Berlin on:

Conscious Intention

We warmly invite you to intentionally spend three days together in presence and mindfulness!

Why am I reading this book? … meeting with this friend?…  meditating?…  going to work? How often do we stop to become aware of the intention behind the things we are doing, and how often do we simply do them because they are automatic, a habit, the “right thing to do” and we no longer question them?   Living with intention firstly transforms the way one lives and one loves, and, as a result, the way one interacts with the world.  Since intention is one of the three pillars of mindfulness, setting intentions, therefore, becomes essential to living consciously.  In this yoga retreat near Berlin we will explore the power of intention and ways to bring it into our yoga practice.

Yoga Retreat "Conscious Intention" Berlin

What is the intention behind my wish?

When: 

Thursday May 13th, 2020; 15.00 (Berlin public holiday)

to Sunday May 16th, 2020; 14.00

Where:

Rosenwaldhof  – This Yoga retreat on “Conscious Intention” will take place in a beautiful place in Brandenburg, 1.5 hours South-east of Berlin, on the river Havel, surrounded by nature.

What is included:

  • Presentations, discussions and exercises about “Conscious Intention”
  • Guided Meditations
  • Tratak (candle gazing)
  • Five yoga sessions
  • Nature Walks
  • Star gazing and bonfire
  • Gratitude practices
  • Mantra chanting
  • Delicious vegetarian/ vegan meals, tea, coffee and fruit

Prices:

Pinelopi´s instruction on all of the above

  •  190 Euro

Plus Rosenwaldhof lodging and food according to your preference:

  • Shared double room with shared bathroom: 189 Euro
  • Shared double room with private bathroom: 204 Euro
  • Single room with shared bathroom: 204 Euro
  • Single room with private bathroom: 234 Euro

Please note that payments to Pinelopi and Rosenwaldhof will happen separately.

Who:

  • Up to 15 yoga students

Early registration discount:  15 € discount if you register for the yoga retreat before February 28th, 2021. To reserve your space, please send an email and deposit 50 Euro by bank transfer or paypal.

*The deposit is fully refundable if the Corona lock down continues. It is, also, fully refundable if a cancellation occurs before April 1st, 2021, and 50% refundable if cancellation occurs before April 25th, 2021. After which no refund is possible. The deposit is fully refundable if the Corona lock down continues.

Since space is limited, register early before the spots fill up!

For more details, please write to:

pinelopi (at) englishyogaberlin (dot) com

About the author:

Read more about Pinelopi here.

Injury-Conscious Yoga in the Zoom Age

What is injury-conscious yoga?

Yoga at your workplace for postural issues

You may have seen this term, injury-conscious yoga, in some of the content here on our pages. We are referring to one of the aspects of yoga (the Yamas) called ‘Ahimsa’ – the attention to do no harm as we connect with ourselves and others. Yoga is more than simply a practice of movemement and postures. It is primarily a practice of a system that brings balance to one’s whole integrated being (mentally, physically and spiritually) and how that being interacts with others. The practice of not-harming others also allows us to be conscious of not harming ourselves. Through breath awareness, we learn to recognize where our limits are. And to only push them when we’re ready for expansion or to reduce them if they’ve gone too far.

At English Yoga Berlin, we lead a practice that encourages internal inquiry as we move through physical postures. We demonstrate these poses with a variety of options, so that each participant can find their own safety level. Over the past couple of years, both Pinelopi and I (Juli) have continued to advance our yoga teacher training in different directions. Pinelopi has been studying the Alexander Technique and Juli has completed advanced teacher training in Svastha Yoga Therapy. Both of these practices deepen our understanding of corporeal alignment and mental balance. This is just some of what we mean when we refer to injury-conscious yoga.

Yoga in the Zoom age

When we lead our classes in person, we are also able to see what each participant is doing and can offer adjustments either verbally or with a light guiding touch. At our Kreuzberg Berlin yoga studio, we provide consent cards that can be placed at the front of your mat. This lets us know what kind of touch you’re comfortable with. We can also take cues from the energy level in the room to gauge how the whole group is doing. We can adjust the rest of the class if we see that participants are either getting tired or losing focus. This adds another layer to our injury-conscious yoga practice.

Since moving our classes online due to the pandemic, we’ve had to adjust our approach to accommodate this new format. Obviously, the consent cards are no longer relevant. Participants can choose whether to show their video or not. Since our classes involve moving from standing to sitting to laying down, the participants’ video frame may not always show their whole body. And reading the energy level of the room is just not possible, as everyone is in a different room, and the distractions of each room may be different.

So, as yoga teachers offering injury-conscious yoga, we needed to learn new strategies. Each of us took cues from our new training to develop ways of transitioning through poses that encourage participants to explore their own bodies and comfort levels in a pose. And despite taking on different trainings, we are delighted to discover that the movements look the same. Even though we have different approaches and styles, our practices do not contradict each other’s! We are happy to continue to develop our offerings of injury-conscious yoga in our live online yoga classes.


At English Yoga Berlin, we offer Hatha Yoga classes with Pinelopi and Vinyasa yoga with Juli. Our yoga Kreuzberg Berlin classes are open for and welcome to beginners, as well as people struggling with chronic pain. We also offer Berlin business yoga, and private yoga classes, as well as queer and trans prioritized community classes.

Holiday Yoga Gift Cards

……………………………………………….

“When there’s snow on the ground, I like to pretend I’m walking on clouds.”

-Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata (Animal Crossing: Wild World, 2005)

As the days grow colder and shorter, and the pandemic lockdowns continue, yoga is a great way to keep yourself active and take care of your mental health. At English Yoga Berlin, we are continuing our classes online through the cold winter months and the hard lockdown that has just now been implemented in Berlin. The benefit of having live yoga classes online is that they are available for anyone around the world! Check out our schedule for a suitable time. Please note that we will be closed for one week during the Christmas holidays.

Give the Gift of Yoga

At a loss for a festive gift? Do you know someone close to you who would like to try yoga? Our gift cards can also be used for our online yoga classes. You can order a yoga gift card here. Each card is individually printed and sent by post if you wish, or can be sent by email.

New Year, New World?

As the year comes to a close, we can probably all agree that 2020 was a challenging one for all of us around the globe. In some ways it brought us closer together, with this shared experience of a common enemy, the coronavirus. But it also divided us – revealing the glaring rift between rich and poor, those with access to health care, and those without. With a clear emphasis that climate change was the main cause, let’s hope this will wake up our world leaders to bring us the change we need to see for our future generations! Let’s work for a better world together in 2021!

Happy holidays and happy new year to all!


At English Yoga Berlin, we offer Hatha Yoga classes with Pinelopi and Vinyasa yoga with Juli. Our yoga Kreuzberg Berlin classes are open for and welcome to beginners, as well as people struggling with chronic pain. We also offer Berlin business yoga, and private yoga classes, as well as queer and trans prioritized community classes.

RAIN Meditation on TV Addiction – Part 2

A personal story – The RAIN meditation on wanting

In Part 1 of this blog I introduced Tara Brach’s RAIN meditation and how it can be used on the deep rooted feeling of wanting and addiction. As I started to deepen my thoughts around the subject, I realized that I have never once simply sat with the feeling of wanting TV. I always either react quickly by giving in to the feeling (turning on Netflix) or by coming down very harshly on myself for wanting this (not allowing the feeling to be here and pushing it out with harsh words). Therefore, I took the decision to practice RAIN the next time the feeling arises!

Resistance to bringing the RAIN meditation on wanting

The first thing I noticed when the feeling next arose was that I definitely did not want to practice the RAIN meditation on wanting! The feeling itself was strong and pulling towards action and was refusing to be the object of quiet observation. I had to make a deal with myself in order to practice. Much like I talk to my daughter, my mother voice came in my thoughts and said to the feeling, “Hey, listen I am not saying no to watching TV. I am saying we will observe the feeling for a while, practice RAIN and then if we still want to, we will watch TV. We will just have done it consciously. That’s all.” Just like a small child, the feeling answered, “Do you promise?!! This is not some trick to take me away from the well deserved rest we need?”. The more conscious part of me was able to respond quietly, “Yes, I promise. I am happy to watch TV if we have made a conscious kind decision about it.” Reluctantly, the feeling agreed to being observed.

Recognize is the R in RAIN

I started by giving a name to this feeling. I called it “wanting”. The first step is to name it. As you name it, you also shape it. It becomes an entity that has a bit more well-defined boundaries. This helps take it out from a nebulous kind of feeling that oozes everywhere in my subconscious to something more concrete that I can open myself up to.

Allow is the A in RAIN

The second step was to allow it to be here exactly as it is. This was incredibly difficult. Realizing how much resistance I carry towards this feeling was mind blowing. It was eye opening to realize that I never even considered allowing to be an option before now. As I formulated the words in my mind “I allow the Wanting to be here” , things started to move in my body and I was able to see the true power this feeling holds over me.

Investigate is the I in RAIN

The third step of RAIN is Investigate. Where is this feeling in the body and how does it manifest? The trick here is to stay focused on the body, not on the mind and its millions of thoughts and analyses. As I came to this step, the first thing I realized is that this feeling is very alive in my body. It is mostly in my chest and it is very strong. It has a one-pointed quality to it that is intensely forward looking. I stayed for two minutes in this step simply naming the experience: chest clenched; pointy – pushing outward; rush; pinch in the back of my neck; eyebrow center scrunched; belly empty; chest clenched; strong flow of direction forward; pulling; skin prickly; chest clenched.

It has a one-pointed quality to it that is intensely forward looking…

Photo by Fabio Ballasina on Unsplash

Nurture is the N in RAIN

As I came to the N of RAIN, I was called to nurture the feeling. There was, by now, no doubt in my mind that this feeling was much stronger than I ever gave it credit for. I started by asking the feeling of wanting, what do you need? The answer was immediate, “I am tired! So so tired! I just want to relax and disconnect. I am running all day long juggling five different roles and I am truly tired. Let me disconnect”.

So I placed my hand on my heart and with compassion responded with what the feeling needed. “I see how tired you are”, I told myself with love. “I am here for you. In this moment here we are disconnecting from the running machine of life. In this moment now we are disconnecting and re-connecting. I see you and I am here for you. I see you and I am here for you.” I kept on telling myself these words on repeat. As I did this, my compassion for myself started to grow. As it grew, everything in me started to soften. Everything started to feel less immediate, less pointy, less intense.

After The RAIN meditation

Tara Brach often gives the example of the ocean and the wave as a practice one can do after the practice of RAIN. This image has become one of the strongest guides in my life in the past years. Think of this feeling you are now experiencing as one wave in an ocean. The wave belongs to the ocean just as this feeling belongs to you. But the whole ocean can not possibly enter in a single wave. You are the ocean, not the wave. When I can finally connect to my “Oceanness” is when I enter the sweetest meditation space I know. There is no denying that this wanting feeling is very strong. It is a big wave. Nonetheless, I have been reducing my whole Self to a wave whenever I experience it, thinking it defines me. I am much more than that, I am the whole Ocean itself. I stayed meditating on the sweetness of my “Oceanness” for a while and it was touching.

Funnily enough, when I came out of the meditation, I was inspired to jot down ideas for this blog, looked up articles on the addictive power of TV to reference, listened to music and……I sincerely forgot to watch TV! I simply forgot. Later my partner came in the living room and we had a sweet moment of connection that I would have missed out on had I not paused to do RAIN and had I been immersed in the TV world.

RAIN meditation on wanting was definitely an exploration worth doing!

About the author:

Pinelopi specializes in Hatha Yoga. Her yoga Kreuzberg Berlin classes are open for and welcoming to beginners. She offers Berlin business yogaprivate yoga classes for people struggling with chronic pain, yoga courses, retreats and workshops.  She is currently deepening her knowledge through Leslie  Kaminoff’s Yoga Anatomy course and training to become an Alexander Technique teacher.