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 or show of a negative test

The Berlin regulations require that you show a proof of vaccination or a 24 hour negative test in order to attend a class. You can use the various test centers in Berlin, or you can purchase a 1€ covid-19 test at the studio to test on the spot.

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 for Businesses

This two-part workshop focuses on how to set up an ergonomic office at home to minimize pain from long hours of working on the computer.

how to set up an ergonomi home office

At the beginning of the corona virus lock down it felt okay to set up an office in whatever way possible. Many of us worked from the couch, the kitchen table, and in between home schooling. No one was thinking about setting up a proper ergonomic office space at home. After all, in a couple of months everyone would be working at the ‘real’ office again, in a quiet environment without many distractions. Or so we all thought…

The lock down has now continued for over a year and it also reshaped our ways of working in general. One day, many will return to the office. Nonetheless, many others will also continue to work from home as the work situation becomes ever more flexible. As we become more aware of this fact, we realize how important it is to invest time and effort into making our home office more ergonomic.

In this two-part workshop, we look at all aspects of how to set up an ergonomic home office. This ergonomic home office workshop guides working practices that provide good health and an increase of productivity. We look into the basics of posture, as well as back, wrist and eye care. We also explore the proportion of working while sitting, standing and walking; and the quality and frequency of our breaks. Furthermore, we examine the infrastructure used, such as the height of the table, chair, monitor, type of keyboard and mouse. The suggestions of how to improve office infrastructure include a diverse range from DIY ideas or cheap props to a glimpse of what is available on the market. The workshop is given via ZOOM and includes both mindfulness and practical exercises, as well as a short stretching session.

For Who:

This workshop is for all businesses that are interested in improving their employees’ work health and safety. Employees do not need to have any yoga or mindfulness experience to participate. Likewise, employees do not need to have any fancy office equipment at home. The workshop is designed to help employees create a better working environment starting from exactly where they are. It is limited to 50 participants.

Workshop Details:

This two part workshop is given on two separate days so that employees have time to integrate the information.

PART ONE: posture, infrastructure, quality of breaks (1 hour and 10 minutes long)

PART TWO: wrist care, eye care, general environment, questions (1 hour and 10 minutes long)

At the end of the workshop, employees receive detailed notes summarizing what we covered in the workshop with many links so that they can do further research on their particular office issue.

Corporate Base Rates:

The corporate base rates for the two part workshop are the following:

  • 300 Euro for the entire workshop for a group up to 12 people
  • + 2.5 Euro for each additional person

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 over a 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.

Request the Workshop for your company:

Pleas write an email to discuss further details and dates for your company.

pinelopi (at) englishyogaberlin (dot) com

Read testimonials from people and businesses who have already received the workshop.

Hatha Yoga Retreat on “Conscious Intention” near Berlin

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.

Discover the power of conscious intention at this yoga retreat near Berlin.

What is the intention behind my wish?

When: 

Thursday September 2nd, 2021; 15.00

to Sunday September 5th, 2021; 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 in the “Conscious Intention” yoga retreat:

  • 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

How to register for the “Conscious Intention” yoga retreat near Berlin:

First send an email expressing your interest to join the retreat and what lodging is your preference. Next, deposits can be paid from the 1st of July 2021 (you will receive a reminder through email). Finally, the remaining amount of the money will be paid by August 16th, 2021.

Early registration discount:  15 € discount if you register for the yoga retreat before July 15th, 2021.

*The deposit is fully refundable if the Corona lock down continues. It is, also, fully refundable if a cancellation occurs before August 2nd, 2021, and 50% refundable if cancellation occurs before August 12th, 2021. After which no refund is possible.

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.

How to Become a Yoga Teacher- What To Consider – PART ONE

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@zoltantasi?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Zoltan Tasi</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>

In the past 13 years of teaching yoga, a few students have approached me to ask about how to become a yoga teacher and what things to consider. This is an important decision for those of us choosing to take this path. Before you embark on searching for the yoga teacher training course (TTC) of your dreams take a moment to consider the following questions.

Why do you want to become a yoga teacher?

Let us start with the basics: why do you want to become a yoga teacher? Although it sounds obvious, it is worth sitting with the question to get some clarity. Some people wish to become a yoga teacher simply as a means to deepen their knowledge on yoga. They do not necessarily wish to teach afterwards. This is a perfectly acceptable reason to join a TTC. To reach such an in-depth knowledge usually can only come from a TTC, living in an ashram and serious self-study.

Others, on the other hand, have their mind set on teaching. They want to get a good certificate that will allow them to work afterwards. If this is your reason for joining a course, then take a moment to visualize your future. What images come up for you when you visualize this? Do you see yourself giving hands on corrections to your students? Are you guiding a meditation? Or alternatively, do you see yourself explaining complex spiritual notions to a group of people? Or are you simply holding space for your students to go through their own process? Use the images that arise as a compass to guide you through the different TTCs that exist, so that you choose the right one for you.

What style and lineage of yoga should you choose?

It is important to know what kind of yoga style you like. Search for a TTC that aligns to this style. Other than just the style, you also have to look at the lineage of the yoga teacher training course. For example, a Hatha Yoga class from the Sivananda lineage can be quite different to one from the Desikachar lineage. Sometimes concepts as basic as the breath can be taught differently and even contradict each other! I do find it worthwhile to spend some time reflecting and researching on these points. A yoga TTC is a big investment, so go and try out different styles, find out what lineage they follow. Make notes, keep an open heart, and learn what you like.

Yoga Lineage is not simple and straightforward

Lineage can be complicated as we are following the teachings handed down over several centuries. Furthermore, in the past decades there has been increasing amount of proof that quite a few important yoga masters and gurus have sexually harassed and abused their students over the years. Although, the teacher you choose is not directly related to the yoga guru of their lineage, it can be quite devastating to find out half way through your training course that the yoga lineage you chose has such dark secrets. One way to go about this is to ask your teacher about their stance on their lineage. If your teacher is treating their guru with unshakable reverence and is not able to condemn an action of sexual, emotional and physical abuse, then you should probably find a different teacher. If on the other hand, they are able to demonstrate critical thinking, can clearly disagree with such actions and empower students and teachers to challenge dogma… then they might be a better fit.

What is important for YOU to have in a yoga course?

Not all courses are alike. Some give much more weight to anatomy and alignment. Others are much more focused on yogic philosophy, spirituality and meditation. A few others focus more on how to lead groups, to hold space, and methodologies of teaching. How do you know which kind of course you are about to embark on? Ask for a copy of their curriculum to check out what they offer. Although all good courses will have a mix of all these things, find out where your TTC puts most of its weight. Does that align with what your wishes are?

How to choose a yoga teacher training course.

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the right TTC. These first questions and reflections are a good starting point. In part two of this blog I will discuss the difference in diplomas (200H, 500H, 600H); the importance of connecting with your teacher; some yoga teacher training courses in Berlin; and the teachers that have inspired me personally. Till then, get to know the difference in yoga styles, find out about their lineage, and check out some curricula.

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 is currently deepening her knowledge through Leslie  Kaminoff’s Yoga Anatomy course and training to become an Alexander Technique teacher.

54321 – A Grounding Practice

Most probably, we have all heard the term “grounded” at some time in our lives. To ‘be grounded’ is a term that describes an experience of presence with whatever it is that we are doing at the moment. As the word suggests, I like to think of it as ‘being aware of my feet on the ground.’ When I am not grounded, I feel myself lost in thought and distracted from the realms of my mind- forgetting the body. When I am grounded, I notice things such as my rib cage moving with my breath, the sensations in my feet and the dryness of my lips. In other words, I am embodied- aware of what is happening in my body.

Most of us tend to be lost in thought throughout our days. As we lose ourselves in thought we are usually reliving past moments of our lives; imagining future ones; or worrying about possible scenarios in an alternate reality. To sum it up: as we lose ourselves in thought we are no longer living in the present – in the here and now.

The Nature of the Mind

It is normal for the mind to jump from one place to another making thousands of associations every minute. It is normal to associate the past with the possible future and alternative scenarios. There is nothing wrong with a mind that does that. On the contrary, it is even essential to our survival. It is the reason we have been able to make so many technological wonders and many more modern life marvels. However, if we find ourselves predominantly in the ‘lost in thought’ mode, life becomes tiring and seems to fly right past us. Taking a moment to pause, to slow down and experience the ‘Now’ is essential to living a life with quality.

How Can I Ground Myself?

There are many ways to ground oneself. These include practicing meditation and mindfulness, slowing down, becoming aware of our breath, and awareness of body sensations. The first step to grounding is to actually notice that we have lost ourselves in thoughts. This first step sounds much easier than it is, because we spend most of our time literally “lost“. Performing this first step is already a moment of awakening. Next, we could choose our favorite grounding technique to apply in order to become more embodied. I use several grounding techniques during our yoga classes in Kreuzberg. Here is one of my favorites:

54321

5 – Name five things that you see. Do not just think ‘this’ and ‘that’, but instead use their actual name such as green grass, white cloud, brown shoes.

4 – Name four things that you feel. Name sensations rather than emotions. Ie. the air in my nose, my heels on the floor, my shirt on my skin.

3 – Name three sounds that you hear.

2 – Name two odors that you smell. Some people find smelling challenging. If that is the case, you can also name two smells that you like instead.

1- Name one thing this experience is giving you. For example, ‘this experience is giving me a moment to slow down; presence; connecting with my body, etc.

How to practice 54321

You can practice this grounding exercise any time you feel the need to ground. This is also a very good exercise if you feel the onset of a panic attack or anxiety. I like to start my yoga practice with 54321 as I ground myself and am more present during the session. Another way to practice is while taking a walk. You can do 54321 on repeat and become more aware of your surroundings and your body sensations.

Haven’t we all had the experience of being in a beautiful place on holiday wishing to enjoy the moment, and instead have been worrying incessantly about some other aspect of our life? When this happens to me, I always return to 54321 and take in the sounds, smells, sensations, and sights!

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.

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

This two-part 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.

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.

Wishing You a Conscious 2021

Looking Back at 2020

2020 has come to an end, and it is fair to say that many were happy to turn the year. As midnight approached, I heard sighs of relief from many neighbors welcoming the year through their open windows. This year has been a hard year for all of us in more ways than one.

Interestingly enough, for some of the more fortunate ones living in countries with social systems and economic help, this has also been a good year in some respects. Some people told me how they so desperately had needed to slow down and how these lock downs allowed them to do so; others realized how over stimulated they have been with social interactions and how as they came out of the first lock down they were more careful to re-build their social life in a more sustainable way; many others spoke of physical rest from the never-ending commuting and realizing how much this has been taxing on their overall health.

Looking Forward to a Conscious 2021

With the arrivals of the vaccines, I have read that we can probably resume our “normal” lives in April 2021. The life after the pandemic can not and should not be the same as it was before. I am hoping for a rise in consciousness both in the personal way we live our lives, the economic systems that shape them, as in the global way we treat the planet and each other. I am wishing for a conscious 2021.

It is good to pause and reflect on the hardships of the past year, but also on if there has been any parts of this year that has been positive for us. How do we see ourselves integrating the parts that are positive in a post-lock down world? Have our bodies and minds been asking for more rest? Can telecommunications take over taxing commuting? Do we wish to be more selective of our social interactions in terms of quality versus quantity?

Pausing in the Present

Of course, due to the capitalistic society we live in, our lives are often being swept away by a wave of productivity, not allowing us time or the resources to pause and choose. However, pausing and choosing is absolutely essential. Viktor E. Frankl, a renown psychologist and holocaust survivor, refers to this pause as “a space that allows us to choose our response”. In yoga this pause is the act of meditation. In the Alexander Technique this pause is referred to as “inhibition”. Tara Brach refers to this as the Sacred Pause: the pause between stimulus and reaction, that frees us to the possibility of a different path.

So for 2021, my wish to the world is:

Wishing you a conscious 2021

May we all practice the Sacred Pause and be free to choose a different path.

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.

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.