German Yoga & Sauna = Winning Combination

With the field hockey season in swing and my joy in Berlin public transit taking precedent over bicycling, I definitely need yoga to be able to play hockey.

Fortunately, there are lots of options for yoga in Berlin.

I tried a yoga studio near our apartment. It’s a combination yoga studio, physio clinic, gym, and sauna. I don’t need the physio (yet) and completely ignore all the machinery in the gym, but yoga and sauna? Sounds like a great combination!

German Yoga

Presumably, yoga would be the same in Germany as it would be in Canada, given that it’s an import to both.

And so it was, lots of poses very similar to what I am used to in Vancouver. About the same difference as between our regular yoga teacher and a substitute.

But language! I had never practiced yoga in German before. Many of the yoga-specific phrases or words are translated into German, but they sure sounded funny to me. It’s all good to “find your balance and push into the floor with your toes”, but in German?

I’m afraid my mind wasn’t quite clear for some of the class.

I am guessing that I imagined this, but the yoga mats that were available to use in the yoga studio (Lululemon, of course) seemed longer than the standard mats in Vancouver. Longer mats for longer Germans? Works for me!


The combination of yoga and sauna sounds really great. And I think it actually is. So, I took a sauna afterwards, all (relatively) loose from the yoga.

Obviously, I had to stumble around first to figure my way out to showers, to different parts of the sauna section, around nudity (everyone everywhere) and general routines. But, the sauna was very hot (hotter than is typical at Hillcrest Pool for example).

The biggest difference was the Aufguss. I don’t even know what an Aufguss is in English (pour on?), since most N American hot saunas seem to be focused on very dry hot. In German saunas (and in Sweden as well), you pour water over the rocks (or whatever is in the oven) every once in a while for a hot cloud in the sauna, but also some humidity. Maybe this is because Germans don’t dehydrate the way N Americans do? 😉

In any case, the Aufguss is a big deal and is celebrated.

In fact, I had read in the paper, that an Aufguss WM (world cup) was on somewhere in Germany where the Aufgiesser incorporates lights, music, special air stirring techniques.

At the yoga sauna, there was some kind of oil added to the water as is typical, often eucalyptus. The Aufguss pro came in. Appropriately, she had a slight Russian (another great sauna nation) accent. She swung her towel at the open door first. Fresh air or cool air? I’m sure there’s science behind that. Then ladled several cups of water onto the rocks, then vigorously swung her towel to stir the air, and repeat. Fabulous!

Yes, yoga and sauna is a winning combination and may turn our to be habit-forming.

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