Energy and Externsteine: Yoga in the Teutoburg Forest
EStart a cool winter morning with an invigorating “sun salutation”? Sounds esoterically good! The sun salutation is a classic activation and warm-up exercise from a millennia-old practice: yoga. The many stretching and strengthening exercises in yoga, so-called asanas, train both body and mind and stimulate “Prana”, the life energy.
The Yoga Vidya seminar and training center in Horn-Bad Meinberg in the Teutoburg Forest also taps that, which according to its own information offers an “ideal atmosphere for relaxing and recharging your batteries”. Whether you are a beginner or advanced: Those who want to push themselves into the “downward looking dog”, stretch like a “cobra” or look forward purposefully like a “warrior” will find the right courses in Germany’s largest yoga center with over a thousand guest beds.
Nature lovers can marvel at the famous sandstone formations of the Externsteine not far from the center or enjoy relaxing walks through the Silvaticum (lat. “Silva” = forest). Anyone wandering through this spa park adjacent to the seminar center undertakes a botanical trip around the world.
At the beginning of the 1960s, trees from 14 regions of the world were planted, for example exotic species such as the Caucasian wingnut and the snakeskin pine. What better place to do the tree asana? It has a harmonizing, stabilizing effect and helps to defy the storms of life. Breathe in. Exhale. Om.
Outdoor without hunger: hiking and fasting on Sylt
Sipping oysters, feasting on fish rolls – this is how many holidaymakers on Sylt enjoy themselves. But Germany’s northernmost island offers more: a sophisticated feeling in health resorts such as Kampen and Westerland and of course more than the standard culinary program. Even something like its opposite paired with a lot of exercise: fasting hiking, a winter tip!
The guests take a lot of warm vegetable broth, juices and steaming tea and go on long winter walks across the North Sea island. “When fasting, body and mind can completely clear out the clutter,” explains Heike Werner, who, as a credible example for those involved, of course regularly exercises herself strictly in abstaining from food.
In Westerland she runs the Fastenhaus Werner, where she accompanies guests through fasting hiking weeks throughout the year. “After just a few days, your well-being is vastly improved,” she says. Guests would always be amazed that they could hike ten to twelve kilometers across the island without feeling hungry.
Especially in our “snack and abundance culture” with common diseases such as diabetes, fasting is a means to get healing and rejuvenation processes going. “When the body feeds on its own depots, the body’s own recycling processes start.” Getting your guests on this path is a grateful task for her, says Werner: “At the end of the fasting week, I always see clear eyes and relaxed, happy faces . “
Healing power of water: Kneipp therapy in Bad Wörishofen
It almost seems to have been forgotten, and for some people it seems a bit old-fashioned: the traditional teaching of Sebastian Kneipp. It was even included in the list of intangible cultural heritage by the German Unesco Commission in 2015.
No other place has been so strongly influenced by the pastor and hydrotherapist as the Bavarian Bad Wörishofen. Kneipp opened the splendid one there in 1891 Kneipp spa “Sebastianeum”that still attracts thousands of seekers of salvation. The neat little town, then still a village, was given the nickname Bad 100 years ago. To this day, Bad Wörishofen has over a hundred spa hotels and guest houses.
However, anyone who only thinks of treading water and ice-cold knees when considering Kneipp therapies is ignoring the holistic teaching of the naturopath. To keep body and soul healthy, Kneipp developed a five-pillar philosophy. In addition to water, it also includes medicinal herbs, exercise, healthy nutrition and inner balance.
“If you don’t do something for your health every day, you have to sacrifice a lot of time for the illness one day,” warned Kneipp. Throughout his life he was convinced of the healing power of water; At a young age he had been able to cure his tuberculosis disease by bathing in the cold Danube. If you can’t make it to Bad Wörishofen: there are Kneipp facilities as well as spa and bathing establishments all over Germany. The Kneipp Association.
Don’t just sweat while sitting: Sauna on the Müggelsee
Rebecca Lang and her Finnish husband Sami Bill lead a life between Lapland and Berlin. Three years ago they picked up an idea from the north and exported it. Since then there has been a swimming sauna on the Großer Müggelsee.
At FinnfloatAs they call their company, up to eight guests can take the sauna raft out to Berlin’s largest lake in the east of the capital – and between May and September they can even spend the night on the roof terrace under the open sky. The charming wellness domicile is particularly tempting in the winter months, when the Müggelsee is often shrouded in fog and sauna master Rebecca Lang heats up the wood fire.
Whether smoky Terva infusion, forest or pine wood Löyly (Löyly is the Finnish word for sauna steam) – one thing should definitely not be missing: the Bath whisk. It is the famous tuft of birch branches with which the Finns gently tap each other from top to bottom in order to stimulate blood circulation in the skin.
On top of that. The owner can also practice sauna yoga with her guests at 55 degrees if requested. Or she conjures up a Finnish dinner for her guests, of course also prepared in the sauna.
Colder than the South Pole: the ice chamber on the Elbe
White villas and some thatched roof houses nestle against Blankenese’s steep Elbe slope: the former fishing village, today a glamorous Elbe suburb of Hamburg, is known for its historic staircase district. A total of around 5000 steps lead up and down stairs through winding alleys. Whether down to the wonderful sandy Elbe beach or up to the Süllberg, the place not only offers beautiful views, but is also a great fitness trail even for normal pedestrians.
If that’s not enough, you can treat yourself to a top-class wellness kick in Blankeneser Bahnhofstrasse. Maike Dohrn has been running the ice sauna there for a year and a half “196 City. Not even in Antarctica is it bitterly cold as in its one-person cold cabin: minus 196 degrees Celsius!
The effect of a three-minute session is as unexpected as it is enormous: With so-called cryotherapy (cold therapy), the metabolism is stimulated, the immune system is strengthened, hormones are released and muscles are regenerated. In addition, the cold shock should also work against pain, sleep disorders and depression. “Afterwards, the customers are always happy and in a good mood.” In addition, the extreme temperature feels far less cold due to the very low humidity, “only like minus five degrees,” says Dohrn.
Ice saunas are now available in many German cities – a nice new freshness kick trend, ideal for the dark season.