Sticking to a home fitness routine during lockdown is tough. Not only are your bed and sofa dangerously accessible, but those generic Zoom yoga sessions and YouTube cardio routines all start merging into one.
Thankfully, Berlin’s sporty types have raised the barre and come up with some far more entertaining online workout formats. From Booty Therapy to Techno Tai Chi, those missing Berghain, ://about blank, Club der Visionäre or any of Berlin’s world-class venues will find new ways to get their beat fix and endorphin high.
Here’s a run-down of the coolest ways to keep fit at home this winter.
Berlin can’t get enough of yoga and techno. And what better way to distract yourself from the shuttered studios and derelict dance floors than to bring both together in a beat-driven yoga class from Hi!Yoga? The idea of doing sun salutations to blips and synths may sound the opposite of relaxing, but give musician and yogi Sebastiaan Brinkman (@sebastiaanlefuce) a chance to convince you otherwise.
While he’s not the first to combine music and yoga, his online classes feature music especially made for each session. Think a smooth ambient intro, shifting up a gear with some heavier mid-session beats and winding down again for that sweet, sweet final savasana. Sebastiaan’s aim is to let the music’s frequencies and tempo guide your movement and breathing. The class is a good companion to one of his super physical ashtanga-inspired vinyasa classes.
Techno Yoga with Hi!Yoga Berlin, regular online classes
Anyone needing to shake off their winter blues (literally) should look no further than twerk teacher Maimouna Coulibaly’s Booty Therapy classes in Kreuzberg, Pankow and Schöneberg. Before you’re ready to star alongside Lizzo in a music video, you’ll need to learn the basic techniques: a fusion of the traditional West African Mapouka dance and hip-hop moves. To get you in the mood, Cardi B’s “WAP” and Master KG’s “Jerusalema” are played on repeat.
Coulibaly, who has been teaching dance for two decades, cites her pelvic workouts as a cure for stress. She asks groovers to conjure up their deepest, darkest thoughts, then release them with the vigorous shaking of their hips. It’s a class that’s equal parts mental and physical – and you’ll leave with a killer backside and a clear mind.
Pretty Deadly Self Defence
For those of us spending lockdown binge-watching Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and dreaming of our own adventures, Pretty Deadly Self Defence is a way to get a little closer to that reality. Pretty Deadly was created as an answer to traditional fear-driven and male-led self defence classes, and hopes to “inspire, empower and transform” its students.
Their (quite literally) kick-ass programs are designed by women for women, and led by founder Susie Kahlich. With their courses (now online) tailored to building realistic responses to realistic situations, the program offers accessible martial arts to boost your confidence and self trust, with an emphasis on fun.
Pretty Deadly Self Defence regular online classes
Holmes Place @ Home
Oh Holmes Place, the gym rat’s natural habitat. Sadly, they too have had to close their doors and shelve the weights. But fitness freaks need not fret: they’ve adapted to the changing times with new home workouts that can be streamed online.
Holmes @ Home offers “familiar faces and a familiar format” to guide you through exercise routines and keep you from going full couch potato. We recommend the posterior-focused Fit Back (to prevent pain and injury from sitting all day), BODYBALANCE® – because don’t we all need some balancing these days – and the sweet and deep facial training for flexibility.
Techno Tai Chi
Detroit-born DJ Jeff Mills once said: “Techno is everything you haven’t imagined yet”. And he had a point. Who would have imagined that, in 2021, one could rediscover an ancient Chinese martial art while listening to some mellow techno beats? Through this unusual healing experience, move gracefully, clear your mind and embrace the music. A good shout for meditation novices still reeling from Berghain’s closure. Electrical positive energy guaranteed.
Techno Tai Chi regular online classes
Sweat Smarter Together (while respecting social distancing!) is the enticing motto from these purveyors of high-intensity group training. Beat81 offers daily 45-min HIIT online group sessions to help you make the most of your training in the least amount of time. For those who want to get in shape but despise extreme workouts, cardio and flexibility classes are also available.
Beat81 regular online classes
Get your Saturday Night Fever on… in your living room and preferably alone. Grace of Graceful Movement will guide you serenely through her unique embodiment practices with a radical self-acceptance MO. This intensive workout is designed to activate the muscle groups in your core and lower body whilst elevating mood and boosting energy levels.
Combining ballet and pilates with conditioning training and cardio, you can expect to sweat, move and groove. Grace also accompanies her workouts with a killer soundtrack so that ‘‘even if your legs are shaking you’ll be singing along and smiling.’’ Lovely stuff.